sexta-feira, 10 de outubro de 2014


Astrophysicist Amaya Moro-Martin wrote an opinion article in nature, regarding science policies in Europe, and included a brief reference to the situation in Portugal:

"Already reeling from budget cuts of 50% for universities and research centres, Portugal may now have to close half of its research units because of a flawed evaluation process supported by the European Science Foundation.”

Amaya Moro-Martin was contacted by the European Science Foundation (ESF) in the following terms:

"Dear Amaya Moro-Martin,
The European Science Foundation hereby requests that you retract the following allegation contained within your opinion piece published on 8 October in Nature (Volume 514, Issue 7521). [Portugal may now have to close half of its research units] because of a flawed evaluation process supported by the European Science Foundation. The European Science Foundation refutes any allegation that the process was flawed and considers that the statement cited above is slanderous, as the independent work performed in the framework of the evaluation of FCT research units followed the best international practices. While the European Science Foundation is cited in your paper, it is highly regrettable that no one from our organisation was interviewed and no request for clarification made. In addition, and as you may be aware, the Portuguese national union for higher education has launched a formal legal action on the evaluation process, and this has not yet come to a conclusion. If your allegation is not publically retracted in Nature, the European Science Foundation will be compelled to take appropriate legal action."
Dr. Jean-Claude Worms
Head of Science Support Office European Science Foundation

The complain that no one from ESF has been interviewed is absolutely ridiculous. It’s an opinion article, and, therefore, doesn’t require sources at all. Threats with unrealistic lawsuits are the oldest trick in the book. But it’s nice to see that ESF is afraid. And it should be, given the flawed evaluation it has conducted. 

I've posted the following comment on Nature:

"I have no doubt that the FCT/ESF evaluation is severely flawed. Therefore, I kindly ask European Science Foundation to include me in their lawsuit as well."

I urge you to do the same, in solidarity with astrophysicist Amaya Moro-Martin and to stand for better science policies in Europe.

(to make a comment you have to register for a free subscription, in the top of the page, and then confirm your email).

If you want to know more please read about the ESF/FCT evaluation in here:

17 comentários:

  1. Uma pouca vergonha. Parece que os tempos do Nazismo e Ditadura estão de volta na Europa. Nenhuma instituicao está isenta de critica. Pela nossa liberdade intlectual não podemos permitir que lei da rolha e intimidação se instale na comunidade.

    1. È verdade e os cientistas são os judeus e ciganos.

    2. Que não haja nenhuma dúvida sobre isso

  2. This is stupid even by European agency standards. Dr Moro-Martin is using the information available to her in the public record. There have been numerous reports in the both the scientific press and the Portuguese newspapers about problems with the unit evaluation process. Regardless of their merit, Dr Moro-Martin in an opinion piece is entitled to take this at face value. Jean-Claude Worms (as he does not extend to Dr Moro-Martins the courtesy of referring to her by her title, there is no reason we should address Jean-Claude by his) should, if he is so motivated, take up his suit with the primary sources in the public record. Dr Moro-Martins was not publishing an investigative report.

    A second problem may be that perhaps Jean-Claude Worms does not comprehend the English Language (I have no personal knowledge of Jean-Claude's linguistic skills, this is mere speculation to try to justify behavior beyond the pale): "flawed" means with flaws, or problems. Any evaluation has these- and anyone who claims to make a flawless evaluation should not be taken seriously. Anyone is free to disagree with evaluation criteria. Of course, the organization applying those criteria is free to defend them. The courts are not the place for this debate.

    Dr Moro-Martin made no accusations of corruptions or wrongdoing. She, like every scientist I know (with one exception), is merely exerting her right to disagree with the evaluation process and values. Jean-Claude, who clearly feels they are flawless should thus be easily able to defend them in public without his attorney(s).

    As usual, when an Institution threatens an isolated individual, the threat of legal costs may overwhelm Dr Moro-Martin's personal resources. I am sure scientists everywhere are confident that the Nature group with back the fundamental right of free speech.

  3. Já lá fui convidar a ESF a apresentar queixa contra mim, também. Este tipo de bullying é inadmissível.

    1. è o bullying dos cartéis ditos científicos é insuportável..

    2. Já o bullying dos "cartéis dos iginorantes" parece não satisfazer o lema de Zorn...

  4. The ESF seem to have something to hide...

  5. Having thought about this,it really is most contemptible. I have added my own views in a blog post:

  6. I can only say that the center were im working presently is in the area of systems biology and a member of the evaluation papel was a civil engenieer ! Thats the ESF standards

  7. Um conselho para o Jean-Claude:

  8. Temos consciência de que temos áreas de excelência e áreas menos boas, como em todo o mundo desenvolvido. E que o diálogo entre nós, mediterrânicos, e o eixo ibero-americano abre possibilidades inimagináveis. Talvez quem nos minimize sinta o chão a fugir-lhe.

  9. "… Ma volendosi per allora procedere teco con benignità, fu decretato dalla Sacra tenuta avanti N.S. a' 25 di Febr.o 1616, che l' S. Card. Bellarmino ti ordinasse che tu dovessi omninamente lasciar detta opinione falsa, e ricusando tu di ciò fare, che dal Comissario di S. ti dovesse esser fatto precetto di lasciar la detta dotrina, e che non potessi insegnarla ad altri, né difenderla né trattarne, al qual precetto non acquietandoti, dovessi esser carcerato; …"

    1. No metas a la Iglesia en esto. Este problema es de los políticos europeos de ahora.


1) Identifique-se com o seu verdadeiro nome.
2) Seja respeitoso e cordial, ainda que crítico. Argumente e pense com profundidade e seriedade e não como quem "manda bocas".
3) São bem-vindas objecções, correcções factuais, contra-exemplos e discordâncias.


Issac Asimov, o cientista que foi mestre-escritor de ficção científica, tem, na sua imensa obra, vários textos que tocam a educação. O mais ...