Serbia’s science academy decries ‘catastrophic state of science’, demands government action


The Serbian Academy of Science and Arts has said it would write to the prime minister calling for him to host an urgent meeting to solve the 'catastrophic situation in science'.

The decision to send the letter, announced this week (20 May), followed a meeting of representatives from the academy, universities, research institutes and the national body for science.

The academy has called for a meeting with the prime minister to critically discuss the state of science in Serbia and come up with recommendations for a long-term solution to forming Serbia's science policy.

The announcement says that science budget cuts this year mean it will be impossible to carry on with programmes and international collaborations that have already begun, or to engage the most talented young scientists in research. The reduction in funds for science and technological development will have grave consequences, says the statement, which also criticises "rushed and improvised" moves that undermine stability for science and science policy in the country.

The announcement follows a series of budget cuts or delays this year, amidst the financial crisis, which have already had an impact on funding for researchers' access to papers, the science popularisation center Petnica, and Serbia's membership in CERN.

Some research institutes, including the academy, have seen their funding halved since 2012.

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