Historically, the development of knowledge in each country has been mainly based on university institutions and various permanent research institutes such as academies, institutes, public research centres and laboratories, etc. Nowadays, the control and channeling of research systems constitute a priority for governments, agencies, or intergovernmental institutions (OECD, etc.). These objectives are explicitly described in the guiding principles of New Public Management introduced in the 90’s (“market-managers-measurement”).
To control and channel development of science and scientific research topics, governments use two methods. One is control of funding, the other is arbitrary or purported assessment of the « quality » or « excellence » of research. As a result, academic and scientific communities are excluded from decision-making processes. Financial aims are largely favoured at the expense of economic, social, environmental, and cultural ones. Basic research is thus sacrificed. Knowledge and university degrees become commercial products.
Instead of promoting fruitful scientific cooperation for the advancement of knowledge, these practices foster counter-productive competition between researchers and between research teams. Moreover, they are a factor in the increase in the number of insecure jobs among young scientists.
The WFSW denounces and opposes this conception and organization of research. The WFSW calls for the maintenance and creation of permanent funding structures as well as permanent jobs for young scientists. The WFSW and its organizations will strive to ensure the conditions indispensable to the transmission of knowledge and balanced development of science, public good of humanity.
Nizhny-Novgorod, Thursday, September 12, 2013