Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Russian Scholars Rally Against Science Academy Reform

Several dozen Russian scholars and their supporters protested against plans to reform the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow on Tuesday, as lawmakers met to discuss the proposed changes. The reform initiative, which was rolled back Tuesday from the third to the second reading in the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament, proposes passing control over the 400-plus research institutions under the Russian Academy of Sciences to a government agency. Critics say this would cripple research. As protesters rallied outside, work on the bill continued in the Duma on Tuesday, and a crucial second reading was proposed for Wednesday. City police estimated the turnout at 150, including journalists, while academy member Valery Rybakov, an expert on quantum theory who took part in the protest, told Kommersant daily about 500 demonstrators came.

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