The paper noted that the various scientific institutions
affiliated with the Academy employ only 17-18 percent of Hungarian
researchers, who, however, produce 32 percent of the country’s
scientific output. And, they could do much better, the paper wrote,
were they managed by effective modern research policy principles
instead of the top-heavy organisational binds currently running the
Academy. Current decision mechanisms involve "innumerable bodies –
presidium, leadership-college, asset management board, supervisory
board, 11 scientific departments with special authorities, regional
committees, and overblown councils of waterlogged brains at each
research facility," Nepszabadsag wrote.
Arguing that the institutions must be kept within the auspices
of the Academy, the paper said that they should be allowed to make
their own decisions, albeit subject to Academy supervision.
The other major issue concerns the legal status of the Academy
of Sciences itself. While theoretically autonomous, its right to
control its own finances depends on governmental benevolence.
Exactly how to handle the Academy is disputed, with some wanting
to treat it as an association, while others see it as an autonomous
national institution with a public calling. In the past, it has
sometimes been treated as a quasi-government agency, which
Nepszabadsag called "legal nonsense."
The paper calls for a new law to govern the Academy as well as a
new charter. As far as the new president is concerned, Nepszabadsag
believes that the establishment of a new ministerial post for
science policy and R+D will end the artificial separation of the two
areas. Choosing Karoly Molnar of the Technical University to head
that post, it wrote finally, is likely to boost the chances of
electing physics professor Jozsef Palinkas to the Academy
presidency, even though he has served as a minister in the
opposition Fidesz party’s government.