European research organisations call upon the European Parliament to encourage society to respect independent science advice and to condemn physical attacks on scientists
On 7th June, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in Parma received a package containing explosive material addressed to a scientist providing independent scientific advice to EFSA. This and other recent attacks are not only attacks on individual scientists performing their duties for an agency of the European Union, and thereby serving the citizens of the EU; they are also attacks on our open and transparent society and on the scientific and intellectual process.
A large group of publicly funded researchers reacted strongly to this incident and decided to send the Open Letter to the President of the European Parliament, copied to the Vice-President as well as the President of the European Commission and the Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation. We call upon the European Parliament to encourage society to respect independent science advice and to unanimously and unconditionally condemn the recent attacks on EFSA, reiterating its support for independent scientific research and investigation, and to propose measures to prevent attacks targeting scientists and/or research facilities.
The Open Letter, signed by 56 science organisations, societies and academies, has been sent on Friday 1 July and has been published on the EPSO webpage at www.epsoweb.org/respect-science-advice. An updated Open Letter was published online on Monday 11 July allowing additional science organisations to announce their support.