ScienceInsider is reporting that the next head of the European Research Council may be a French mathematician. The Council is currently led by sociologist Helga Novotny, who will be stepping down at the end of the year.
While the European Commission has not made the announcement, ScienceInsider is confident in its sourcing that Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, until earlier this year the long-time president of the Institutes of Advanced Scientific Studies in France, will become the next President of the Council. Bourguignon’s tenure at the institute was notable for, among other things, the growth of the institute in both size and scope of activities. Comments from Novotny in the ScienceInsider piece make me think that the European Commission is looking for someone with the kind of experience Bourguignon has. The European Research Council will expand in budget and obligations, without concurrent increases in human resources. They may well need someone who can grown and expand an agency.