PARIS--More than 2000 French lab directors and research team leaders today followed through on their threat to quit their administrative posts. Although their resignations are not likely to be accepted, the move puts pressure on the French government to resolve a long running funding dispute.
Since January, more than 60,000 French researchers have called on the government to restore lost funding and jobs (Science, 13 February, p. 948 ). The government's response has been inadequate, says protest spokesperson Alain Trautmann, a cell biologist at the Cochin Institute in Paris. And if the government can't do better, he says on 19 March researchers will consider further action, including shutting down some labs.
Meanwhile, the protesters have agreed to join a national committee on research that will be led by Academy of Sciences president Étienne Émile Baulieu and vice president Edouard Brézin. Government officials have 2 months to consider the resignations, which they are expected to refuse.
An English translation of the French researchers' petition