The European Research Council (ERC) is one of the biggest institutions in Europe providing funding to carry out basic research. Receiving an ERC grant is a prestigious accolade for any researcher. Recently, the ERC faced the imminent danger of losing a big part of its budget. As a consequence, 19 leading international scientists and universities from 8 different countries formed the “Friends of the ERC” initiative, which included a petition to protest against the cutting of the ERC’s budget.
In the third episode of the “Arqus Knowledge Pills”, we talked with Prof. Eystein Jansen from the University of Bergen, who administered the initiative, about its goals and about the worth and relevance of basic research.
Note: When this episode was recorded, the outcome of the “Friends of the ERC” campaign was yet unclear. In the meantime, the combined pressure that this one and other similar campaigns have had, has been in part successful. In the end, the budget amounted to 16,1 billion Euros, which is substantially higher than the originally intended sum. Website: https://friendsoftheerc.w.uib.no/
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