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In Support of the Independence of Research in Hungary
To the Prime Minister of Hungary, Mr. Victor Orban and Minister for Innovation and Technology, Mr. Laszlo Palkovics
We have just learned that your government has decided to tighten its administrative control over the research institutes of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, apparently in order to limit their freedom of choice in terms of subjects, standards, and methods of academic activities.
We are writing to you to express our dismay at your decision. The independence of academic research should be a cardinal principle to follow, as it is a critical condition for any progress in science. It is for this reason of intrinsic value to all researchers. The negative effects of the regulatory changes you intend to implement are likely to be particularly harmful to the institutes of social sciences.
Academic research is an international activity. By inflicting restrictions on our Hungarian colleagues, you are inflicting restrictions on us as well.
Lessons learned from history show us that suppression of pluralism sooner or later strangles not only progress in research, but also freedom in general, and indirectly, social development as well.
We ask you to reconsider your decision.
Prof. Barbara Błaszczyk