Researchers in France are breathing a sigh of relief at the election of Emmanuel Macron yesterday, Nature News reports. Macron, a centrist, defeated Marine Le Pen from the far-right party in a run-off election; he gained some 66 percent of the vote to Le Pen's 34 percent, according to the New York Times.
"Macron's election comes as a huge relief to me; the alternative was just unimaginable," Frédéric Dardel, president of Paris Descartes University, tells Nature News.
While Macron has said he would cut public spending by some €60 billion (US$66 billion) over the course of the next five years, Nature News notes that he has said that research and higher education budgets wouldn't be affected. Macron has also said he would funding training for young people, clean energy, and the modernization of agriculture, healthcare, and more.
"Macron's team appears genuinely open to discussion with the research community," Dardel adds. "We have a blank sheet in front of us, and if we can manage to get the right messages through, we could really move forward."
Nature News notes, though, that Macron will have to have support in the French parliament to implement his platform, support that isn't assured as he belongs to a grassroots group and as parliamentary elections are to be held in June.