欧洲的科研危机

二战之后,大多欧洲人都一致认为科学研究不仅能够促进他们的经济发展,还能提升他们相对于美国的技术自治并对社会变革起到催化作用。基于国际科学界之间的团结能够有助于改善前敌国之间的关系的认识,英国皇家科学院大力倡导创立德国马普学会(German Max Planck Society)。由此,旨在联合欧洲基础科研工作的大型项目,如欧洲核研究机构(CERN)、欧洲宇航局(ESA)和欧洲分子生物学组织(EMBO)才得以成立。

而当今,科学研究却在几乎所有的欧洲国家(瑞典、芬兰和冰岛除外)呈衰退之势。现有人才被浪费,对年轻人的吸引力不断丧失。平均而言,一位在美国工作的年轻欧洲科学家所得到的研究支持是在欧洲的2.5倍。因此,在欧洲形成人才流失的局面也就不足为奇了。的确,相较于美国的8名和日本的9名,欧洲每千人中的科研人员仅5名。尽管有着深厚的科研传统,这一数字在中欧则更为严峻。欧盟一体化的成本还可能会进一步将发展重点从科学和教育方面转移开去。

日益压缩的预算也令资深科学家们举步维艰。例如,在生命科学领域,基金会们发现寻找高层次的欧洲科研人员颁发奖金成为难题。这倒不是因为科研水平的下降,而是因为高水准的可持续支持使美国科研机构的领导者们更能将新的理念转化为科学发现。

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