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Science policies in the European Union

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Promoting excellence through mainstreaming gender equality
A Report from the ETAN Expert Working Group on Women and Science

As we enter the 21st Century, the role played by science and technology will become more important than ever before.To allow us to meet the challenges and opportunities, which will present themselves in the new millennium, it is essential that Europe maximise its total research potential. However, there is one key issue, which is continuing to limit Europe’s future research potential: the under-representation of women in fields of science, research and development.

As Commissioner for Research, the lack of women scientists within European research is one of my particular concerns. It is important that this issue is given high priority in the debate on future science policy, and that steps are taken to try to re-address the imbalance between male and female researchers.The stronger presence of women in research would improve the utilisation of human resources while enriching the scientific enterprise by bringing in new themes and perspectives.

In this context, I am very pleased to present the European Technology Assessment Network report on Women and Science:‘Sciences policies in the European Union - Promoting excellence through mainstreaming gender equality’.This report addresses the aspects of under-representation of women researchers with great insight and paves the way for possible action to be taken at a number of different levels: regional, national, and European. Efforts made in this direction would be a strong component of the creation of a genuine European Research Area, which I consider indispensable.

I warmly welcome this report and am confident that this will make a significant contribution in the debate.

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