A winner of this year's Nobel Prize in physics and other researchers call in an open letter on European lawmakers to protect European Union research funding from austerity measures, the Nature News Blog reports. The EU has told its member nations to cut domestic spending, and some have responded by saying the EU should then also cut costs. The Nature News Blog adds that even funding for the EU's "flagship seven-year research programme, Horizon 2020, is one of the items on the chopping block."
In the letter, the researchers say that cuts will affect the competitiveness of European research. "Science can help us find answers to many of the pressing problems facing us at this time: new ways to harness energy, new forms of production and products, improved ways to understand how societies function and how we might order them better," the letter says. "Transforming this knowledge into innovative new products, services and industries is the only way to provide Europe with a competitive edge in today's rapidly changing global landscape."