Climate scientists oppose call for foreign researchers

French President Emmanuel Macron made global headlines in June when he called on foreign scientists to join his ‘Make Our Planet Great Again’ project on fighting climate change. But in France, not all researchers are happy about the invite, writes Romain Brunet for France24.

Just one month into his tenure, the young French leader announced the launch of ‘Make Our Planet Great Again’ – a research initiative meant to put France on the map in the global fight against climate change. Macron called on foreign researchers, and in particular United States-based scientists, to come to France to pursue their work, promising them not only financial backing but also a safe and supportive working environment.

Macron’s appeal to the international scientific community seems to have paid off. At the end of September, a total of 255 scientists from 41 countries – 42% of them Americans and 62% working in the US – had applied for the grants; an initial selection process left around 90 people in the running. But while France’s national research agency, Le Centre national de la recherche scientifique or CNRS, is patting itself on the back over the sheer number, as well as the high quality, of the applicants, some French researchers are critical of the project, describing it as nothing but a PR stunt pulled by the president to boost France’s image abroad. The expertise already exists but the funding for such research in France is scarce.
Full report on the France24 site