We commit ourselves to save research and higher education
le 26 June 2008
The scientific community has, for several years now, demonstrated its will to improve the structure of research and teaching in higher education by making concrete proposals which remain valid today. But the drastic restructuring of higher education and research currently being undertaken by the Government will result in the management of research activity coming under the direct control of political power (well beyond the scope of the program orientations for which it is responsible). Many people in positions of responsibility for research have criticised those government measures, in particular laboratory and research centre directors, CNRS  award recipients, that body’s research council (which includes overseas members), university councils, and laboratory general assemblies. That the Administrative Council of the CNRS was prevented from sitting on June 19th, reflects our profound and abiding uneasiness with regard to the restructuring currently being imposed on this public body, which threatens its integrity and its independence.
In order to resolve a crisis which can only weaken French research as well as to regain the confidence necessary to reform our institutions in ways that will benefit society as a whole, we ask today that:
Any changes in the structure of research be implemented in full respect of scientific independence and of the principles of collegiality and democracy of university and other research institutions;
Sufficient resources, both financial and human—researchers and teacher-researchers, technical and administrative support personnel—be allocated to universities and other public research bodies on a long-term basis. The institutions will then be able to build a scientific strategy, their laboratories will be able to develop their own projects and the principle that governs research and higher education on the basis of statutory posts—guarantors of genuine intellectual independence—will be preserved;
The CNRS should continue to cover all fields of knowledge in order to develop a global research strategy as well to as encourage collaboration between the different disciplines.
These demands have a cost, which can be met within the framework of the overall budget allocations to higher education and research.
We are determined that this action should be long-term. We are aware of our responsibility in the implementation of changes within higher education and research and we are committed to doing nothing that would weaken the very basis of our activity and its future in the short term, as per our press release of June 23rd, signed by laboratory and research centre directors and individuals in charge of research bodies.
If our demands are not heard, we will initiate progressive administrative strike actions. In particular, we will:
Refuse to pass on data that would support the assessment and orientation of research using indicators that exclude expert scientific input.
And, in a second phase, and should the Government continue to remain deaf to our legitimate requests, laboratory and institutional directors, individuals in charge of scientific bodies, and their respective members, will resign from their posts.
If you want to sign this petition, please go here, and fill-in the form on the right part of the page using the following translation :
Votre nom <------> your last name
Votre prénom <------> your first name
Votre adresse email <------> your email address
Votre code postal <------> your zip country code
Votre ville <------> your city
 Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
 Agence Nationale pour la Recherche
 Agence d’Evaluation de la Recherche et de l’Enseignement Supérieur