Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

A Threat to the Quality of Academic Research in France (guest post by Philippe Huneman)

Philosophy News image
The following is a guest post* by Philippe Huneman, Professor and Director of Research at Institut d’Histoire et de Philosophie des Sciences (CNRS / Paris I Sorbonne). [Evariste Richer, “Le mètre vierge”] A Threat to the Quality of Academic Research in France by Philippe Huneman French academics have been shaken in recent months by the declarations of Antoine Petit, director of the major national research organization, the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). His vision of the future of the CNRS poses a threat to the quality of academic research in France, as it would drastically diminish the amount of permanent positions and intensify project-based competition for diminishing resources. Founded in 1939 to encompass all disciplines, to support worldwide collaboration, and to sponsor major scientific projects, the CNRS is a preeminent European research organization, employing 25,000 people including 11,500 permanent researchers. Most CNRS researchers consider that given their funding levels—2.4 million dollars, compared for example to the University of California’s budget of 3.2 million dollars—they are scoring quite well in international competitions and rankings. The CNRS is the number-one recipient of grants from the European Research Commission, for instance, and stands at first or second place in all rankings of research institutions, as well as in the number of publications in Nature. It also counts a substantial number of Nobel Prize laureates as members, as well as almost half of awarded Fields medals, and so on. Yet in an editorial in Les Echos celebrating 80 years of this institution, Petit called for “an ambitious, unequal law—yes, unequal—, a virtuous and Darwinian law, which supports the most productive scientists, teams, laboratories and institutions on an international scale.”  Among other changes, funds would be even more unevenly split than they are at present between researchers, and in. . .

Continue reading . . .

News source: Daily Nous

blog comments powered by Disqus