A redefinition of France’s National Research Strategy (SNR) based on conclusions drawn by think tanks focusing on “10 major social challenges” begs the following question – what are the priorities for biomedical research? The road map currently being prepared will be part and parcel of the Horizon 2020 framework programme.
According to Nicolas Gompel and Benjamin Prud’homme (Le Monde), biological research is nowadays reduced to the “health and well-being” challenge. Without questioning this research avenue, they focus on the relevance of the priorities taken into consideration. In fact, they are afraid that this refocusing on “human beings as the sole object of an investigation” may result in a loss of finance for biomedical research “into non-human experimental models”. The latter “extends our understanding of underlying molecular, cellular and physiological mechanisms”, which are vital for understanding the diseases that affect man. Studying diseases in organisms less complex than man is all the more interesting because it does not broach the same ethical problems.
“Biomedical research focusing strictly on anthropology would soon stagnate from a human biology perspective”, they claim.
The scientific community has from now to 10 May to respond to avenues outlined by the SNR.