The new course announced by the Government on HT marks, as already underlined by Senator for life Elena Cattaneo in her article in Repubblica (PDF . ), an important change of direction by the Government and by Minister Martina, responsible for the ex- Expo as Minister of Agricultural Policies.

This partial change of course demonstrates how the criticisms leveled at the HT project from various fronts, including the open letter to the Prime Minister signed by the majority of the Italian EMBO members and by many Presidents of Scientific Societies and published (PDF . ), were at least in part received.

In the first place, the management of HT is entrusted to a third party created ad hoc, and no longer to IIT alone. Second, it should be noted that the positions of Scientific Director and Directors of the 7 research centers that will constitute HT will be assigned through an international call. These two fundamental points were advocated in our letter and we welcome them with satisfaction.

However, several critical issues remain: i) the fear that the composition of the Coordination Committee of the new Body, which will see the participation of IIT, the CNR, the Istituto Superiore di Sanità and the Milanese universities, will become a place not to proceed paralyzed by interests partisan and cross vetoes; ii) the composition of the recruitment committee that will have to judge the applications of the aspiring Directors is of primary importance, as underlined in point 3 of our (Open letter from EMBO members.), and should be made explicit as soon as possible and conform to most other international standards. We also ask that the comments of the international reviewers on the original draft drafted by IIT be made public immediately, together with the replies provided.

Both these points must be addressed by the Government by maximizing transparency and communication, to avoid those misunderstandings that have been the cause of conflict and generate trust and collaboration in the scientific community.

Furthermore, as also pointed out by Prof. Cattaneo in her recent article (PDF . ), given the decision to create an ad hoc body, there is no reason to entrust the first two years of management of HT ad interim to IIT.


It was known since the release of the PRIN call that the blanket was not too short, it was practically non-existent. It is unworthy of a modern country that wants to dedicate such small amounts to public research: 92 million in about three years, which allowed the funding of just over 6% of the projects presented, leading to the elimination of at least twice as many classified projects. as excellent.

How can a country that does not finance public research judged to be of excellence, in fact destining it to death by starvation, seriously claim to found a pole of excellence as the HT wants to be on this rubble?

For further information and an analysis of the distribution of PRIN 2015 funds, please refer to the Scienza in Rete website of the 2003 Group for Research:
“Moltiplichiamo x 10 i fondi PRIN” .
“Gli spiccioli dei PRIN 2015 alla ricerca pubblica” .