Go back

Seeds of a storm

After 10 years of austerity, researchers fight back

Exactly a decade ago, in March 2008, the Bear Stearns investment bank failed; it was the start of thousands of billions of dollars of financial losses across the world. The collapse heralded the start of the financial crisis and an era of budget cuts, government bankruptcies and drying up of public funds otherwise known as austerity.

Research and higher-education budgets were affected across Europe. Even in Germany, the EU’s biggest research spender, some federal states had to make huge cuts. Countries such as Greece, Italy and Hungary have still not managed to get their university and research budgets up to pre-austerity levels: Italy alone is still about €1.3 billion short. For researchers, this has meant a decade of lab closures, strained resources and strong competition in Horizon 2020, as hard-up scientists turned to the EU research funding programme to make up for national shortfalls. But there have been other, more insidious developments that are now bearing bitter fruits.

This article on Research Professional News is only available to Research Professional or Pivot-RP users.

Research Professional users can log in and view the article via this link

Pivot-RP users can log in and view the article via this link.