British Academy, Royal Society Back Bulgarian Top Sci Body amid AttacksEducation | November 30, 2010, Tuesday // 17:34| views
BAS researchers have held a candlelight vigil as part of a string of protest against what they see as the liquidation of Bulgarian science on the part of the GERB-led cabinet. Photo by BGNES
The presidents of UK's leading research institutions are among those who have sent letters of support to the Bulgarian Academy of Science, which has been facing extreme budget cuts and likely closure forced from the government.
Sir Adam Roberts, President of the British Academy - UK's leading center for humanities and social sciences - has sent out an official letter to senior Bulgarian officials, including PM Boyko Borisov, in which he calls for a strong committment on the part of the state for science and research.
"It is a striking fact that in these very difficult economic times, many countries are making investment in knowledge and research a priority, and are even increasing their investment at a time of cuts elsewhere. They do so because they know that research contributes to innovation and economic growth, and helps build social stability," writes Sir Roberts.
The letter concludes asking senior Bulgarian officials to "reconsider the cuts to a vital part of Bulgarian national life and of the Bulgarian economy."
Lord Martin Rees of Ludlow, President of the UK Royal Society - one of the oldest and most prestigious research institutions in the world - has on his part sent a letter of support to the BAS President Nikola Sabotinov, expressing his "concern" at Bulgarian budget cuts for research, calling that science be "at the heart of European countries' plans for future prosperity."
Lord Rees of Ludlow has asked Sabotinov to forward his letter to all Bulgarian senior officials he is in contact with.
He further states that the Royal Society is "proud of its links with BAS" and speaks highly of the Academy's plans for development and already instituted reforms.
The presidents of Britain's top research institutions are just some of the international research leaders who have already sent out letters in support of BAS.
The messages include a strong-worded letter to PM Borisov from Prof. J?ri Engelbrecht - President of ALLEA, the umbrella organization of Europe's science academies.
Further letters of support have been sent out by the presidents of the Serbian and Turkish of science, as well as by a number of Bulgarian researchers working abroad.
In the meanwhile, the Bulgarian Parliament is set to review Wednesday a controversial legislative amendment which envisions dismantling BAS into separate institutes under the direct jurisdiction of the Minister of Education and the Council of Ministers.
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