On 20 October the EU research ministers at a Ministerial Conference on the European Research Area adopted the Bonn Declaration on Freedom of Scientific Research, thereby strengthening the protection of academic freedom in Europe.
Enabling scientists and researchers to follow their research interests freely and unimpeded by political constraints is one of the core principles of the European Union and ALLEA is delighted to see a strong commitment by the EU Member States to continue standing up for these rights.
“The Bonn Declaration is an important step in the right direction. In the recent past, the European research community has endured clear infringements on academic freedom. This declaration is a sign that we can no longer stand idly by and continue business as usual and makes a clear connection between trust in science and its independence. It is important to stress that academic freedom also involves the responsibility of the research community to openly communicate their findings not only to their peers, but also to the wider public”, says ALLEA President Antonio Loprieno.
https://allea.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Bonn-Declaration.png336752Agnieszka Pietruczukhttps://allea.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/allealogo-1-300x83.pngAgnieszka Pietruczuk2020-10-21 12:36:342020-10-22 11:21:14ALLEA welcomes Bonn Declaration on Freedom of Scientific Research
On 2 July 2019 the Hungarian Parliament has passed a bill which will strip the Hungarian Academy of Sciences of its research institutes and thereby will transfer the academy’s research capacities to the Eötvös Loránd Research Network (ELKH) under the supervision of the Hungarian Ministry of Innovation and Technology. The decision was made despite stark resistance from within the Hungarian science system as well as from European science organisations, including ALLEA, and is widely considered to be another decision by the Hungarian government to infringe on the freedom of science and research.
ALLEA President Antonio Loprieno said:
“We are worried by the Hungarian government’s attack on academic freedom, which threatens the autonomy of science and thus puts innovation at risk. The Hungarian Academy of Sciences has engaged in good faith and constructively with the government, which instead has chosen to disregard months of dialogue and efforts. As the federation of European academies, ALLEA will back our member academy and all Hungarian scientists and work with them and other international partners to defend science from populist pressures.”
The bill, which still awaits ratification by the country’s President, stipulates that not only the research institutes are handed over to ELKH, but also that the academy makes available their premises and equipment without compensation.
The Hungarian Academy of Sciences has made it clear that this bill is in opposition to basic European funding principles and poses a serious danger to the academic freedom of the institution as well as to the researchers working within this new network.
ALLEA and the academies within the federation deeply oppose such infringements and reject the claim of the Hungarian government that the ELKH will produce more innovative science.
Read previous ALLEA statements on this matter here:
https://allea.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/MTA_Székház01-768x412.jpg412768alleaadminhttps://allea.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/allealogo-1-300x83.pngalleaadmin2019-07-07 19:19:082019-08-06 14:30:36ALLEA’s reaction to the Parliament’s bill concerning the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
ALLEA, EUA and Science Europe call to protect academic freedom and safeguard institutional autonomy by providing and honouring sound regulatory frameworks
ALLEA, the European University Association (EUA) and Science Europe issued a joint statement today on the urgent need to back commitments to academic freedom and university autonomy with solid actions. The three partners, representing a vast section of Europe’s research and higher education system, maintain that academic freedom and institutional autonomy are of fundamental importance and value to society.
“Our knowledge-based societies are dependent on scientific progress, but the fragility of the core principles of academic life, freedom and autonomy, are often disregarded. Only with them can science best serve society”, said Antonio Loprieno, President of ALLEA. “Recent developments in Europe with growing political pressure in certain countries have made us painfully aware of the need to protect these values at all costs. It is time for scientists, but also society at large, to stand up against unjustified infringements and to call for stronger safeguards.”
The statement calls on governments and public authorities to protect academic freedom and safeguard institutional autonomy by providing sound regulatory frameworks and refraining from interference in the internal affairs of higher education and research institutions. It also urges them to guarantee scholars and students the rights that constitute academic freedom, such as freedom of expression, opinion and thought.
Furthermore, the three organisations call on universities, funding agencies, academies and other research organisations to foster a culture in which free expression and the open exchange of opinion are valued and the academic freedom of researchers, teachers and students is safeguarded.
“Recent developments in Europe with growing political pressure in certain countries have made us painfully aware of the need to protect these values at all costs. It is time for scientists, but also society at large, to stand up against unjustified infringements and to call for stronger safeguards.”
Antonio Loprieno, ALLEA President
Universities and academies have recently been the target of increased political pressures. The European Parliament triggered a disciplinary procedure to determine if democratic values, including academic freedom, have been undermined in Hungary. In 2018, the government banned the teaching of gender studies and forced the Central Europe University to relocate most of its activities outside the country.
Following a lengthy dispute over budget matters with the Hungarian government, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, recently had to begrudgingly agree to a reform of its research institutes, which places the institutes under a new governing body made up of both academicians and scientists, but chaired by an appointee of the prime minister. In Turkey, the academic sector has come under increased pressure after the 2016 coup attempt, with thousands of public employees being dismissed from their jobs, including academics from ALLEA membership and higher education administrators.
ALLEA has intervened with a range of actions, including mediation, statements and open letters, in support of academic institutions under threat over recent years. The present statement, and the partnership with EUA and Science Europe, is a call to action and reflects the organisations’ shared concern that academic freedom and institutional autonomy are no longer self-evident in Europe and around the world, with grave consequences for scholars, science and society.
https://allea.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Unbenannt5.jpg275751alleaadminhttps://allea.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/allealogo-1-300x83.pngalleaadmin2019-04-10 09:28:242019-07-04 14:56:16ALLEA, EUA and Science Europe publish joint statement on academic freedom and institutional autonomy
In response to the ongoing and severely threatening infringements by the Hungarian government on the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, ALLEA has published today a statement calling to protect the institutional autonomy and academic freedom of the academy.
https://allea.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Logo_Hungarian_Academy.gif226167alleaadminhttps://allea.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/allealogo-1-300x83.pngalleaadmin2019-02-15 11:48:072019-07-04 14:54:48ALLEA reinforces its calls to protect the institutional autonomy and academic freedom of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
ALLEA has published a statement today on the inappropriate political infringement on academic curricula in Hungary. “ALLEA is alarmed by the Hungarian government’s recent, recurring and unfounded intervention in the curricula of private and public universities, severely compromising academic freedom and autonomy that are key features of modern science and higher education, and regrettably following a pattern witnessed before”, the statement reads.
https://allea.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Unbenannt1.png564789alleaadminhttps://allea.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/allealogo-1-300x83.pngalleaadmin2018-08-21 11:31:262019-07-05 16:06:31ALLEA publishes statement on the inappropriate political infringement on academic curricula in Hungary
In response to two proposed laws introduced for voting by the Hungarian Parliament and which threaten the scientific autonomy and financial independence of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the ALLEA President Antonio Loprieno has sent an open letter to the responsible Hungarian Minister of Innovation and Technology, Mr László Palkovics. You may download and read the letter below.
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ALLEA sends letter of support for Central European University in light of proposed legislative changes in Hungary.
“We consider the proposed legislation a fundamental threat to basic and internationally valid principles for conducting science and research”, states ALLEA President Professor Günter Stock in a letter addressed to the Hungarian Minister for Human Capacities, Mr Zoltán Balog. With the letter, ALLEA joins a multitude of scientific institutions from Hungary and all over the world in voicing grave concerns regarding the proposed change in legislation of Act CCIV of 2011 on National Higher Education of the Hungarian Government which would deprive the Central European University (CEU) of itsability to operate according to fundamental scientific principles such as academic freedom, scientific excellence and self-governance. CEU is a Budapest-based prestigious US-Hungarian private university with international reputation which just recently celebrated its 25th anniversary.
“We consider the proposed legislation a fundamental threat to basic and internationally valid principles for conducting science and research”
ALLEA President, Günter Stock
The Hungarian National Assembly deliberates on the legislative proposal on Tuesday 4 April 2017. In case of its passing it would eventually lead to a forced discontinuation of CEU’s activities in its present form in Hungary. An official CEU statement calls the proposed legislation “discriminatory and unacceptable”. The amendments would prevent CEU to operate as a “free and independent international graduate university”. The CEU President urged the Hungarian government “to enter into negotiationswith us to find a satisfactory way forward that allows CEU to continue in Budapest and to maintain the academic freedoms essential to its operation”.
CEU has started a petition directed to the Hungarian National Assembly and Government which in the past few days was signed by almost 40.000 individuals. The petition calls on the Hungarian National Assembly to “drop the proposed legislation and to enter into negotiations with the leadership of CEU that will ultimately allow this prestigious university to remain a proud contributor to scientific discourse in Hungary”.
To read further and updated information and to learn how to support CEU via social media support please click here.
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ALLEA co-signs open letter by European science organisations calling on European Institutions and national governments in Europe to protect the freedom and autonomy of science.
The letter is in response to some of the first actions of the newly inaugurated US President Donald J. Trump, which show a blatant disregard for the universal values and principles of science and research. Upon release the open letter was co-signed by ALLEA and its partner Academia Europaea alongside 37 other European science organisations
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On 3 October 2016 Bilim Akademisi (The Science Academy, Turkey) Executive Board issued a statement on academics dismissed from public service following the attempted coup d’état in Turkey last July.
To access the statement please visit the academy’s website here
https://allea.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Science_Academy_logo.jpg263589alleaadminhttps://allea.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/allealogo-1-300x83.pngalleaadmin2016-10-07 11:12:472019-07-05 16:44:07Science Academy Istanbul’s Statement on Academics Dismissed from Public Service
ALLEA, the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities, rejects all non-constitutional and violent attempts to threaten the democracies in the Council of Europe region, which is the host region to the ALLEA member academies, and indeed all over the world. Consequently, ALLEA strongly condemns the attempted coup d’état by factions of the Turkish military on 15 July 2016 against the democratically elected institutions of the Republic of Turkey.
In the meantime ALLEA has closely followed the subsequent and on-going developments and is alarmed by the repressive and excessive nature of recent measures against several public sectors in Turkey, including the academic and research community, carried out by the Turkish government and compliant civil servants in response to the coup.
In particular, we learnt with grave concern and alarm that apparently all 1577 university deans were suspended, thousands of licenses of teachers cancelled, all academics banned from leaving Turkey, and Turkish academics were being called back from abroad.
We strongly condemn these and any other punitive or preventive actions taken without distinction, depriving academics and researchers from their fundamental rights, particularly the right to freedom of expression, freedom of movement, freedom of assembly as well as the right to exercise their profession without politically or ideologically motivated constraints.
We urge the Turkish Government to halt these measures and to return to, respect and safeguard the principles of academic freedom and autonomy for both individuals and institutions in the science and higher education sectors in Turkey.
We stand in solidarity with our Turkish colleagues in these difficult times and we particularly support the academicians and staff in our member academies located in Ankara and Istanbul.
We call upon the European Institutions, national Governments as well as fellow scientists and scholars across Europe and beyond to express their support for the academic and research community in Turkey.
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