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Member states of the European Union (EU) have an important role to play in helping developing nations overcome their political indifference towards science, according to one of South Africa's leading science administrators.

Khotso Mokhele, president of South Africa's National Research Foundation, told the EuroScience Open Forum 2004 meeting in Stockholm, Sweden, last month that, at present, developing countries are experiencing a  "self-imposed marginalisation" as far as science is concerned.

In response, an EU official said that only 17 out of 32 million euros set aside in the European Commission's current research budget for developing countries had been used, primarily because projects proposed had not been of a high enough standard. He pointed out that scientists from EU member states were often unaware of these funds, and called on them to increase efforts to involve scientists from developing countries in their research consortia.

Link to full CORDIS News story