The European Union should support Greece, particularly in the science, research and technology sector in order to help the country end the crisis, noted German virologist Harald zur Hausen, Nobel Prize winner for Medicine and Physiology in 2008.
In an interview with the Greek news agency ANA-MPA, zur Hausen noted that, despite the crisis, the level of scientific research in Greece remains high. He also stressed that the country’s ongoing “brain drain” needed to come to an end, while he recognized that the prolonged austerity may impair people’s health, especially the mental aspect of their health.
The 79-year-old virologist worked as a professor of medicine at the University of Heidelberg and as the director of the German Research Centre for Cancer. He became internationally known for discovering that the human papilloma virus (HPV) causes cervical cancer of the uterus, which led to the development of the relevant vaccine, and earned him the Nobel Prize.
In 2012, he led a team of 22 leading scientists (almost all Nobel laureates) who published a letter-appeal in the world’s leading scientific journal “Science” and also sent it to the European Council presidents, the European Commission and the European Parliament, asking to support Greece through the crisis and in particular, the science and research sector, which are eminently a “lever” for the country’s recovery.