Nobel Prize-winners, scientists and European politicians support freedom of scientific research in Europe.
Brussels. While the European Parliament is discussing the 7th Research Framework Programme, the World Congress for Freedom of Scientific Research (www.freedomofresearch.org) and the Luca Coscioni Association have launched a petition calling on the European Parliament to ensure that the Seventh Framework Programme on Research at least confirm the funding of research projects on stem cells obtained from supernumerary embryos; and that eligibility to funding be extended to research projects on nuclear transfer (inappropriately called "therapeutic cloning"). During the last European Council of Ministries of Science and Research, representatives from Germany, Austria, Italy, Poland, Malta and Slovakia opposed the funding of stem cells research in the 7th Framework Programme that will establish the allocation of the European funds for the period 2007-2013. The petition has been submitted by Piergiorgio Strata, director of the Rita Levi-Montalcini Centre for Brain Repair and has been endorsed by several scientists including: Donnal Thomas (Nobel Prize-winner for Medicine - Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center - Seattle USA); Herbert A. Hauptman (Nobel Prize-winner for Chemistry - USA); Jerome Friedman (Professor Emeritus at MIT - Cambridge USA); Milene Baum (Assistant Professor on Bioethics at the Universite Catholique de Louvain - Belgium); Daniel Perry (Vise President of the American Coalition for the Advancement of the Medical Research - USA); Paul Janiaud (Director of Research at INSERM - France); Krishna B. Garg (Professor Emeritus at the University of Rajasthan - India); Bernard Siegel (Director of Genetics Policy Institute - USA); Marc Peschanski (Director of Research at INSERM - France); Vlad Brumfeld (Senior Staff Scientist of Weizmann Institute - Israel); Stephen Hauschka (Professor of Biochemistry at Washington University - USA); Guilio Cossu (Director of Milan Stem Cells Institute - Italy); Anders Bjorklund (Professor at the University of Lund - Sweden); James Hugues (Director of the Institute of Ethics and Emerging Technologies - USA); Bruno Colombo (Researcher at INSERM - France); Rafael Gallego (Professor at the University of Granada - Spain); Bernard Zalc (Director of Research at INSERM - France); Ofra Balaban (President of the Patient Fertility Association - Israel); Arthur Caplan (Center of Bioethics of the University of Pennsylvania - USA); Elena Cattaneo (Director of the Laboratory on the Stem Cells and Degenerative Diseases at the State University of Milan - Italy); Erik Remaut (Molecular Biology Department at the University of Gent - Belgium); George Rapoport (Institut Pasteur of Paris - France). The petition has also been signed by several MEPs including: Andrew Duff (LibDem - UK); Baroness Sarah Ludford (LibDem - UK); Michael Cashman (Labour - UK); Richard Corbett (Labour - UK); Antoine Duquesne (MR - Belgium); Fedrerique Ries (MR - Belgium); Marc Tarabella (PS - Belgium); Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert (VVD - Netherlands); Jules Maaten (VVD - Netherlands); Martine Roure (PS - France); Karin Riis-Jorgensen (Liberal Party- Denmark); Luis Yanez-Barnuevo (PSOE - Spain); Raimon Obiols i German (PSOE - Spain); Raul Romeva i Rueda (Iniciativa Per Catalunia Verds - Spain); Pasqualina Napoletano (DS - Italy); Claudio Fava ( DS - Italy); Giovanni Berlinguer (DS - Italy); Marta Vincenzi (DS - Italy); Marco Pannella and Emma Bonino (Rosa nel Pugno - Italy). For further information please contact Nicola Dell'Arciprete at the European Parliament (Tel: 0032 2 28 37120).