France nabs foreign climate science talent

When Louis Derry first heard about “Make Our Planet Great Again,” a program to lure foreign scientists to France, he thought it had to be another swipe at U.S. President Donald Trump by the satirical newspaper Le Canard enchaîné. It turned out to be a serious plan by French President Emmanuel Macron, who wanted to recruit foreign climate scientists, especially those frustrated by Trump’s policies. Derry, a U.S. citizen who studies Earth’s critical zone—its life-supporting skin—at Cornell University, liked both the scientific opportunity and the collateral benefits. “I think it’s hard to find too many downsides to living in Paris for a little while,” he says.

Derry ended up being one of the new program’s first 18 hires, announced 11 December at a Paris climate event at which Macron was present. Of the new recruits, 13, including a few French nationals, now work in the United States, whereas others are based in Canada, India, and elsewhere in Europe.

Spanish marine biologist Núria Teixidó, a visiting scientist at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove, California, says her new grant will enable her to hire masters and Ph.D. students and develop scientific independence. She will join an ocean observatory on France’s Mediterranean coast to continue her work on ocean acidification.

Elizabeth Pain, Science 358: 1365-1366. 15 December 2017. Full article.

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