About RAS reform

From TORI
Jump to: navigation, search

About RAS reform is collection of opinions of English–speaking colleagues about the project of the RAS reform, 2013. Most of them are copypasted from the site of the Steklov Mathematics Institute of RAN [1]. The opinion of member of the Russian Academy of Science is expressed in their letter, loaded as Неприятие реформы РАН; the English translation is loaded as Against the RAS reform.

Contents

Ingrid Daubechies

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

J-P. Serre

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

Michael Atiyah

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

Maksim Kontsevich, France (In Russian)

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.

Pierre Deligne

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

David Mumford

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 [2].

Edouard Brézin

Письмо Председателю Государственной Думы С. Е. Нарышкину

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

Jean Zinn-Justin, Jean Iliopoulos, Bernard Derrida

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

Jürg Kramer

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 [3]

Yum-Tong Siu

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

Michael Clegg, Donald Bren

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

Luca Acet

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

Carlo Doglioni

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

Cumrun Vafa

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

Fabrizio Catanese

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

Emilia Chiancone

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

Luciano Maiani

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

Jean-Michel Bismut

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

Gisbert Wuestholz

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

Achille Basile, Antonella Basso et al.

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

Heisuke Hironaka, Shigefumi Mori

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

Seshadri

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)

Jean-Paul Allouche

Письмо в Государственную Думу (Letter to the Fedral Duma of Russian Federation)

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

Marc Henneaux

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

M. S. Narasimhan

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

Claudio Procesi, Basil Markesinis and a hundred+ colleagues

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. The full text is available at [4].

Heisuke Hironaka, Shigefumi Mori

This letter copypasted from [5].

July 5, 2013

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, Shigefumi Mori


References

  1. http://www.mi.ras.ru/index.php?c=ref Письма зарубежных ученых. July, 2013.
  2. http://www.mi.ras.ru/news/13/RussianAcademySci_Munford.pdf David Mumford. Letter to Naryshkin. July 2, 2013.
  3. http://www.mi.ras.ru/news/13/Brief-Duma_Kramer.pdf Jürg Kramer. Letter to S. Naryshkin, copy to B.S. Kashin. 3. Juli 2013.
  4. http://www.mi.ras.ru/news/13/Letter_of_Italian_scientists.pdf About the RAS reform, 2013. Honorable Minister, we hear from our distinguished colleagues that it is in act a deep transformation of the Russian Academy of Sciences. .. (Total more than 130 signatures)
  5. http://appeals.iitp.ru/ О реформировании РАН. Heisuke Hironaka и Shigefumi Mori - лауреаты Филдсовской премии.. Письмо лауреатов Филдсовской премии.

http://www.itar-tass.com/c32/794081.html Picket protesting RAS reform near Russian parliament. MOSCOW, July 3 (Itar-Tass) - Opponents to the proposed reform of the Russian Academy of Sciences /RAS/ picketed the building of the State Duma /lower house of the Russian parliament/ on Wednesday. The number of protesters slightly exceeds 100. The organizers said the action symbolizes "RAS funeral" with some of the participants holding wreathes and black ribbons.

http://visualrian.ru/en/site/feature/323085/ Picket against RAS reform held near State Duma. 2013.07.03.

http://revolution-news.com/russia-moscow-five-activists-detained-during-protest-at-state-duma/ Russia, Moscow – Five activists detained during protest at State Duma. July 5, 2013 Civil society activists held a rally against the reform of the RAS at the building of the State Duma Five civil society activists unfurled a banner “Keep your hands off of the Academy of Sciences” and lit smoke bombs near the building of the State Duma on Friday. All of the protesters were detained. .. On Tuesday, about 1,000 scientists held a protest at the old building of Sciences at Leninsky Prospekt in Moscow. In addition, more than 1,000 people gathered for a rally in the courtyard of the St. Petersburg Scientific Center, Russian Academy of Sciences. .

http://rbth.ru/science_and_tech/2013/07/08/controversial_reform_of_russian_academy_of_sciences_postpone_27891.html Yulia Ponomareva. Controversial reform of Russian Academy of Sciences postponed. July 8, 2013. The bill caused a storm of protest from the academic community.

http://imrussia.org/en/society/513-reform-of-the-russian-academy-of-sciences-checkmate-in-two-moves Reform of the Russian Academy of Sciences: Checkmate in Two Moves. 15 July 2013. In late June, radical reforms of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) that presuppose the elimination of the Academy in its current form were approved in a Russian government session. The news shocked the scientific community, triggering an unprecedented storm of protests.

http://samlib.ru/k/kuznecow_d_j/saveras.shtml Dmitrii Kouznetsov. Save Ras. 12/07/2013.

http://save-russian-academy.org/ SAVE RUSSIAN ACADEMY. СПАСИТЕ РАН. (July 2013, in English and in Russian, $> 10^4$ signatures)

Keywords

RAS , RAS reform , Against the RAS reform , Science , Russia