News FocusNewsmaker Interview: Máire Geoghegan-Quinn

Europe's Eager Reformer Takes on Framework Funding Goliath

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Science  18 Feb 2011:
Vol. 331, Issue 6019, pp. 844-845
DOI: 10.1126/science.331.6019.844

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For Irish teacher-turned-politician Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, landing one of Europe's top political jobs in charge of research has meant a steep learning curve. Having served her country in ministerial roles covering Gaelic culture, justice, and European affairs, she then spent 10 years overseeing European Union finances. But in her first year as E.U. commissioner for research, innovation, and science, she has had to come up with plans to reengineer the European Union's huge €54 billion research-funding program, prepare for a battle over budgets, find extra funding for the troubled ITER fusion reactor project, and has managed to raise the profile of science policy at the European Union's highest levels. She spoke with Science last week in her Brussels office. Her remarks have been edited for clarity and brevity. (You can read more of this interview here.)