Alessandro Ludovico on Thu, 6 Dec 2001 04:46:12 +0100 (CET)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

<nettime> Funding cuts for all research institutions in Italy


Dear Prime Minister,

we would like to draw your attention to the serious problems affecting
the national research system, which will be further aggravated  by the
Financial Law, that is now being discussed by the Italian Parliament.
Over the last years, we have repeatedly emphasized the insufficient
committment in Italy for public funding of research.

We would like once more to stress that this is the only means to
guarantee the Italian presence in those fields and disciplines which are
of primary importance for the development and the future of our country.

Many times we have drawn attention to the issue of human resources,
their training and inadequate numbers, pointing out  to all the relevant
authorities that the so called "brain drain" problem is  actually the
most evident result of a weak Italian scientific policy.
We have also stressed that a poor science policy is a cause of cultural
and material decay of a Country.

Notwithstanding this, the proposed Financial Law contains rules that
further jeopardize the present difficult situation of the Italian research.
While an extra effort  to renew the human resources of the system would
have been absolutely necessary, article 12 of this law foresees no new
permanent position during 2002, including (and this is happening for the
first time ever) those where the selection process has already started.

The law also proposes funding cuts for all research institutions.
In particular the fund for supporting the major public research
institutions (Law 204/98) suffers a 100 billion liras cut (50 millions
euro). The yearly increase of regular universities budgets is for 2002
already below the inflation rate and its absolute value will be further
decreased in 2003. The funding for basic research will be halved in 2002
and the consequences of this are easily imaginable.

Articles 19 and 20 of this new Financial Law put the basis for a
far-going demolition of the public intervention in science, opening the
way for major privatisation without any concern for the nature and the
aims of the various research institutions.
How can citizens be protected against the loss of the public role which
is essential in supporting and defending the most delicate and
fundamental disciplines?
The 2001 Financial Law, passed under the previous government, had marked
the start, albeit still insufficiently, for supporting research projects,
inverting the tendency of the last 10 years; the 2002 Financial Law
brings everything back to the previous difficult and unsustainable
situation for the Italian research.

We believe in the  role of research as a driver of  social and economic
development, based on the quality of  people and products. If You share
these beliefs, we would like to ask You to intervene to correct the
Financial Law, thus giving a clear signal to researchers, university
professors and citizens about the key role of publicly supported
scientific research for the welfare of the Country.

(signed to date by more than 3100 scientists)


Alessandro Ludovico
Neural Online - daily updated news + reviews
Suoni Futuri Digitali - 
ISBN 88-7303-614-7 

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: contact: