The Academy of Romanian Scientists protests against political misinformation about the institution’s budget

0
188

The Academy of Romanian Scientists expresses its disagreement and indignation at the acts of misinformation undertaken by certain political forces regarding the draft budget of the institution for 2022. Beyond the political meaning of these steps, led by political forces that have made a project out of discrediting and dismantling, in the spirit of respect for the truth, AOSR makes a number of clarifications on the matter.

Following a furious campaign from a certain part of the political spectrum, which threw into the public arena biased statements, lies and slander against the Academy of Romanian Scientists, our institution has been excluded from state budget funding in 2020. In the first year of the pandemic, the AOSR continued its work with its own resources, at the limit of survival, under a zero budget, determined by political interests focused on the dismantling of the institution. Each of the arguments invoked bore the mark of fake news, with the aggravating circumstance of the political project of dismantling a leading institution of the Romanian academic and scientific environment.

In 2021, through the budget law, we have also been allocated a zero budget. At the request of the People’s Advocate, the Constitutional Court of Romania ruled that the non-granting of budget funding to AOSR was unconstitutional. As a result of this decision, AOSR received a budget grant of 3.5 million lei for the fourth quarter of the year.

According to the draft budget for the year 2022, the Academy of Romanian Scientists is to benefit from a funding from the state budget of 9.5 million lei. Compared to the amount allocated for a single semester in 2021, 3.5 million lei, the projected annual budget for 2022 shows a significant reduction.

Under these circumstances, the disinformation campaign, carried out by the same political bodies, continues to spread false allegations designed to manipulate public opinion and generate confusion. According to some recent outlier allegations disseminated in the media, In an unspeakable stylistic untruth, the AOSR would receive a much larger budget than the previous one, increased by 232%. Profoundly false, a calculation made either with ignorance of the real data or in bad faith. The reality corresponds to the above: the projected budget for AOSR in 2022 includes a decrease in relation to the amount for one semester in 2021 mathematically extended to the whole year.

In the spirit of truth, in defence of a history of almost a century and of the dignity of an institution which has brought together and brings together in its structures prestigious personalities of Romanian and international science, including nine NOBEL winners, Academy of Romanian Scientists will not succumb to political pressure, to smear campaigns – through generalising speculation, lies and slander – and dismantling as a political project and will immediately react in all the ways available to it by academic morality, common sense and the law. Past and present AOSR – an institution for which its results speak for themselves, the volume and quality of its scientific output, the number of citations, its high performance in international rankings such as SCIMAGO – provide solid arguments for existence and development in terms of excellence and performance of an institution that contributes to the development and prestige of the country through science, research and education.

Scientific Presidium of the Academy of Romanian Scientists