In DepthItaly

Plans for new research hub get critical reception

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Science  11 Mar 2016:
Vol. 351, Issue 6278, pp. 1127
DOI: 10.1126/science.351.6278.1127

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The Italian government has announced plans for the launch of the Human Technopole Italy 2040, a brand new research center for the life sciences that will be lavishly funded and housed at the stylish site of a former world expo in Milan. The effort would receive €1.5 billion over the next decade and focus on genomics, personalized medicine, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases. The plans have drawn mostly criticism. Many researchers applaud the government for investing in science, but they object to the lack of transparency with which the new hub was hatched. And some worry that it won't benefit the best researchers and institutes but those with the best connections.