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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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French Scientists Gain Ground in Protests
3 March 2009 11:36 am
PARIS—The French government has agreed to two key demands of its protesting researchers: nixing proposed job cuts and giving individual scientists the final say in how much time they spend on education. But the concessions may not end the battle.
France has been riven over the past month by the biggest protests in higher education in decades. On Friday, French higher education and research minister Valérie Pécresse reached a basic agreement with three unions about her most controversial plan: A decree that would give university presidents the power to decide how much time academic staff spend on research and education, a ratio now fixed by national regulations. Pécresse has now agreed that no such changes can be made without the individual researcher's consent, a concession that satisfied three smaller unions. Earlier in the week, French prime minister François Fillon promised to cancel the proposed cut of several hundreds academic jobs in 2010 and 2011.
The biggest union and the engine behind the recent strikes and demonstrations, SNESup-FSU, welcomed the concessions as a "first success," but wants the government to also take off the table a proposed change in teachers' training programs, halt reforms at the National Center for Scientific Research, and offer a multi-year plan to hire new researchers.
Without that, there's no point in further negotiations, according to SNESup-FSU Secretary-General Jean Fabbri. "Most of the people who have joined the strike and the demonstrations agree with us," says Fabbri, who expects another massive turnout when protesters take to the streets in Paris and many other cities again on Thursday.
Pécresse had meetings today with the other trade unions representing university lecturers and researchers.