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Письма зарубежных ученых

Dear Professor Parshin,

I apologize, I was on vacation, therefore my answer comes late. Let me be short and outspoken:

The Max Planck Institute does not use bibliometrical data in its hiring and invitation decisions. We consider it irresponsible to rely on bibliometrical data for any kind of important evaluation of the quality of research or researchers. Instead, our decisions are based on the traditional peer reviews and our own experience as researchers in the concerned fields.

Our reports to external evaluation committees are not based on bibliometrical data, but discuss our research achievements as such. Of course we include lists of publications in such reports, but citation index, h-index, impact factors, and the like do not play a role.

Bibliometric data are a dangerous weapon (all the more so in the hands of non-experts) and are completely unreliable measures of the quality of research. This has been made clear in a number of investigations, for example by the IMU, which seem conclusive to us.

We hope that the Russian government changes its course, since, with the imminent reforms, we see a clear danger for the quality of Russian science.

With best regards,

Werner Ballmann
Director and Scientific Member of the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics


Mr. Sergey Naryshkin
Speaker of Russian Parliament

Dear Mr. Naryshkin

The Russian Academy of Sciences has a very distinguished tradition.

I hope that in your plans for the future you take advice from true leaders of Russian science and Russian Academy.

I come from a country (Argentina) where excessive interference of political authorities has greatly undermined our scientific institutions stimulating the best young scientists to emigrate to other countries with better conditions for scientific research. Hope very much that the planned changes of Russian science will not affect the independence and scientific significance of Russian science and Russian Academy to the benefit of the science worldwide.

Sincerely yours,

Juan Maldacena

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To Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin,
The President of Russian Federation

Dear Mr President:

I am writing to you on behalf of ICIAM, the world society of applied mathematics, of which I have the honor of be president, to urge you against the action which may be taken very soon to strip the Russian Academy of Sciences of its historical independence.

It is with great concern that we learn that the Duma is in process of approving a law which will deprive the Russian Academy of Sciences of its property and functions, reassign them to various government agencies and create a new "Russian Academy of Sciences" that will be completely different from the current one. It is most troubling that this proposal has been drafted without involvement of the Russian scientific community itself or of the two councils created by the Russian Ministry of Education and Science for consultations with the scientific community. The Russian Academy of Sciences is one of the most prestigious academies in the world. As a student, I studied the Russian language so that I could read its publications on Partial Differential Equations. Many American students do the same thing today.

All institutions must undergo changes occasionally, and the Russian Academy of Sciences is no exception. However, change in the structure and leadership of a productive scientific organization such as the Russian Academy should be done with extreme care and with the full involvement of the scientific community. You may be aware that the US National Academy of Sciences became similarly politicized a generation ago, and its independence was re-established following strong protests by the entire US scientific community, to the great benefit of US science. We urge that you work with the newly elected leadership of the Russian Academy of Sciences and with the Russian scientific community in general to ensure that the academy continues to play, as it has in the past, a major role in promoting research of the highest quality in Russia. I'm sure you are aware of how much the economy of your country depends on science. We respectfully hope you will recognize that an independent scientific academy is fundamental to the progress of science, and that whatever reform plans are finally adopted will respect the integrity of this venerable institution, and will be made in close consultation with the scientific community itself.

Barbara L. Keyfitz
President ICIAM (International Council for Industrial and Applied Mathematics)
Dr Charles Saltzer Professor of Mathematics The Ohio State University

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H.E. Vladimir Putin
President of the Russian Federation

(A letter with the identical content has been sent to the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev, to the Chairman of the State Duma Sergey Naryshkin and to the Minister for Education and Science of the Russian Federation Dmitry Livanov)

Dear President,

With deep concern we have heard of the news that significant changes for the science system in Russia, especially for the academies, are being planned in the near future. Our distinguished colleagues from the Russian Academy of Sciences have reported from the fundamental changes that the envisaged process of reshaping the academies landscape in Russia would bring about.

The Russian Academy of Sciences has been — and still is to date — a very active and important member of the European federation of Academies, ALLEA (All European Academies). Among other internationally recognized activities in science and research, through its wide-ranging involvement in different ALLEA expert committees, the Russian Academy of Sciences has significantly contributed to numerous ALLEA initiatives that have been widely recognized within the international scientific community as well as among decision makers on the national and European level.

Having followed recent deliberations on the legislative proposals for a deep transformation of the Russian science system in which the Russian Academy represents the most prestigious and internationally renowned institution we would like to make a plea for scientific excellence and autonomy of the Russian academies, truly hoping that these principles will not be impaired by the new regulations. Science and research are dependent on global interaction, on science-based decisions about their programmes and the intellectual freedom of the scientists and scholars. We believe that any reform process of the scientific system should be based on close exchanges with the scientific community in order to elaborate sound and sustainable solutions and improvements. ALLEA, bringing together a pan-European community of 55 academies, hopes that scientific excellence, self-governance and autonomy as internationally valid principles of conducting science and research, particularly also in the academies, are being guaranteed and financially supported adequately in order for the scientific community to fulfil its tasks and mandates and to contribute to social and economic well-being and development.

Excellency, please allow us to reiterate our concern that the envisaged fundamental changes could negatively affect the Russian Academy's position not only in the national debates on the future role of science and technology, but also in global scientific exchanges. The reputation of the Russian science and research system is threatened to be undermined if its most important research institution runs into the danger of being deprived of functioning on the basis of internationally recognised principles in the conduct of science and research.

Thank you for considering these elementary principles in your further deliberations about the scientific system in your country.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Günter Stock
President of ALLEA (All European Academies)

http://www.allea.org

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Mr. Sergey Naryshkin
Speaker of Russian Parliament

Dear Mr. Naryshkin

I was extremely disappointed to hear about the planned changes in the Russian Academy of Sciences. This is a great institution with a long and successful tradition. It has played a crucial role in the spectacular achievements of the Russian science community, which had a huge impact on the advancement of science worldwide.

As with every institution, it makes sense to review every aspect of its procedures. The same is true for the Academy. But all changes should be thought of very carefully. Careless actions can cause more harm than good. In particular, it is essential to keep the independence of the Academy. This is very important for the future of science in Russia, as well as for science in the entire world.

Sincerely yours,

Nathan Seiberg

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The Honorable Sergey Naryshkin
Speaker
The Russian Parliament

Dear Mr. Naryshkin,

I write with concern about reported plans to reform the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Russia has a great scientific tradition going back hundreds of years that has been one of its great strengths throughout history. Preserving, reviving, and enhancing your scientific tradition will best serve your country. Your scientific community can serve your country best if you respect its independence. The Russian Academy of Sciences is a historic asset for your country.

Sincerely,

Edward Witten
Simonyi Professor of Physics

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To the members of the Russian parliament,

I am writing to express my concern with the proposed plans to reform the Russian Academy of Sciences. As a member of three national scientific societies — the Royal Society of London, the Royal Society of Canada, and the National Academy of Sciences here in the U.S. — I am aware that some academies play a more central role in the scientific life of their country than others, and that some work more efficiently than others. However, the common feature of any successful academy is that it must preserve its independence from the government and be managed by the scientists themselves.

Russia has a long and exceptionally distinguished history of achievement in science, particularly in physics and mathematics, and Russian research in these subjects is one of the country's most important and distinguished exports. As the experience of the last century shows, it is far easier to destroy or disperse a country's scientific community than it is to rebuild it later. While reforms to the Academy of Sciences may well be desirable, they should be carried out slowly and deliberately with the full participation and approval of the Russian scientific community.

Sincerely,

Scott Tremaine, FRS, FRSC
Richard Black Professor of Astrophysics

Текст письма в формате pdf


Dear Mr Naryskhin,

We have been informed yesterday by prominent scientists of the Mathematics Division of the Russian Academy of Sciences that The Russian Government has prepared a draft law which will result in the termination of the Russian Academy of Science and its replacement by a new public organisation.

The Mathematics Division of the Russian Academy of Sciences is appreciated world-wide as an organisation for mathematics at the highest level. A drastic replacement without a careful discussion with its scientists would have serious negative repercussions for research in mathematics, not only in Russia but around the world.

The European Mathematical Society urges The Parliament to postpone the consideration of the Federal Law on the Russian Academy of Sciences and strongly recommends to engage in discussion with representatives of scientists in order to decide about the future of such a prestigious organisation for national and international mathematical research.

Yours sincerely,

Marta Sanz-Solé
President
European Mathematical Society

http://www.euro-math-soc.eu/
University of Barcelona
Faculty of Mathematics
Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes 585
E-08007 Barcelona


Honorable Mr. Speaker,

I write to express my alarm at the proposed legislation that threatens the independence of the Russian Academy of Sciences and its research institutes. The Russian Academy of Sciences is responsible for many spectacular successes of the science in Russia over several centuries. The whole world continues to benefit from the independence and creativity of the scientists doing cutting edge research at the RAS and its institutes. Please preserve and reinvigorate this great scientific tradition!

Sincerely yours,

Igor Klebanov
Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics
Associate Director, Princeton Center for Theoretical Science
Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences

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To: Mr. S. Naryshkin
Speaker of the DUMA

Dear Mr. Naryshkin,

I write to you in my capacity of President of the International Mathematical Union (IMU), as well as in my personal capacity, as a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, the London Mathematical Society, the French Academie des Sciences, and the Belgian Academie Royale.

It is with great concern that we learned that, last week Thursday, the Russian Government approved a draft law on liquidation of the Russian Academy of Sciences and that the law might be submitted for final approved very soon. Moreover, as far as we know, this proposal has been drafted without any involvement of the scientific community itself, or of the two councils created by the Russian Ministry of Education and Science for consultations with the scientific community.

The Russian Academy of Sciences has a long and very distinguished history; it stands as one of the most prestigious academies of the world, and publishes top journals. Many mathematics departments worldwide encourage their graduate students to acquire a working knowledge of Russian so that they will be able to read mathematical papers in e.g. Doklady Akademii Nauk in the original. Russian mathematicians are respected worldwide, and have been so for many years.

All institutions must undergo changes occasionally, and the Russian Academy of Sciences is no exception; the International Mathematical Union, even though it is much younger, has undergone such changes itself. However, we feel very strongly that changes in the structure and leadership of a productive scientific organization should be done with extreme care and with the full involvement of the scientific community. We urge that you work with the newly elected leadership of the Russian Academy and with the Russian scientific community in general to ensure that the Academy continues to play, as it has in the past, a major role in promoting research of the highest quality in Russia. We respectfully hope you will recognize that an independent scientific academy is fundamental to the progress of science, and that whatever reform plans are finally adopted will respect the integrity of this venerable institution, and will be made in close consultation with the scientific community itself.

Yours sincerely,

Ingrid Daubechies
President, International Mathematical Union


Dear colleagues,

I have been told about the possible suppression (disguised as an improvement) of the Russian Academy of Sciences. This is an incredible piece of news. I don't remember any such thing happening to an Academy, even less to one with such a glorious past. What is going to happen to those well-known journals of yours, such as Doklady and Izvestja? (I had three times the honor of publishing a paper in Izvestja: twice in French, and once in English.)

I know that my French colleagues feel as I do; they are going to write to you soon, to express their support.

I very much hope that your Academy will survive this crisis.

Avec toutes mes amities

J-P. Serre
Foreign member Russian Academy of Sciences
Membre de l'Académie des Sciences
Member National Academy of Sciences USA
Field Medal Abel Prize


Dear colleague,

I have heard with some disquiet about the proposals for the future of the Russian Academy of Science. It may well be that there are good reasons for these changes, but if so they are not yet apparent.

I am a mathematician and know well the great tradition of high calibre mathematics since the times of Euler and Lobatchevski. Through all the difficult times of political upheaval, mathematics continued to prosper and the Academy was able to maintain its integrity and independence.

It would be a tragedy for Russia and the rest of the world if this great historical tradition were to end.

I am a Foreign Member of the Russian Academy and I was also President of the Royal Society of London, where I had responsibilities for the whole of science. These included international relations with other academies, and I am glad to say that these links have grown closer over the years. Addressing global issues of a scientific nature, such as global warming, requires scientists of the world to work together. The Russian Academy of Science is a vital part of the world scientific community.

I am copying this message to colleagues, including the current President of the Royal Society Sir Paul Nurse.

Yours sincerely

(Sir) Michael Atiyah OM, FRS, FRSE,
Fields Medalist and Abel Laureate
Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge
Honorary Professor of Edinburgh University


Председателю Государственной думы С. Е. Нарышкину

Уважаемый Сергей Евгеньевич,

я являюсь одним из представителей российской научной диаспоры. Беспрецедентное предложение российского правительства провести коренную перестройку и фактически уничтожение Российской академии наук без малейших попыток согласования с научным сообществом, является абсолютно шокирующим, и прямо говоря преступным. Я очень надеюсь что депутаты Думы примут разумное и взвешенное решение по этому поводу.

Касаясь существа дела, то есть возможного направления реформы, я хочу сделать общее замечание. В разных странах и в разных областях науки существует разные схемы финансирования, но в основном сейчас доминирует система грантов, которая далеко не всегда оптимальна. Совсем не ясно что эту систему надо внедрять повсюду независимо от существующих условий и сложившихся традиций. Принципы заложенные в структуру Российской Академии, уникальны, и обладают большим позитивным потенциалом. Было бы очень неразумно потерять возможность не воспользоваться шансом этот потенциал развить.

С уважением,
Максим Концевич,
профессор математики в Институте Высших Научных Исследований (IHES), Франция
член Французской академии наук,
лауреат Филдсовской премии, премии Крафорда, премии Шоу и премии по фундаментальной физике.


It saddened me to learn of the planned destruction of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Being done with no input with the scientific community, even if it were done with good intentions, it is bound to have catastrophic consequences on the already precarious situation of sciences in Russia.

I cannot guess what the government wants to achieve. If it is to more easily try to direct research toward short term applicable goals, it is even worse.

Sincerely,

Pierre Deligne
Membre de l'Académie des Sciences
Field Medal Abel Prize
Professor Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton


Письмо Д. Мамфорда,
Президента Международного математического союза в 1995–1999 гг.,
члена Национальной академии наук США и Королевского общества Великобритании,
лауреата Филдсовской и Вольфовской премий

July 2, 2013
S. Naryshkin, Speaker of the Duma

Dear Mr. Naryshkin,

I write as a former President of the International Mathematical Union and a member of both the Academy of Sciences of the United States and the Royal Society in the United Kingdom to express my shock and dismay at a proposal to disband the Russian Academy of Science. Its history far surpasses that of the US Academy, having been the leader of research in mathematics when the mathematician Euler worked in St. Petersburg under Catherine the Great. An independent scientific academy is one great institutions of our civilization, which is fundamental to the progress of science. If Russia were to abolish hers, it would cast great doubt around the world about the direction in which Russia is headed.

Sincerely,

David Mumford
University Professor of Applied Mathematics

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Письмо Председателю Государственной Думы С. Е. Напышкину

Your Excellency,

Russian science in my field of expertise has always been extraordinarily creative, original and successful. For many decades many concepts of primary importance have originated from Russia. The role of the Russian Academy of Science in this success story has been pivotal. Institutes such as the Landau Institute, the Institute for Physical Problems, the Steklov Institute and several others, belong to the short list of world leading centers. Clearly the understanding by the Russian Academy of the criteria which allow for science at its best, has been absolutely essential.

We have been informed by our Russian colleagues that the Duma will be considering drastic changes to the organization of the Institutes run by the Academy. Why do foreigners like me care? Well, science is a global international collective enterprise: anything which happens to science anywhere in the world matters to all of us. Therefore, although we do understand that reforms in organizations may lead to improvements, we also know that unfortunate decisions may lead to irreversible damages.

Therefore we respectfully beg your Excellence to make sure that the Academy, which gathers the best minds of the country, remains at the heart of the future organization.

Respectfully yours

Edouard Brézin
Former President, Académie des Sciences
Foreign member National Academy of Sciences (USA), Royal Society (UK)
Laboratoire de Physique Théorique,
Ecole Normale Supérieure


To the members of the Russian Parliament

We have learned with great shock and disbelief that a project will be presented to the Russian Parliament that intends to suppress the Russian Academy of Sciences. The Russian Academy is a most prestigious, worldwide well-known, institution, which in all times has gathered some of the most famous Russian scientists. It has played, and still plays, a major role in the promoting research of the highest quality in Russia and, in some circumstances, preserving its integrity. Its suppression would thus inflict a major damage to Russian science and, as a consequence, also to science worldwide.

Jean Zinn-Justin, Jean Iliopoulos, Bernard Derrida,
Members of the French Academy of Sciences


The Speaker of the Duma
Mr. S. Naryshkin

Your Honour,

the Russian Government, at a meeting last week, launched a bill proposing fundamental changes to the Russian Academy of Sciences. According to the bill, dated 28 June, the Academy is to merge with the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences and the Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences. The responsibility for the more than 400 research institutes now under the Academy's auspices would be transferred to a new government-run agency. The Duma is supposed to decide on this reform in the near future.

The reform means an incapacitation for the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, and the Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences. The transfer to a new government-run agency is an unacceptable course of action which harms the freedom of science. We, the German Mathematical Society (DMV), with 5.000 members Germany’s largest and oldest mathematical society, oppose the planned reform. We therefore appeal to the Duma not to enact this reform.

Sincerely yours,

Prof. Dr. Jürg Kramer
President of the German Mathematical Society

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Dear Academician Kozlov,

I am writing about the shocking news I have just heard that the Russian Government is proceeding to legislate to liquidate the Russian Academy of Sciences and to create on its basis a new public organization subordinate to a special government agency whose decisions are based on bureaucratic rules rather than purely scientific merit.

The Russian Academy of Sciences with its illustrative history dating back all the way to 1725 is one of the most prestigious academies of the world and has provided for so many centuries an unparalleled free and nourishing environment for the advancement of sciences and the establishment of scientific standards. It belongs not only to the Russian people but, as one of the scientific organizations of the greatest impact, also to the world community of scientists.

As a mathematician and a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, I am writing to add my voice to those in the world community of scientists who are alarmed by the unthinkable possibility of the liquidation of the Russian Academy of Sciences. I urge that you and your fellow academicians and other mathematics colleagues in the Russian Academy of Sciences stand together to take all measures within your power to make sure that the prestigious historical Russian Academy of Sciences will continue to function as it now does to provide the free and nourishing environment for the advancement of sciences and the establishment of scientific standards.

Sincerely yours,

Yum-Tong Siu
William Elwood Byerly Professor of Mathematics of Harvard University
Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences


Письмо иностранного секретаря Национальной Академии наук США
профессору Принстонского университета лауреату Филдсовской премии Андрею Окунькову

Dear Professor Okounkov:

Thank you for your message regarding the Russian Academy of Sciences. We are transmitting a letter to the Presidium of the Russian Academy expressing our concern about the independence of the Russian Academy. The letter will be signed by Ralph Cicerone, as NAS President and myself, as NAS Foreign Secretary. It is my understanding that the letter will be transmitted this afternoon.

Thank you for writing me to express your concerns about this unfortunate situation.

Sincerely,

Michael Clegg
Donald Bren Professor of Biological Sciences


Письмо Президента и Иностранного секретаря Национальной академии наук США

To our Colleagues of the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences:

We have become concerned over international press reports and many individual communications from scientific colleagues in several countries with regard to decisions that may be taken rapidly with regard to the Russian Academy of Sciences.

We of course do not fully understand the situation, and comment by us on some aspects of the reported changes would be inappropriate. But we would be particularly concerned if changes would diminish the independence of the Russian Academy of Sciences in its role as a science-based, independent advisory mechanism for Russia.

Each national science academy in the world is focused on the science-based aspects of meeting the most important needs of its own nation; I know that this is true in Russia. Each academy is most valuable as a national advisor if it is as independent and based on excellence as possible. To provide such independent advice, it is important that each academy should be able to elect its own members and leadership for the advisory function.

The National Academy of Sciences (U.S.) respects the long traditions of excellence of the Russian Academy of Sciences and we hope that the RAS will emerge from the current challenges stronger than ever.

Yours sincerely,

Ralph J. Cicerone,
President
Michael Clegg,
Foreign Secretary


To whom it may concern,

We have been informed by our colleagues at the Russian Academy of Sciences that, last Thursday, the Russian Government unexpectedly approved a draft law on liquidation of the Russian Academy of Sciences (founded in 1724) and that the law might be hastily approved this week. Moreover, we have been told that this law has been proposed without any involvement of the two councils created by the Russian Ministry of Education and Science for consultations with the scientific community.

We do not want to enter into the details of this plan, but we are seriously worried about this development. Since its inception, the Russian Academy of Sciences has been one of the foremost research institutes in the world and a crowning glory for Russia. We take the liberty of stressing that changes in the structure and leadership of such an old and productive scientific organization, even when they are deemed to necessary, should be done with extreme care and with the full involvement of the scientific community, not by means of laws passed hastily in any parliament. Cutting-edge science is done by scientists and it is important for the proper working of any scientific institute that scientists be involved in its leadership. This is all the more true for an institution of the quality and impact of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

We sincerely hope that the Russian Government will recognize the importance of the Russian Academy of Sciences for the country and its future, and that it will reconsider its present plans to approve via fast-track a legislation that might have very negative consequences for Russian science.

We hope that hasty law making will not destroy the research environment built by centuries of scholarly work by Russian scientists.

Yours sincerely,

Luca Aceto
President of European Association for Theoretical Computer Science
on behalf of the association as a whole


To the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia
To whom it may concern

I have been informed from Russian and Italian colleagues that the prestigious and cultural world leader Russian Academy of Sciences is going to be profoundly mined by an administrative reorganization.

As President of the Italian Geological Society, I invite you to reconsider this heavy decision. The members of the Russian Academy of Sciences have a great tradition in developing the highest standards of cultural and scientific growth. You are certainly right in funding more your best scientists after a careful evaluation, and I entirely support the battle for a better science for a better society. However, according to Leonardo and the last centuries history, no good application can develop without appropriate basic and free research, not directly controlled by the political power. Our Russian colleagues have an outstanding scientific reputation and they were selected through the highest standards of co-optation by the Russian Academy of Sciences.

We in Italy have a great respect of the scientific community in the Russian Federation.

For the benefit of your great Nation, I firmly support the deep concern of the Russian Academy of Sciences members, and I hope you can stop dismissing one of the very few top world academies.

With my best wishes,

Carlo Doglioni

Leonardo Da Vinci: "He who loves practice without theory is like the sailor who boards ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast."

Prof. Carlo Doglioni
President of the Italian Geological Society - founded in 1881

Recipient of the Spendiarov Prize of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Member of the Academy of Europe
Member of the Accademia dei Lincei
Member of the Accademia delle Scienze - XL
Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra
Università Sapienza, P.le A. Moro 5, Box 11
00185 Roma - Italy


I am Prof. Cumrun Vafa, a professor of physics at Harvard Univeristy. I have been following the development of science in my field in Russia for many years and have visited Russia attending conferences over the years.

I write in of support of Russian Academy of Sciences and write against the draft law on liquidation of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

In my opinion liquidation of the Russian Academy of Sciences will have severe adverse effect on the freedom of academia in Russia.

Sincerely,

Cumrun Vafa
Professor of Physics
Harvard University


Dear Minister,

We hear from our distinguished colleagues that a deep and serious transformation of the Russian Academy of Sciences is being planned.

The Russian Academy of Sciences has represented for many of us excellence in scientific research, and we were, in the last 40 years, deeply admired and appreciative of the work of our Russian colleagues.

We want to firmly stress the fact that, when touching such an old and distinguished institution, one should do it with extreme care and full involvement of the scientific community.

In fact, the main point of being of Academies is that scientific excellence should be judged by scholars who have dedicated their lives to the ideals of science and culture. And not by politicians, or, even worse, bureaucrats.

Even if such a comparison may look akward to you, keep in mind that the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, the Italian national Academy (more than 400 years old) was only 'reformed' during the Mussolini times, when it was replaced by the Accademia d'Italia.

After the war, Italians and antifascists wanted to go back to the tradition of the old Accademia dei Lincei, which is the most ancient Academy in the world, and had among its most brilliant publications, the publications by Galileo Galilei which led to the 'new science'.

We do therefore hope that hasty and not well planned 'reforms' will not destroy what centuries of scholarly work has built.

Sincerely yours

Fabrizio Catanese
Chair Professor Mathematik VIII (Algebraic Geometry)
Universität Bayreuth
Corresponding member Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei
Ordinary Member, Akademie der Wissenschaften, Göttingen


Dear Colleagues,

The recent unexpected draft law of the Russian Government that foresees a reform of the Russian Academy of Sciences has been brought to the attention of the Italian National Academy of Sciences, known as Academy of the XL.

Our Academicians all share my personal concern that having the Russian Academy under a special administrative agency that can select and appoint the Academy members, will impact rather seriously on the independence and international reputation of the Academy itself. We feel very strongly that the high scientific standards achieved by the Russian Academy of Sciences can be ensured solely if the academic leaders are elected by the members among the most eminent representatives of the Russian scientific community.

We do hope that your Government will be able to annul the above-mentioned draft law such that Russia can continue to rely on an independent self-governing, highly ranked, National Academy.

Sincerely.

Prof. Emilia Chiancone
President of the Italian National Academy of Sciences


Dear Minister,

We hear from our distinguished colleagues that a deep and serious transformation of the Russian Academy of Sciences is being planned.

The Russian Academy of Sciences has represented for many of us excellence in scientific research, and we were, in the last 40 years, deeply admired and appreciative of the work of our Russian colleagues.

We want to firmly stress the fact that, when touching such an old and distinguished institution, one should do it with extreme care and full involvement of the scientific community.

In fact, the main point of being of Academies is that scientific excellence should be judged by scholars who have dedicated their lives to the ideals of science and culture. And not by politicians, or, even worse, bureaucrats.

Even if such a comparison may look akward to you, keep in mind that the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, the Italian national Academy (more than 400 years old) was only 'reformed' during the Mussolini times, when it was replaced by the Accademia d'Italia.

After the war, Italians and antifascists wanted to go back to the tradition of the old Accademia dei Lincei, which is the most ancient Academy in the world,and had among its most brilliant publications, the publications by Galileo Galilei which led to the 'new science'.

We do therefore hope that hasty and not well planned 'reforms' will not destroy what centuries of scholarly work has built.

Sincerely yours,

Luciano Maiani
Emeritus Professor, Università di Roma La Sapienza, Italy
former Director General, CERN, Geneva, Switzerland
associate to the Russian Academy of Science


Dear colleagues,

I have learnt with considerable alarm the projects of reform of the Russian Academy of Sciences, undertaken without any prior consultation or approval of the scientific community.

On this occasion, I wish to express my personal appreciation to the extraordinary contribution of Russian scientists and mathematicians, often undertaken under duress in the most difficult circumstances. Scientists in Russia deserve to be respected as much at home as they are abroad.

With my best regards.

Jean-Michel Bismut
Membre de l'Académie des Sciences
Département de Mathématique
Université Paris-Sud
F-91405 Orsay
France


Dear Colleague,

We have just been informed that the Russian Government plans to liquidate the Russian Academy of Sciences which belongs to the oldest and most respected academies worldwide with a huge number of worldwide outstanding scientists in its records. This would be an outrageous decision. We strongly appeal to the Russian Government to suspend the plans for destructing such a famous institution and urge to respect the academic independence of science.

Gisbert Wuestholz
Senator of Mathematics, German National Academy of Sciences - Leopoldina
Section Chair, Academia Europaea
Member of Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften


Dear Minister,

The President and the Scientific Committee of the Italian Association for Mathematics Applied to Economic and Social Sciences -AMASES- received from Russian colleagues information about a deep transformation of the Russian Academy of Sciences. We do not want to enter into the details of this plan but we firmly stress the fact that, when touching such old and distinguished institutions, one should do it with extreme care and full involvement of the scientific community. Needless to say that, even in the most obscure years of the past, the academic institutions of Russia and the Soviet Union have always carried a very high and unique scholarly tradition. We are afraid that not well planned "reforms" may destroy what centuries of scholarly work has built.

Sincerely yours

Prof. Achille Basile, Università di Napoli (president)
Prof. Antonella Basso, Università di Venezia (secretary)
Prof. Gian italo Bischi, Università di Urbino
Prof. Fabrizio Cacciafesta, Università di Roma
Prof. Andrea Consiglio, Università di Palermo
Prof. Stefano Herzel, Università di Roma
Prof. Lucia Maddalena, Università di Foggia
Prof. Bruno Viscolani, Università di Padova


Dear Colleagues,

We have been surprized to hear that the Russian Government is preparing to destroy the Russian Academy of Science.

It might be possible for the Government to damage the Academy but it will take decades even for the Government to rebuild it once it is badly damaged, which is what we are so much afraid of.

Nowadays people talk about quick applications and tend to measure universities and research institutions by the results obtained within a short period like a few years or by simple numerical measures. However what really counts in science is peer review by experts and those numerical measures make sense only as supporting data. For instance mathematics is often underappreciated because it is difficult to see its effect in the final applications, but its role is quite essential and it is working at the back. This is especially the reason why it is difficult to recover once the research support scheme is lost. Currently and prospectively leading countries understand the mechanism and try to promote mathematics and science. We had believed that Russia had been one of them.

Russia has gained the international respect for generations of great scientific talents. Naturally the great technological excellence of Russia is based on the scientific heritage. This long tradition has been made possible because the academy of Science has its own system to foster new generations of leading scientists together with the related science community.

This complex system will be completely lost once the Academy is badly damaged. This is why we are worried if the great system of the Russian Academy of Science is damaged.

We sincerely hope that the Russian Government be careful not to damage the Academy and its fostering system.

Heisuke Hironaka
Fields Medal
Member Japan Academy
Membre de l'Academie des sciences (France)
Foreign Member RAS,
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
,

Shigefumi Mori
Fields Medal
Director, RIMS, Kyoto


Dear Colleagues

I am shocked to hear the news of the proposed liquidation of the Russian Academy of Sciences.It is among the oldest academies and it enjoys great prestige among the international community.This prestige was maintained during all the great political upheavals in Russia. I sincerely hope that better counsel will prevail and this proposal will be withdrawn.

With best regards

Seshadri
Director, Mathematical Institute, Madras, India
Member Indian Academy of Sciences
Member National Academy of Sciences USA, Royal Society (UK)


Письмо в Государственную Думу

With all due respect, I express my serious concern about the plans of the Russian Government threating the very existence of the Russian Academy of Science.

I totally and enthusiastically acknowledge the excellence of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and I solemnly ask that it be preserved and protected in its actual structure.

Respectfully

Jean-Paul Allouche
CNRS, UMR 7586, Institut de Mathématiques de Jussieu
Équipe Combinatoire et Optimisation
Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris


Letter in support of the Russian Academy

Dear Distinguished Speaker of the Duma,

I was just informed that the Duma is about to vote the closure of the Russian Academy of Science. If true, this news would constitute in my opinion a terrible blow to the image of Russia in the international scientific community.

The Russian Academy of Science is an outstanging organization that contributes in a unique way to the progress of science at the frontiers of knowledge. Its members are eminent scientists who are recognized world leaders in their field of research. Closing the Russian Academy of Science would be a terrible setback for science and human progress.

It is my deep conviction thatthe fate of nations who neglect science and scientists is marked for decay.

I truly hope that the Duma will not vote the closure of the Academy, but will in fact give a clear signal of support of the Academy, which represents scientific excellence and contributes to the visibility and prestige of Russia at the world level.

Sincerely yours,

Marc Henneaux
Professor at the University of Brussels (Belgium)
Director of the International Solvay Institutes for Physics and Chemistry


Dear Colleagues,

I hear with sadness and shock the news of the proposed liquidation of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

The Russian Academy and the institutions associated with it have played a great role over the centuries in the extraordinary development of Science (in particular of Mathematics) not only in Russia but in the whole world.The scientists associated with it have enriched several areas by their outstanding and path breaking contributions. The Russian Academy has enjoyed tremendous international prestige and recognition to this day over a long period.

In my view,any drastic change of the Academy in its structure which would compromise the autonomy(scientific ,administrative and financial)would lead to the destruction of the tradition and achievements of this great institution and,in turn, this would be detrimental for scientific progress in Russia.

Yours sincerely,

M. S. Narasimhan
Royal Society, London,
Third World academy of Sciences,
Indian National Science Academy,
Indian Academy of Sciences


Председателю Государственной Думы С. Нарышкину
To the Honorable Mr Speaker S. Naryshkin

It is with great concern that I have heard about the reforms proposed for the reorganization of the Russian Academy of Sciences. While I do not want to intervene in internal administrative affairs of the Russian Federation, my long time respect towards the Russian Academy of Sciences and the institutes it administers, leads me to write to you with the plea to give more time for discussion of such a drastic reform. All my esteemed Russian colleagues agree that a reform is necessary, but they want to be consulted, want to be involved, want to constructively contribute to the improvement of the scientific stature of the Institutes of the Academy. As director of a Mathematical Research Institute of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne and also winner of the second wave Russian megagrants, I came to know the situation in Russia to a certain extent and my wish is to be able to contribute myself in this proposed improvement.

This is why I am respectfully asking you to give more time to the Russian scientific community, the researchers in the various institutes, the members of the Academy, and its new President, to contribute and present their ideas before a decision is made. It also seems to me that a 300 years tradition should be taken into account in any forthcoming decision. The Academy of Sciences is a national treasure, an institution that is extremely important for the scientific and technical progress of Russia, a highly respected entity internationally. This is why I hope that more time will be given to judge and debate the current situation of the Academy with the direct involvement of its members and the scientists who have devoted their life working in its Institutes.

In the hope that my letter will find a positive reception on your part and my excuse for the imposition on your time this message may have caused you, I remain.

Sincerely yours

Tudor Ratiu
Alexander von Humboldt Award,
руководитель лаборатории Бернулли, МГУ (грант Правительства РФ 2011 г.),
Director, Mathematical Research Institute of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, Switzerland


Honorable Minister, we hear from our distinguished colleagues that it is in act a deep transformation of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

We do not want to enter into the details of this plan but want to firmly stress the fact that, when touching such old and distinguished institutions, one should do it with extreme care and full involvement of the scientific community. Such reforms, when done only by bureaucrats and politicians destroy traditions and do not build anything useful for the future. Needless to say that, even in the most obscure years of the past, the academic institutions of Russia and the Soviet Union have always carried a high and unique scholarly tradition.

We hope that hasty and not well planned "reforms" will not destroy what centuries of scholarly work has built.

Sincerely yours

Claudio Procesi
Professore Emerito
Dipartimento di Matematica, G. Castelnuovo
Membro dell'Accademia dei Lincei
Università di Roma La Sapienza, piazzale A. Moro 00185,
Roma, Italia

Sir Basil Markesinis
Queens Counsel,
Member of the British Academy and Foreign Member of the Academia dei Lincei

Giulio Maier
Professor Emeritus of Structural Engineering
Technical University (Politecnico) of Milan
Membro dell'Accademia dei Lincei

Enrico Arbarello
Professore di Geometria
Sapienza, Roma

Stefano Schiaffino
Professore Emerito di Patologia Generale
Università di Padova
Membro dell'Accademia dei Lincei

Adriano Prosperi
Accademia dei Lincei

Erio Tosatti
Professore Ordinario di Teoria degli Stati Condensati,
International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) Trieste
Former Director a.i., Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) Trieste
Socio Corrispondente, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei
Foreign Associate, National Academy of Sciences, USA

Corrado De Concini
Linceo, Prof. Algebra
Università La Sapienza Roma

Federico Capasso
Accademia dei Lincei

Giuseppe Anichini
Professore di Analisi Matematica - Firenze
Segretario Unione Matematica Italiana

Enrico Castelnuovo
Professeur honoraire de l'Université de Lausanne
Professore emerito della Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa
socio corrispondente dell'Accademia dei Lincei

Giacomo Becattini
Prof. emerito di economia politica e Accademico dei LIncei

Claire Voisin
CNRS Senior researcher, French Academy of Sciences

Fabrizio Catanese
Chair Professor Mathematik VIII (Algebraic Geometry)
Universität Bayreuth
Corresponding member Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei
Ordinary Member, Akademie der Wissenschaften, Göttingen

Giancarlo Vecchio
Emerito presso l'Università di Napoli Federico II e
Accademico dei Lincei

Kieran G. O'Grady
Prof. ordinario di Geometria, Università La Sapienza di Roma
Socio corrispondente dell'Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei

Giuseppe Cacciatore
Ordinario di Storia della filosofia - Università di Napoli "Federico II"
Membro Corrispondente dell'Accademia dei Lincei

Gennaro Marino
Professore Emerito
Università di Napoli Federico II
Socio corrispondente
Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei

Maurizio Prato
Professor of Organic Chemistry
Center of Excellence on Nanostructured Materials
University of Trieste, Italy
Member of Accademia dei Lincei, Roma

Glen Bowersock
Professor of Ancient History, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton

Paolo Podio-Guidugli
Università di Roma TorVergata
Membro corrispondente dell'Accademia dei Lincei

Giancarlo Setti
Emeritus Professor - University of Bologna
Academic Secretary - Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei

Carlo Di Castro
Professor of Theoretical Physics (Emeritus)
Member of the "Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei"

Paolo Matthiae
Professore Emerito Università Sapienza di Roma
Dipartimento di Scienze dell'Antichità
Socio Nazionale dell'Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei
Associé Etranger de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, Paris
Member of the Royal Swedish Academy, Stockholm
Member of the Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien

Carlo Patrono, MD, FRCP
Professor and Chair of Pharmacology
Catholic University School of Medicine
Rome, Italy
Member of the "Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei"

Aldo Montesano
Emerito di Economia politica presso l'Università Bocconi
Socio nazionale dell'Accademia dei Lincei
Membro effettivo dell'Istituto Lombardo

Prof. Francesco De Martini
Accademia dei Lincei, Roma

Maurizio Brunori
Accademia dei Lincei

Gabriele Veneziano
Collège de France & CERN

Prof. Emerito della Sapienza di Roma Maurizio Calvesi
Dipartimento di Storia dell'arte
Socio dell'Accademia dei Lincei
Premio Balzan 2008

Gianfranco Pasquino
già professore di Scienza politica, Università di Bologna
Dal luglio 2005 Socio corrispondente dell'Accademia dei Lincei

Fulvio Tessitore
Emeritus Professor, Università degli studi di Napoli "Federico II"
Academic Secretary, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei Roma

Всего более 130 подписей.

Текст письма в формате pdf с полным списком подписей


The Brazilian Academy of Sciences manifests against the extintion of the Russian Academy of Sciences

The Brazilian Academy of Sciences joins the international scientific community against the project that is in course in the Russian Parliament that proposes the extinction of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The BAS believes that the issues with the Russian Government must be solved through administrative and political paths, but the simple extinction of the Academy closes, in a very sorrowful way, a successful history of almost 300 years. The end of the Russian Academy will leave a gap not only in the Russian Federation but also in the world. In this sense, we encourage the brazilian community to sign, individually, the manifest available at http://save-russian-academy.org.


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