Dear Mr. Borisov, Prime Minister, Bulgaria,
Dear Mrs. Tsacheva, Chair, Bulgarian Parliament,
I am gravely concerned about cuts in funding to the Bulgarian Academy
of Sciences. If realized, such severe cuts may endanger the very
existence of one of the pillars of Bulgarian science and research.
The Bulgarian Academy of Sciences is perceived throughout the world as
a leading institution in the scientific and cultural tradition of
Europe. Important results have been obtained by this institution in
the fields of interest to the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR).
Further achievements can be expected as there are a number of
world-class space scientists in the Academy. Many of them,
particularly from the Space and Solar-Terrestrial Research Institute
(SSTRI-BAS), take an active role in the work of COSPAR.
Severe restriction of the activities of the Academy of Sciences would
run against the acknowledged fact that sustained long-term expansion
of the economy is impossible without strong science and research.
Drastic budget cuts will preclude Bulgarian scientists from continuing
to contribute to science as they have in the past. In addition, the
success of the Academy provides motivation for young people to choose
careers in science and research. It may take a generation to recover,
if possible at all, from restrictions of the magnitude planned.
I am firmly convinced that further development of the Academy of
Sciences is in the best interests of Bulgaria. I urge the Government
of Bulgaria to reconsider the planned cuts and to keep the funding of
the Academy of Sciences at a level that will make this development
Prof. Giovanni F. Bignami
2 place Maurice Quentin
75039 Paris cedex 01, France
Tel: +33 (0)1 44 76 75 10
Fax: +33 (0)1 44 76 74 37