From: "Pietro Moggi" To: "Claudio Della Volpe" Subject: Lettera aperta sul futuro della Chimica in Europa Mi sembrerebbe giusto che anche attraverso la rete della SCI si invitasse a sottoscrivere l'allegata lettera indirizzata dai chimici europei ai presidente del Parlamento Europeo e della Commissione Europea. Cordiali saluti Pietro Moggi prof. Pietro Moggi di Chimica Organica e Industriale Università di Parma Parco Area delle Scienze, 17/A 43100 PARMA Tel. 0521-905464 Fax 0521-905472 E-mail: European chemists are supporting chemistry in Europe ! 1. If you agree with the following letter (see below the Open Letter), you can sign this text by sending an e-mail to  2. To collect as many signatures as possible, thank you for sending this e-mail to your chemist colleagues. Many chemists from different EU countries have already signed this text.Thousands and thousands of signatures will convince the European authorities that chemists are highly concern by the future of chemistry inside Europe. ___________________________________________________________________________ Open letter to The President of the European Parliament and to The President of the European Commission ___________________ Why we should keep chemistry research and chemical plants in Europe! ___________________________________ The last decade has been a difficult period for chemistry in Western Europe. Many chemical plants have been closed and the decline of chemistry is now considered as inevitable by a large majority of the public and the media. New research centers and production units have recently been established in the USA, India, South-East Asia and China.As European citizens, we should not forget that the chemical industry provides more than 2 million jobs and constitutes, with this workforce, one of the key industrial bodies in Europe. For the last 15 years, public opinion has been deluded with the illusion of a so-called post-industrial no-risk civilization. A mindset that causes many people to accept and often urge the premature closure of many chemical plants, as has been done for heavy industries such as coal mining and steel production. In Western Europe, under pressure from active minorities, the development of new employment opportunities in the chemical industries has been stopped (it is easier to close chemical plants, even the recently modernized ones, than to encourage their evolution towards sustainable development). From a historical point of view, Europe was the birthplace of chemistry and its rise has preceded and stimulated the tremendous development of many other industries in the 19th and 20th centuries. Chemistry is often at the service of other industries, it is the industry of industries . No modern cars without chemistry, no electronic industries without chemistry, no cellular phones or satellite TV without chemistry, no latest generation aircraft or space travel without composite materials and efficient glues, no biocompatible prosthetics, &etc. None of the essential features of modern life would exist without chemistry, and yet the visibility of chemistry is zero for the majority of the public. A chemist is a Homo faber able to create new objects from raw materials. Without medicinal chemistry, no drugs. Whatever the progress in biology and genetics, in the post-genomic age, 70 to 80% of all future drugs will be small chemical entities, synthesized by chemists to specifically act on a pharmacological target identified by biologists. It is therefore entirely logical that pharmaceutical companies have decided to shift from a chemist/biologist ratio of 1 to 3 in 2002 to a ratio of 1 to 1 in 2005. When successful biotech companies are growing, they start to hire chemists in order to become real pharmaceutical companies, often keeping the name biotech to please the financial analysts and boost the share price! After the identification of genes, the post-genomic/proteomic era will inevitably require increased synergy between chemists and biologists. We must ensure that there will be some chemists left in Europe! The United States of America had their own post-industrial society crisis in 1970-80, but they recovered quickly from that temporary, debilitating disease. The electronic and software industries are essentially US creations with executive tasks distributed throughout Asia. American Justice has chosen not to dismantle their single industrial group that controls 90% of the world market for personal computer software. In that sector, Europe has been reduced to a zone of consumers of mass produced electronic devices for industrial, commercial and personal use. The new research center of Novartis, a big pharmaceutical multinational company that used to be considered to be European, has created its new headquarters for research close to two major universities in Boston (Harvard and MIT). This has both initiated and accelerated the move of many other European pharmaceutical and chemical companies R & D centers to the USA. Worldwide globalization causes a tremendous redistribution of the roles of each country within the development of the world economy. Some countries will create the new technologies, others will be the manufacturers and, at the end of the line, some countries will be just a zone of consumers. The latter must not be allowed to be the fate of Europeans. European countries have the responsibility to reinforce the conditions (teaching, research, economic development) that are essential for an innovative, sustainable, safe and socially responsible chemistry community within Europe in order to increase our basic knowledge in this crucial area of science. This will ensure further economic growth and associated employment in chemical industries and will satisfy the need of society for old and new chemicals while paying due attention to safeguarding our environment for future generations. Text of June 12th, 2004 This text has been signed by the following persons : Last name First name Institution City Country ALCAIDE Benito University Madrid Spain ALVAREZ Santiago University Barcelona Spain AMATORE Christian ENS & French Academy of Sciences Paris France BARLUENGA Jose University Oviedo Spain BERTINI Ivano University Firenze Italy BONNET Jean-Jacques CNRS-LCC Toulouse France BUTLER R.N. University Galway Ireland CANTERS Gerard University Leiden The Netherlands CARMONA Ernesto University Sevilla Spain CASELLA Luigi University Pavia Italy CASTEDO Luis University Santiago de Compostela Spain CAVALEIRO Jose University Aveiro Portugal CHAUDRET Bruno CNRS-LCC Toulouse France CLARAMUNT Rosa-M. UNED-Faculty of Sciences Madrid Spain CORRIU Robert University & French Acad. Sci. Montpellier France DE WIT Jan Akzo Nobel Arnhem The Netherlands DELAGADO MARTIN Julio CSIC Sevilla Spain DIEDERICH François ETH Zürich Switzerland DRENT Eite Shell International Amsterdam The Netherlands ECHAVARREN Antonio M. ICIQ Tarragona Spain ELGUERO Jose CSIC & Spanish Acad. Sciences Madrid Spain ESPINET Pablo University Valladolid Spain FERINGA Ben University Groningen The Netherlands FISERA Lubor University Bratislava Slovak Republic FONT Josep University Barcelona Spain FRAAIJE Ir. Johannes University Leiden The Netherlands GHOSEZ Leon IECB Bordeaux France GUILLAUMONT Robert French Acad. Sci. Palaiseau France HAGE Ronald Unilever Vlaardiregen The Netherlands HAJOS Gyorgy Institute of Chemistry Budapest Hungary HERRMANN Wolfgang University München Germany JACOBS Mieke University Delft The Netherlands JENSEN Soren R. University Lyngby Denmark JULIA Marc French Acad. Sci. Paris France KAGAN Henri French Acad. Sci. Orsay France KAPTEIN Robert University Utrecht The Netherlands KIEBOOM Tom University Leiden The Netherlands KROES Geert-Jan Leiden Leiden The Netherlands LAGUNA Antonio University Zaragoza Spain LAMMERTSMA Koop University Amsterdam The Netherlands LATTES Armand President of the French Chemical Society Toulouse France LEHN Jean-Marie Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1987 Strasbourg France LEKKERKER Henk Van't Hoff Laboratorium Utrecht The Netherlands LIMBACH Hans-Heinrich University Berlin Germany LIPPERT Bernhard University Dortmund Germany LISKAMP Rob University Utrecht The Netherlands LIVAGE Jacques University & French Academy Sci. Paris France MAAREN R. A. University Eindhoven The Netherlands MAJORAL Jean Pierre CNRS-LCC Toulouse France MANSUY Daniel University & French Acad. Sci. Paris France MARTIN Julio University Sevilla Spain MARTIN-LOMAS Manuel CSIC Sevilla Spain MATHEY François French Acad. Sci. Riverside USA McCLEVERTY Jon University Bristol United Kingdom MEIJER E.W. University Eindhoven The Netherlands MEUNIER Bernard CNRS & French Academy of Sciences Toulouse France MIRO Pedro CEPSA E&P Madrid Spain MOLINA Pedro University Madrid Spain MORENO Virtudes University Barcelona Spain MUELLEN Klaus Max-Planck Mainz Germany NATILE Giovanni University Bari Italy NOORDERMER J.W.M. University Enschede The Netherlands ORO Luis A. Pdt of the Spanish Chemical Society Zaragoza Spain OURISSON Guy University & French Acad. Sci. Strasbourg France PERICAS Miquel Institute of Chemical Research Tarragona Spain PLUMET Joaquin University Madrid Spain POJARLIEFF Ivan Bulgarian Academy of Sciences Sofia Bulgaria POUCHARD Michel University & French Acad. Sci. Bordeaux France REEDIJK Jan University Leiden Netherlands REHDER Dieter University Hamburg Germany ROESKY Herbert University Göttingen Germany ROHMER Michel University & French Acad. Sci. Strasbourg France SALAS Juan M. University Granada Spain SANCHO José Centro de Tecnología.RepsolYPF Mostoles Spain SANTAMARIA Jesus University Madrid Spain SAUVAGE Jean-Pierre University & French Acad. Sci. Strasbourg France SCHOOMAN Joop University Delft The Netherlands SCHWARTZ Helmut University Berlin Germany SEEBACH Dieter ETH Zürich Switzerland STANOVNIK Branko Slovenian Academy of Sciences Ljubljana Slovenia TANNER David University Lyngby Denmark TERREROS Pilar Institute of Catalysis Madrid Spain TEUBEN J.H. University Gronningen The Netherlands THIS Hervé INRA & College de France Paris France THORNELEY Roger University Norwich United-Kingdom TORRES Tomas University Madrid Spain VAN LEEUWEN Piet University Amsterdam The Netherlands VERMEULEN Nico University Amsterdam The Netherlands VICENTE José University Murcia Spain VLIEGENHART Hans University Utrecht The Netherlands WEGNER Gerhard Max-Plank-Institut Mainz Germany