Brussels, July 1st 2013
To the President of the Russian Federation, V.V. Putin
To the President of the Government of the Russian Federation, D.A. Medvedev
To the President of the Parliament of the Russian Federation (Duma), S.E. Naryshkin
To the President of the Russian Academy of sciences, V.E. Fortov
The International Union of Academies is deeply concerned at the news of plans to reshape the Russian Academy of Sciences. The Russian Academy of Sciences has been the most important research institution in Russia during almost 300 years of its history, and was one of the founding institutions of our Union in 1919. It incorporated the most reputed Russian scholars, and many prominent foreign scholars considered it an honour to be elected among its foreign members. It has always been highly regarded all over the world as a center of innovative research. The proposed reforms threaten to weaken the Russian Academy of Sciences as a centre of basic research and are likely to diminish the high position of Russian science and scholarship.
The proposal to transfer the administrative responsibility of scientific research from scholars to state officials goes against the practice used in the rest of the world and may cause considerable harm to scientific and scholarly researche in Russia. No academy of science can function properly without a certain amount of freedom from outside pressure and complete autonomy. No successful reform in the field of research can be applied without taking into the account the opinion of the scholarly community involved.
The International Union of Academies wishes to express its support for the Russian Academy of sciences. It is to be hoped that the current proposals will be reconsidered.
Prof. Øivind ANDERSEN, President (The Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters)
Prof. Josep GUITART I DURAN, Vice-president (Institute of Catalan Studies, Spain)
Prof. Hervé HASQUIN, General Secretary (Royal Academy of Belgium)
Prof. Madeline CAVINESS, Honorary President (American Council of Learned Societies)
Prof. Agostino PARAVICINI BAGLIANI, Honorary President (Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences)
Prof. Shaul SHAKED, Honorary President (Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities)
Prof. Jiři BENEŠ, Board Member (Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic)
Prof. Askold IVANTCHIK, Board Member (Russian Academy of Sciences)
Prof. Jean-Pierre MAHÉ, Board Member (Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, France)
Prof. Elzbieta WITKOWSKA-ZAREMBA, Board Member (Polish Academy of Sciences)
Prof. François DE CALLATAŸ, Board Member (Royal Academy of Belgium)
Moscow, July 2, 2013. Public protests against plans to ruin Russian academy of sciences.
See also the letters of support sent by scientists from all over the world: