Researchers want to meet Cerar over critical situation in science

Ljubljana, 2 June - Researchers have warned Prime Minister Miro Cerar of the critical situation and the worsening of conditions in science, urging him to meet with them. They highlighted fewer projects, fewer jobs for young researchers and a lack of funds for equipment and building maintenance as the key issues.

"With outdated equipment and unstable financing of research, we will not be able to keep track with the ever faster global development," researchers of the Higher Education and Research Conference within the Education, Science and Culture Trade Union (SVIZ) stressed in a letter.

Researchers also stressed that the number of jobs in science had been falling in recent years and young researchers had been leaving the country because they could not get jobs at home. "They are leaving the country with the know-how paid for by the state, but generate value added abroad."

They also noted that "given the modest and even reduced public financing of science, we cannot expect a development breakthrough of Slovenia". Slovenia needs such a breakthrough to get out of the long-lasting crisis and develop competitively.

They urged Cerar to make a personal commitment to tackling the critical situation in undervalued science. "Science is not an expense, it is an investment into progress and Slovenia's well-being." The researchers also called on Cerar to meet with them so that they could exchange views on the future of science in Slovenia.

According to data from the Statistics Office, the state and higher education funding of R&D dropped from EUR 236 million in 2009 to EUR 198.5 million in 2014.