Academy of Sciences warns budget cuts in 2015 will damage research

Drastic cuts that appeared in the draft state budget for 2015 force the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAV), the institution claims in an open letter to Prime Minister Robert Fico. The letter calling for support for research in Slovakia was discussed and supported by the scientific councils of the majority of research institutes of SAV and it was also circulated by the Institute of Molecular Biology.

Drastic cuts that appeared in the draft state budget for 2015 force the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAV), the institution claims in an open letter to Prime Minister Robert Fico. The letter calling for support for research in Slovakia was discussed and supported by the scientific councils of the majority of research institutes of SAV and it was also circulated by the Institute of Molecular Biology.

The published draft state budget for 2015 envisages an allocation of €50.5 million for SAV. As the open letter notes, this represents a decrease compared to 2014 by 16.9 percent.

“In practice, this will mean a reduction of payroll spending by 10 percent and a further reduction of non-investment material funding,” the letter states, as quoted by the SITA newswire. The letter further points out that alongside large universities, SAV is the most important centre of science and research in Slovakia.

“SAV employs 11 percent of scientists and researchers in Slovakia, but produces 34 percent of publications to 39 percent of citations, which are the main internationally recognised quality indicators of scientific work,” the SAV letter reads, further pointing out that problematic support of science also applies to universities and grant agencies. “Representatives of the Slovak government have repeatedly proclaimed support for research and development as an integral part of the so-called knowledge-based economy. We call on the government, the Finance Ministry, and the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic not to limit their support to statements for the media, and to make research and development their real priority, as is the case in all developed countries of the world,” the letter concludes.

(Source: SITA)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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