In more than a dozen cities, Spanish researchers are protesting cuts to their country's science budget, reports the Nature News Blog. Using balloons, demonstrators in Madrid represented the brain drain that would face their country if deep science budget cuts were enacted, and, similarly, protesters in Valencia lined up at a train station, suitcases in hand. The protests were organized by the Open Letter for Science group that include the country's main science organizations, the Nature News Blog adds. The demonstrators also read from a text, asking for "society to stop the dismantling of the research and development system."
After years of increases, the Spanish science budget has declined 39 percent since 2009, the Nature News Blog says, and the National Research Council is currently facing a budget deficit of €100 million.