The Synod of the Presidents of Research Centers and Technological Organizations expresses its disagreement with the impending affiliation of the National Observatory of Athens (EAA) to the Ministry of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection with its announcement-letter.
The Summit of the Presidents of Research Centers and Technological Bodies emphasizes in its letter, among other things, that “a network of collaborations and joint initiatives has already been established, many of them of an emblematic dimension, such that the removal of one of its members will cripple and disrupt it significantly its operating mechanisms”.
At the same time, he points out that “Research Centers can only effectively fulfill their role towards the State and society in an academic environment that ensures the conditions for conducting independent and uninfluenced research”, while adding that “their inclusion in a purely operational context negates their mission, dehydrates them and deprives them of the means, but also of the enthusiasm that distinguishes scientists in their quest for new knowledge”.
In addition, he underlines that “the cooperation between Research Centers and Operational Bodies could alternatively be based on the creation of a consultative body, of the OASP type, for issues related to the climate crisis and the subsequent natural disasters, as indeed stipulated in article 41 of Law 4662 /2020, which has not yet been activated. Therefore, there have already been legislative initiatives of the State, which can lead to the intended result, as long as they are activated”.
Furthermore, it states that “in the spring of 2022, official meetings of at least some research bodies (e.g. EAA, ELKETHE) were held with the NSPA staff structure of the Ministry of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection (YKKPP), in which official actors of the ministry also participated. In the meetings, the possibilities that the EC have for cooperation and support of the Ministry were mentioned in detail, without any follow-up”, and he adds that “a few months later there were contacts with Expertise France, which had undertaken to help with the organization of the YKKPP”, as well as meetings with researchers dealing with issues related to Civil Protection and designated by the Research Centers.
However, he points out that “this initiative doesn’t seem to have come anywhere at least to date”.
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Finally, he concludes that “the detachment of the National Observatory of Athens from this research ecosystem has nothing to offer the Greek State and society, on the contrary it will seriously weaken the very important work that it can offer to our country”.