Emmanuel Macron appoints the Presidential Scientific Council

Emmanuel Macron appoints the Presidential Scientific Council

Therefore, the Head of State requests that this Council meet at least once every three months to assist him. Seeing the phenomena we need to start thinking about, alerting to imbalances, trying to build new projects and moving towards disruptive projects independently of public policies. The idea of ​​having such a council comes in particular from the recent work carried out by the Philippe Gillet Mission, which in its report (issued in June 2023) recommended the creation of a position of senior scientific advisor in order to ensure the permanent representation of science at the highest level of the state. The Gillet Mission also recommended that The creation of this Supreme Advisor would be accompanied by the abolition of the Strategic Research Council – a proposal that the President of the Republic has not yet followed through. We can consider the transition from a single advisor to a group of scholars who provide the essential fellowship for analyzing the state of the scientific art to be very beneficial. Indeed, it is an illusion to believe That a single advisor can provide relevant insights into all areas of science.

Finally, how can we judge the extent to which such advice is applicable to science? If its role is to share research work and current knowledge on this or that topic with those in power, and to guide and unify public policies so that they become more relevant and take into account contemporary issues, then this is undoubtedly a positive thing. Conversely, if the President imagines that he will find in this Council a way to experiment with research that he hopes will lead to very specific discoveries and innovations, he will be a failure. Unfortunately, the president's tendency to want to intervene in all areas may raise concerns that the second mode of action may prevail. We can also fear that this advice will not be fully used and will join the list of cases that are quickly being emptied of its content. The Council for Strategic Research is a perfect example of this: it was created in 2013 under the authority of the Prime Minister, has a role very close to the new Presidential Council, and has never met since Emmanuel Macron became president in 2017.

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UNSA Education will therefore be vigilant to ensure that the Council plays its role in the right way by allowing the state of the scientific art to support public policy. On the contrary, UNSA Education will oppose any attempt by the Head of State to exercise unilateral management of research activities.

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