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Scientists push EU to rename R&D portfolio

 Image: Európa Pont [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

A growing list of European scientists, including a group of Nobel laureates, is demanding that the words “research” and “education” be added to the portfolio title of the EU commissioner who will have responsibility for related policies.

The scientists published an open letter to EU leaders on 17 September, in response to the announcement earlier this month that the research and innovation commissioner and the education, culture, youth and sport commissioner roles were to be combined from 1 November under the portfolio title “Innovation and Youth”.

“This emphasizes economic exploitability (i.e. ‘innovation’) over its foundation, which is education and research, and it reduces ‘education’ to ‘youth’ while being essential to all ages,” the letter said. “Without dedication to education and research there will neither exist a sound basis for innovation in Europe, nor can we fulfil the promise of a high standard of living for the citizens of Europe in a fierce global competition.”

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