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Good practices

CNRS creates scientific integrity office

The French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) has established an office to investigate suspected cases of misconduct, to be headed by theoretical physicist Rémy Mosseri. The CNRS is the largest basic research institution in Europe. With an annual budget of €3.3 billion (equivalent to R$14.5 billion), it covers over 1,000 laboratories and employs around 15,000 researchers, 14,000 engineers, and 4,000 technicians. The scientific integrity office will be staffed by five employees and will report directly to the president of the organization, a position currently occupied by mathematician Antoine Petit.

The decision to set up a permanent investigative body coincided with the CNRS reversing its decision on a previous case of misconduct. In 2015, the institution’s disciplinary committee found biologist Olivier Voinnet guilty of manipulating images in four scientific papers and suspended him for two years. The case was recently reassessed and it was concluded that Voinnet, despite being the leader of the research group, was not involved in the manipulation and had no knowledge of it. The creation of an integrity office also reflects a growing concern about scientific misconduct in the country.

In 2017, the French Office for Scientific Integrity was established, a national body that aims to promote best practices at universities and research institutions.