Carlo Rubbia called in to advise EC on scientific research

Professor Antonio RUBERTI, the new EC Commissioner for Research and Educational Policies and former Minister for Universities and Research in the Italian government, has called in three internationally renowned European scientists to advise him on the direction to be taken by the Community research policy.

They are Professors François GROS (Director of the Paris Institut Pasteur), Ilya Prigogine (Nobel Prize for Chemistry, 1977, and Director of the International Institutes for Chemistry and Physics in Brussels) and Carlo RUBBIA (Nobel Prize for Physics, 1984, and Director-General of CERN1, Geneva).

The three Advisers will each deal with specific subject areas, as follows:

  • François Gros, the problems and prospects for life sciences and technologies;
  • Ilya Prigogine, the strengthening of ties between Community research activities and the scientific community;
  • Carlo Rubbia, matters connected to the internationalization of research and the development of major world-scale projects.

Following his first working session with them on 4 March in Brussels, Commissioner Ruberti stressed that: "In evaluating scientific and technological options and for the choices it has to make in conducting and implementing Community research policy, the Commission must be able to draw on the expertise that exists in the world of science itself. In this regard, the Commission is bound to welcome and feel honoured by the close collaboration that it will be able to develop with three of its most outstanding representativesÓ.

For his part, Carlo Rubbia stated: "It is enthusing for someone who has devoted his entire life to research in a European framework to participate, under the authority of Commissioner Ruberti and alongside such eminent figures as Professors Gros and Prigogine, in drawing up and giving effect to a common strategy for European research in the 21st century.

Many clear thinkers see Europe as being the greatest force in the 21st century. But we Europeans still have to want this to happen and to play all our best cards, in particular our intellectual resources, our research and our education. If Europe finds itself in the forefront of certain branches of research this is due to the coexistence and complementarity of European facilities and national research institutes. In all our various research areas this "pyramid of facilitiesÓ must therefore be developed, increasing in capacity at regional, national and European levels.

We should, however, ensure that fundamental research stays in touch with economic reality and with human aspirations. In the present period of crisis we must incorporate the goal of controlled growth, whereby research should assist all those who play a part in our society: the scientific community, the political decision-makers, men and women. For example, we have an important part to play, one that is only possible at the continental level and is based on a network built up around our universities and other institutions, in the investigation of energy sources that might, within the space of a few decades, meet our needs while protecting the environment and the other factors in our way of life. To be of better service to humanity, fundamental research must roll back its present material and intellectual frontiers, not only so far as its stock of knowledge is concerned, but also in terms of its fields of action."

Footnote(s)

1. CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, has its headquarters in Geneva. Its Member States are Austria, Belgium, the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Israel, the Russian Federation, Turkey, Yugoslavia, the European Commission and Unesco have observer status.

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