Antoine Petit, president of the CNRS for a little over a month, explains that he has set up a working group that will make "proposals and recommendations on the treatment by the CNRS of questions of misconduct and of scientific fraud ".
The president wants things to move quickly: he wants a pre-report within two months, the final version in three months and the implementation of the device before the summer. Antoine Petit is firm: "I expect this new device that it allows to sanction the fraudsters to the height of their misdeeds, without any complacency, and that it provides a certain legal security".
This announcement is not insignificant: it comes a few weeks after the investigation against Anne Peyroche, the former interim president of the CNRS. As Le Monde explains, she had been summoned in mid-January by her hierarchy "for an interview intended to shed light on anomalies found in some of his articles."
At the same time, the Ministry of Higher Education and Research issued a communiqué to announce its replacement at the head of the CNRS by Antoine Petit. The government was vague about the reasons, simply mentioning that Anne Peyroche was "for the moment prevented". According to Le Figaro, she was "not disowned by the ministry or the CNRS", but her replacement "would have been rushed for health reasons."
At the same time, biologist Catherine Jessus was under investigation by the Sorbonne University – CNRS for "scientific misconduct". The report finally concludes that "it did not find, in the incriminated figures on the Internet, a basis for a scientific misconduct of Mrs. Jessus".