Rome, March 23, 2020
The Italian Federation of Life Science Societies (www.fisv.org) which is representative of 16 Italian Scientific Societies for a total of approximately 8.000 members is seriously concerned about uneven approaches taken by the various EU Governments regarding the containment of Coronavirus SARS-Cov-2 spread. We believe that the international Scientific Community should join and launch an appeal to common solutions.
Government responses to the coronavirus epidemic in EU countries should be consistent with each other and the recommendations of the WHO, be cooperative, transparent and science-based, but all of this is happening with very dangerous delays, and only partially at best. A recent editorial in Nature, one of the most eminent scientific journals, underlines these problems (https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00772-4) . Even worse, coordination within individual countries is often at peril, due to decentralized decision systems in states or regions within nations.
Directives regarding individual freedom of movement, restrictions for commercial and production enterprises – from small shops to large factories – virus testing criteria, tracking systems of cases and casualties, distribution of basic equipment for intensive care, are decided at almost exclusive national or, worse, regional levels. This only helps in spreading the infections and wasting resources, and is bewildering citizens.
Freedom in our political system cannot be compared to that of China, but it is clear that, for example, severe, and successful, containment measures for dozens millions of citizens can be socially and economically afforded if these citizens feel that they are part of a much larger community that is helping them, but is untenable even in the short term if these citizens constitute an individual community in poor coordination and often in competition with their neighbors.
This is a crucial moment for the future of the EU. It is time to take into consideration a strong science-based and consistent strategy within the whole Union. We are at war against an enemy: EU science, public and private, is ready to cooperate at the maximum levels to develop scientific solutions, but this cannot work without strong, highly cooperative and consistent political directions for our health and social systems.
If we cannot seriously and rigorously cooperate in a pandemic, when can we?
Prof. Gennaro Ciliberto, Presidente Federazione Italiana Scienze della Vita - FISV
Prof. Raffaele Porta, Presidente Società Italiana di Biochimica e Biologia Mol. - SIB
Prof.ssa Valeria Poli, Presidente Società Italiana di Biofisica e Biologia Molecolare SIBBM
Prof. Luca Sineo, Presidente Associazione Antropologica Italiana - AAI
Prof Paolo Pinton, Presidente Associazione di Biologia Cellulare e del Diff. - ABCD
Prof. Antonio Torroni, Presidente Associazione Genetica Italiana - AGI
Prof. Omar Rota-Stabelli, Presidente Società Italiana di Biologia Evol. - SIBE
Prof. Pierdomenico Perata, Presidente Società Italiana di Biologia Vegetale - SIBV
Prof. Stefano Cesco, Presidente Società Italiana di Chimica Agraria - SICA
Prof. Giorgio Racagni, Presidente Società Italiana di Farmacologia - SIF
Prof. Corrado Poggesi, Presidente Società Italiana di Fisiologia - SIF https://www.fisiologiaitaliana.org
Prof. Mario Enrico Pé, Presidente Società Italiana di Genetica Agraria - SIGA - http://www.geneticagraria.it/h...
Prof. Achille Iolascon, Presidente Società Italiana di Genetica Umana - SIGU -https://www.sigu.net/
Prof.ssa Antonella Russo, Presidente Società Italiana Mutag. Amb. e Genomica - SIMAG http://www.sima-g.it/
Prof. Paolo Visca, Presidente Società Italiana di Microbiologia Generale - SIMGBM -https://simgbm.it/
Prof. Massimiliano Corsi Romanelli, Presidente Società Italiana di Pat. e Med. Tr. - SIPMET - http://www.sipmet.org/
Prof. Matteo Lorito, Presidente Società Italiana di Patologia Vegetale - SIPaV-http://www.sipav.org/