Bulgaria Academy of Sciences Demands Education Minister Ousting
The Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS) demands the resignation of Education Minister, Sergey Ignatov, for misleading and misinforming the public.
The request has been made Tuesday through a letter of the BAS General Assembly, issued just hours after Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, and Ignatov visited the Central BAS lab for General Ecology, during which Borisov stated his support for the Academy.
The scientists cite an interview of Ignatov where he says the BAS institutes must become part of the universities, according to the plan created during a Zürich meeting where the future of the European science and education have been discussed. The Minister pointed out then that this will be the common European policy.
BAS had asked the organizers of the meeting – the European Heads of Research Councils (EUROHORCs), if Ignatov's statement really reflects the forum's position.
“The role of the academies had not been a main topic of discussion, but it certainly could have come up during some of the working sessions. The nature of the forum has been such that official documents had not been prepared and will not be published,” the EUROHORCs President had answered.
The answer is the BAS motive to insist Ignatov has misinformed the public in Bulgaria and hurt the Academy by insinuating that significant European institutions are carrying out a policy to close scientific research academies such as BAS.
According to the scientists, the Minister is attempting to avoid any personal responsibility for his consistent anti-BAS efforts, instead of helping the reform.
“Such attitude is unacceptable for a Minister in charge of the scientific research in Bulgaria,” the letter declares.
Ignatov immediately issued an official response, pointing out he does not want the BAS closure, but to artificially merge institutes (as the BAS reform plan provides) could lead to conflicts and not to improvement of the scientific activity. The Minister clarifies that his proposal was to have contracts between the institutes at the Academy and universities and colleges in order to synchronize their plans and use their material base more effectively.
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