External Members’ Call for Resignations
to Protest Hungarian Government?s Assault on Democracy
In Hungary today democracy is under a dark cloud that is seriously threatening freedom of expression, human rights and even the rule of law. As External Members of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (HAS), we are witnessing with alarm and dismay the relentless and unchecked deterioration of social freedom and justice under Hungary?s current government. We feel that the Academy has the responsibility and the historical duty to raise its voice in defense of freedom and justice in Hungary. Failure to do so would be to miss its higher calling.
The undersigned External Members have accordingly chosen to resign from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences to protest the Hungarian government?s assault on democracy but also to support and underscore the fundamental mission of the Academy and its members, as expressed unambiguously in the Open Letter from 28 Internal Members to the President of the Academy on October 14th 2016 requesting:
“that the Academy [should] initiate substantive discussion as soon as possible about the anti-democratic developments in Hungary, especially freedom of the press, and that the Academy should take part in the exploration of issues important for the whole of society?
We extend here a general call for External Members of the Academy to join us in resigning in protest against the Orban regime and its repressive policies. This call is addressed only to External Members, not to Internal Members, who might otherwise risk a fate comparable to that of the staff of Hungary?s largest independent newspaper, Népszabadság, often critical of the government, whose operation was abruptly terminated without warning or justification on October 8th 2016.
This open manifesto will appear online at the Hungarian Spectrum website (hosted by Éva Balogh, Professor of History Emerita of Yale University and archived by the US Library of Congress). External Members of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences are invited to resign by sending an explicit letter of resignation by email to the President of the Academy, Professor Lászlo Lovász email@example.com along with a CC to firstname.lastname@example.org. Once your identity and intention to resign have been confirmed, your name will be added to the list below.
(For those who would like to consult a comprehensive, detailed legal analysis of the Orban regime?s depredations from 2010 until May 2016, an expert report is available here [link to come].)
Dennett, Daniel, Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy & Co-Director Center for Cognitive Studies, Tufts University (resigned HAS 17 October 2016)
Harnad, Stevan, Professor of Psychology, Université du Québec à Montréal, Professor of Cognitive Science, University of Southampton, UK (resigned HAS 8 October 2016)
Jovin, Thomas, Director Emeritus, Laboratory of Cellular Dynamics, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry (resigned HAS 8 October 2016)
Pecht, Israel, Dr. Morton and Anne Kleiman Professor of Chemical Immunology, Weizmann Institute of Science (resigned HAS 11 October 2016)
Wiesel, Torsten, Nobel Laureate, Physiology or Medicine, 1981, President Emeritus, Rockefeller University (resigned HAS, 17 October 2016)