PR 01/09 Foundation of the European network of concerned scientists
“European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility”
Berlin (18 Sep 2009) – On September 18-19, 2009, the “European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility” (ENSSER) meets in Berlin/Germany for its first members’ meeting and a strategy workshop.
ENSSER was founded by 10 scientists on August 27, 2009, in Tromsø/Norway to promote and secure independent research and information in developing and analysing new technologies and in assessing the risks of new products as for example genetically modified plants or chemicals.
The work of scientists who are not embedded in the networks of multinational companies in the chemistry, pharma and agro-sectors is increasingly threatened through restricted access to patented seeds(1) and other materials, through control over publications or through orchestrated attacks on the scientific and personal integrity(2).
Concepts for risk research as well as its conduct, its interpretation and the generated policy advice are more and more monopolised by industry-supported communities fostering mainly corporate interests.
While this allows for the smooth marketing of public and private research, it undermines socially and environmentally responsible research.
The aim of ENSSER is to promote critical and independent research and risk analysis and to inform about the results as well as to establish a platform for scientists to coordinate their work and to protect themselves against unjustified attacks.
Dr. Angelika Hilbeck, scientists at the Swiss Federal Institute for Technology Zurich and Chairperson of ENSSER:
“We are currently witnessing the simultaneous crisis of the environment and economy, followed by a failing food production system and overburdened public health systems. To overcome these crises and to build socially and environmentally sustainable economies, fundamental changes in the science & research agendas are necessary. But because public research has been increasingly restructured towards becoming a supplier for industry, public research is less and less able to develop the needed independent and innovative approaches.”
Dr. Christian Velot, scientist at the Univeristy Paris-South and Deputy Chairperson of ENSSER:
“Since quite some time, results of risk research which are published in highly respected scientific journals but run contrary to the interests of the respective industry, are going to be attacked in a systematic and orchestrated manner. This generates an atmosphere of threat. Recently, U.S. scientists have responded to that in a protest letter to the EPA(1) – but only anonymously because they fear personal and professional consequences. It is the aim of our network to bundle and strengthen independent research in Europe and to bring it back into service for the public good.”
NABU Federal Office
18.09.2009, 09:00 – 18:00
19.09.2009, 09:30 – 18:00
Dr. Hartmut Meyer
(1): CROP SCIENTISTS SAY BIOTECHNOLOGY SEED COMPANIES ARE THWARTING RESEARCH
The New York Times, p.B3, Andrew Pollack, 19.02.2009
ANONYMOUS PUBLIC COMMENT
(2): GM CROPS: BATTLEFIELD
Nature Vol 461: 27-32, Emily Waltz, 02.09.2009
ENSSER web page