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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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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.