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 possible.

Yours sincerely,

Prof. Giovanni F. Bignami
COSPAR President

COSPAR Secretariat
c/o CNES
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