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Science  17 Sep 2004:
Vol. 305, Issue 5691, pp. 1711
DOI: 10.1126/science.305.5691.1711b
CREDIT: AAAS

Continental vision. A French nuclear physicist-turned-policy wonk has been named the first director of the newly created European Space Policy Institute (ESPI) in Vienna, Austria. Serge Plattard takes up the reins of an institute, founded last November by the European Space Agency and the Austrian Space Agency (ASA), that will try to draw up a long-term framework for European space research. “We have lots of programs but no vision,” he says.

Plattard, 57, anticipates having a staff of up to a dozen analysts and an annual budget of $1.8 million. “I know how to manage international and multi- disciplinary teams,” he says, “and how to attract nonstandard funding.”

Plattard wants ESPI to be very independent and produce studies that can be instantly used by decision-makers. He's certainly up to the task, according to ASA's Michel Jakob, who says Plattard “can talk on the level of ministers and scientists. He can speak with everybody and be taken seriously.”

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