The Open Letter, launched in October
2014, has since received considerable support from more than 18 000
individual followers and over 40 research organizations (with more than
100 000 affiliated members). This is the right moment to spread the
petition to your colleagues who may not yet have had the opportunity to
sign it, thereby increasing the number of signatures before it is
presented in mid-May. Nevertheless, this will by no means be the
endpoint of the petition, just a milestone on the road of European
scientific workers who are acting collectively for the future of science
In October 2014 a visible one-month march by scientists from across France converged on Paris. Organised by Sciences en Marche,
it included all categories of colleagues from French universities and
research centres who criss-crossed the French roads on their bikes,
stopping in many towns to talk to the citizens about the non-measurable
values of Higher Education and Research (HER), values that are essential
for sustaining a democratic and flourishing society.
The French initiative was synchronized with the publication of the
European Open Letter and both actions synergized. Because HER, a
prerogative of individual member states, is also impacted by EU
policies, we, at Sciences en Marche, advocate for a combination of
synchronous national and European initiatives. In this context, we would
like to propose a restaging of the French march on a Europe-wide scale.
We invite groups and movements from all European countries to join us
in organising concerted parallel events in Autumn 2015.
To the European Union institutions, it could ask for:
The exclusion of national investments in HER from the calculation of the 3% national budget deficit ceiling.
A preservation of the Horizon 2020 budget in the context of the Juncker investment plan.
To individual European countries, it could ask for:
An ambitious, multi-year recruitment plan for HER staff based on secure employment.
A significant increase in core state funding for basic Research Institutions/Bodies and Higher Education Institutions.
policy for the development of all areas of research, guaranteeing
diversity in subjects and in approaches to research instead of the
restricted areas prioritized in the Horizon 2020 program, the respect of
research methods, together with appropriate time frames and academic
freedom for individuals and higher education and research institutions.
restoration and development of a democratic and collegial spirit within
Higher Education Institutions and Research Institutions/Bodies.
In summary, could you please bring the petition “They have chosen Ignorance” to the attention of those around you? This is the right moment.
And if you like the idea of synchronised European-wide marches next
autumn, and have further suggestions on this matter, please write to the
organizing committee of Sciences en Marche at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Sciences en Marche organising committee, who thanks the Euroscientist team for its help in the diffusion of this initiative.