The Hungarian Academy of Sciences, in letter sent to lawmakers on Wednesday, asks parliament to consider its opinion on the bill concerning the government’s planned changes to the institution before voting on it. In the letter, the academy underlined its opposition to the separation of its research network from the rest of the institution’s operations, saying that no meaningful argument had been made as to why such a move was necessary.
It said the restructuring of the research network would hurt academic freedom in Hungary and deprive the country of certain fundamental values.
The academy said it had recommended the establishment of a new management structure for its research network which had taken into consideration the government’s innovation goals. Among its concerns, the academy said this recommendation had been based on a consensus it had reached with the innovation and technology ministry, but was still not incorporated into the bill. The institution also criticised the bill for failing to cover important elements of the academy’s basic upkeep, such as the salaries of the researchers and employees. Further, the academy said the government had never given a detailed explanation of its reasons for the planned changes or a detailed account of the innovation and technology ministry’s plans in connection with the research network.