Basic research cannot be stopped

Basic research cannot be stopped
In connection with the revised national budget, the entire board of the Research Council was fired by Research Minister Ola Borton Moe (SP). Here’s when he leaves the government earlier this year.

We may miss the best researchers, warns 43 current SFF leaders in this post. Everyone signs below.

This is a discussion post. Comments in writing are at the expense of the author.

The Norwegian Ministry of Education has been ordered by the Norwegian Research Council to reduce or postpone grants for Norwegian research. Then support for basic research should be maintained.

We – 43 current or former leaders Centers of Excellence (SFF) – Recognizes the need of the government to adjust the method of allocation. But we are concerned about the adverse effects of sanitation on Norway’s excellent research environment.

If done the wrong way, it could have long-term adverse effects on Norwegian research. Cleaning should be done with the least possible harmful effects and should not be sudden. The most important thing is that basic, curiosity-based research is not stopped, especially young talents are protected.

Knowledge required by society

When the Brain Research Center opened at NTNU in 2012 Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said: «We could not predict the three largest industries in Norway today, namely petroleum, aquaculture and telecommunications, so we must be extremely humble when it comes to what we are going to live for in 50-100 years. But we know that what we are going to live for is about knowledge. ”

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Barely a month ago, then – US President Barack Obama said in a statement “State of the Union” – Story “Innovation requires basic research”, he added: “Do not allow other countries to win in the race for the future.”

Basic, curiosity-based research may seem useless, but it is the foundation of the knowledge that society needs. It was with basic research professor Harold Schjerwold Laid the foundation for salmon farmingOne of our most important industries.

The SFF scheme has an important effect

In Norway, this research is also conducted through SFF Free project support (FreePro). For those who are in the early stages of their research career, Fripro is not so important.

An international group Concluded in a 2020 report The research environment with the SFF scheme should be provided unpredictably and it should continue. They stressed that the scheme promotes scientific quality in the international top class and has a very positive impact on the Norwegian research system.

Without the SFF scheme and FreePro, it would be very difficult for itself to stand up for international cooperation.

Many of the recipients of prestigious grants from the European Research Council are from the SFF community. Without the SFF scheme and FreePro, it would be very difficult to position oneself for international cooperation. The report shows that SFFs are important for innovation, advice to politicians and the spread of science.

It has now been announced that such basic research will be discontinued. Fripro will not be announced until 2023, and the launch of SFFs scheduled for this year may be reduced or postponed.

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Many are in danger

It takes a long time to build an environment that is at the forefront of international research. But they can be demolished in a matter of months. We are in danger of losing the best researchers by going for research work or other activities abroad. In particular, many of our young research talents are in danger of being lost.

A generation of talents can be “lost”. If we want to get the best out of our choice of Norwegian research environment as their workplace, they must be confident that the authorities will focus on predictability, even in what is considered a crisis. Norwegian research requires these skills. For the reasons stated by Stoltenberg and Obama, and because society has not faced such great and time-bound challenges as it does today.

We are in danger of losing many of our young research talents

We are also concerned about the reputation of Norwegian research funding abroad. Top researchers outside the country may not want to apply for a job in Norway, which can make it more difficult to correct adverse effects.

Either the previous cuts in the Research Council should be reversed, or the method used by the Research Council so far should be continued, and finally the map should be reconciled. The Research Council, the Ministry of Educational Research, and the Ministry of Finance should facilitate basic research in Norway.

This is required with over 50 million kroner in the budget settlement with the SUV.

Nils Chr. Stenset (UiO), Edward Ingjald Moser (NTNU), May-Britt Moser (NTNU), Olav Gjelsvik (UiO), Stefan Krause (UiO / OUS), Crystal Frike (UiO), Mats Carlson (UiOv), C FHI), Sverre Hakone Bag (UiB), Ton Toncham (UiO / OUS), Lars A. Axlen (UiB), Andreas Folesdale (UiO), Torgeir Mon (NTNU), Trent Helge Torswick (UIO), Farrokhim (NGI), Esteen Jansen (UiB), Anne Danielsen (UiO), NBU Sørensen (NTNU), Ragnar Winther (UiO), Alexander Refsum Jensenius (UiO), Ludvig M. Sollid (UiO), Bertil Thunkoden (NHH), Christopher Stuart Henshillwood (UiB), Alex Hansen (NTU) NTNU), Margaret Øverland (NMBU), Terje Espevic (NTNU), Ole A. Andreassen (UiO / OUS), Kenneth Rudd (UiT), Geer Ulfstein (UiO), Deborah Otten (NMBU), Nicolai Østgaard, Steinmark (UiO), Trigway Hellgecker (UiO), Rolf Berger Pederson (UiB), Bjørn Jamtveit (UiO), Rice (UiT; pt NMBU), Ole Peter Ottersen (UiO; pt, Carolines Ust), Insti , Karin Andreasen (UIT), Peder J. Emstad (NTNU), Un Roinland (UIO)

All signatories to the post are current or former SFF leaders.

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