The dispute over the departure of a great EU scientist deepened after Brussels said that the governing body of the institute he directed had asked for his departure 11 days before resigning.
Mauro Ferrari resigned on Tuesday as president of the European Research Council, the EU’s leading scientific institution, and launched an attack on the management by the blockade of the coronavirus pandemic.
But the European Commission said Wednesday that the ERC’s ruling scientific council had voted overwhelmingly on March 27 to demand the resignation of Prof Ferrari, who only started work on January 1.
“On March 27 there was a vote in the scientific council, in which the other 19 active members of the scientific council asked for the resignation of the president, Mr. Ferrari,” European spokesman Johannes told reporters in Brussels on Wednesday Bahrke.
Bahrke did not provide any further details on why the scientific council asked the departure of Prof Ferrari, an Italian-American pioneer of nanomedicine. Bahrke said the ERC should make a statement on the issue later Wednesday.
The professor. Ferrari said the science council unanimously rejected its idea for the ERC to establish a special pandemic program, based on the fact that its task was to fund the “bottom-up” research proposed by scientists, rather than the larger “top-down” programs with targets set by EU leaders.
Prof Ferrari has been contacted for comment.
The ERC, established in 2007 to fund the best European scientists, has become one of the most prestigious funding agencies in the world with a budget of around € 2 billion per year.