Just a few days ago many scientists had their minds on other matters, with the imminent outcome of the European Union budget negotiations; the fear was the cuts proposed would be agreed. Actually there was no result by the end of the deliberations, which I think represents a small victory for the open petition, which has currently been signed by over 100,000 individuals opposed to the austerity measures. Many in the scientific community see any cuts as a threat not only to science but to the economic recovery of our region.

In the funding summit, which took place on November 23rd 2012, the heads of government were not able to reach an agreement, delaying any resolution to the proposal for cuts to the beginning of 2013.

At the moment the proposal is to cut almost 15% from the 164 billion Euro budget for innovation, which includes research and education funding, proposed last year by the European commission. If these cuts do go ahead it could spell a disaster for many research institutes across the region such as Cern and the European Space Agency. My worry is the message it will send to our scientists progressing their careers and students considering science at University for the first time.