To Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, Hungary
Sent on 11 February 2019
EuroScience is extremely concerned about the recent request of the government of Hungary to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA) that would result in a transfer of control of the research institutes of the MTA to the Ministry of Innovation and Technology. In a letter to Minister Palkovics in June 28, 2018 we have already voiced these concerns. Although there may certainly be valid arguments for a discussion on how best to organise a country’s research establishments, the current plans of the Hungarian government resulting in a complete transfer of funding to a short-term-contract system is an initiative that is unheard of in any of the world’s developed nations. Moreover, we have heard many voices who fear that research and scholarship in the humanities and social sciences will be sharply reduced. Such action reminds us far too much of former Soviet-Union practices, with which we are sure your government would not wish to be associated.
We urge you as Prime Minister to engage in a meaningful discussion with the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and with the research community on how the goals of excellence and efficiency, as well as serving national and global objectives, can be attained without disruptive consequences for the Hungarian research and innovation system, and for its credibility in Europe.
Prof. Michael Matlosz