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Inside out

Back page gossip from the 11 October issue of Research Europe

Open plan The Plan S publishing initiative originated from the European Commission’s open-access envoy Robert-Jan Smits. One might therefore have expected EU figures to take a leading role in its implementation. As we report on page 5, however, development of the plan is to be led by John-Arne Røttingen and David Sweeney, of Norway and the UK respectively. Given that one of these countries has never been in the EU and the other will be leaving soon, the prospects for international buy-in seem strong. Was this coincidence or canny planning?

Noble Nobel? French physicist Gérard Mourou achieved science’s highest accolade this month, by sharing half of the 2018 Nobel prize in physics for his 1985 work on lasers. The European Commission tried to ride his coattails to glory by rushing out a release on how, a mere 27 years later, it threw some funding his way. The shine was somewhat taken off Mourou’s achievement a day later, however, when a promotional video resurfaced of him cavorting with scantily clad women in a lab to publicise an infrastructure he used to lead. There are dangers to basking in reflected glory.

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