The WFSW Newsletter no1

A new stage in the life of the WFSW

On February 11th,12th and 13th 2009, we held the conference “ Scientific work and researcher’s condition ” in Paris, at the University of Paris-Marne la Vallée. Four half-day sessions were articulated around the topics : youth and science, the place of science in the economic and social development, the condition of scientific workers and the relation research -social and environmental-needs (precisely democracy and sustainable development).The last session consisted in a roundtable on present day challenges for the organizations of scientists, trade unions and ONG.

This conference was held at a time of a huge social movement of teachers, researchers and all the university community of France ; presentation of this struggle, similar to those of the Italian, Greek and Spanish colleagues recently, was obviously of great interest for the public which mainly consisted of foreign delegates.

The 20th General Assembly itself took place itself in the continuation of this conference, both materially and along same lines, i.e. after lunch time break, the debate went on the challenges for our affiliated organizations, carrying a concrete and offensive resolution “ to shake ” and make the world of science aware of its responsibilities, to extend the debate to society as a whole and to expose our positions in the international circles and address them to authorities.

The debates were focused on the one hand on the technical tools making the internal life of the Federation easier and,on the other hand,on the priorities of work for the next years : a rich and constructive debate related to the Web site and the information and communication tools, on the revival -a kind of return to the sources- of a study on disarmament ; at last,we led a difficult and meticulous debate to elaborate a motion on the events of Palestine, precisely the war in the Gaza Strip.

A new board -a new executive council- was elected, enriched in particular by representatives of the lately affiliated organizations.

It was with a great emotion that we listened to André, pointing out his already announced decision not to stand for president and that we organized his succession ; Andre had been president since 1997 after having assumed the responsibilities for treasurer then general secretary.

A small ceremony closed our working session to celebrate and pay homage to André who carried the image and represented the history of the Federation, an image of open-mindness and aptitude for dialog which did not exclude either a depth of analysis, or attachment to values such as social justice or the democratic diffusion of knowledge. We pointed out that the WFSW with André had always refused the anathema as well as the enrolment, had refused to paint reality with good and bad and had rejected any form of orbiting.André Jaeglé was elected emeritus president of the Federation.

In the adopted resolutions you will find the mark of this history and also the shared will to develop this tool which is the WFSW in order to give confidence and conscience to our scientific world in our social role and to carry on debates in the society -with our organizations and the partners essential- on the issues of the nature of our profession, the management and applications of science and the necessary citizen intervention. Our struggles, against irrationalism on the one hand and scientism on the other are more necessary than ever.

Jean-Paul Lainé President

Download the .pdf