Attn: Prof. László Lovász, President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA).
Dear Mr. President,
Dear members of Hungarian Academy of Sciences,
The recent initiative of the Hungarian Government to drastically change the organization of science by moving the decision-making and financing center from the Academy of Sciences to a specially created ministry is alarming news.
It reflects the new world-wide tendency to eliminate academic freedoms and put research and teaching under the tough supervision of incompetent bureaucracy.
In Russia this process culminated in the 2013 attempt to dissolve the nearly 300-year old Russian Academy of Sciences. Our informal The First of July Club unites the members of the Russian Academy who openly protested against that decision, and proved that the voices of a few can prevent the worst. The Academy survived but the damage to Russian science was enormous and it will take many years to recover.
We strongly support the Hungarian Academy in its decision to stay firm in defence of academic freedom - one of the cornerstones of our civilization. Science should be governed by scientists, not by governments.The hierarchy of values should prevail over the hierarchy of power.
We wish you success and new achievements - for the benefit of the Hungarian people and everybody else in our world.
The First of July Club