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FRENCH SCIENTISTS SAY THEY’RE RELIEVED AND HAPPY THAT THEIR COUNTRY’S NEXT PRESIDENT WILL BE EMMANUEL MACRON PDF Stampa E-mail

French research bodies rarely take overt positions on elections, but this one was different. France’s academy of science, the heads of nine national research agencies and many prominent scientists had all made public appeals against Le Pen’s party ahead of Sunday’s head-to-head vote, arguing that the Front National’s illiberal and anti-immigrant views threatened the tolerant, open and democratic environment in which science and evidence-based policy thrives. "Unlike the Front National, Emmanuel Macron bears the republican and humanist values that we defend, and which constitute the DNA of universities," says Gilles Roussel, who heads France's Conference of University Presidents, which in April had called for a vote against Le Pen. Thierry Coulhon, a mathematician and president of the PSL Research University in Paris says that Macron aims to free up innovation in universities by decentralizing power and reducing bureaucracy; in particular, Macron intends to let universities hire lecturers and researchers without having to wait for a central administration in Paris to approve appointments. Coulhon expects that Macron’s policies on France’s national research agencies will be more about continuity, with less need for major reforms. (Fonte: D. Butler, Nature News 08-05-17)