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Jun 11, 2015 Commentary
On activism of European researchers about science policy

by Alain Trautmann

The organization and functioning of research have radically changed over the last 10 or 20 years, as a result of a determined political action. The activism of some scientists, during this period, has failed to significantly alter this trend. So far. Today, New Public Management is triumphant. It has been implemented by a category of former scientists who have become administrators, evaluators, organizers. As a result, the prime role of scientific publications is no longer to exchange scientific information but to allow a measure of scientific production, and to rank the principal investigators. Now, the massive use of numerical tools (impact factors, h index), allows policy makers and their collaborators to evaluate publications without reading them. In addition, researchers are told to work in a budgetarily stable system (or even a decreasing one), with internal dynamics that should make it increase exponentially. This has led to the development of precarious jobs. One day, this bubble will explode.

Volume 14 • Issue 02 • 2015