Miklós Maróth, the former vice president of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA), has been appointed as Chairman of the secretariat management board of the newly formed Eötvös Loránd Research Network (ELKH), the Ministry of Innovation and Technology (ITM) announced on Thursday. The twelve members of the governing body have also been named.
The decision is based on the agreement between Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, László Palkovics, Minister of Innovation and Technology, and László Lovász, the President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
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Established by the Parliament as a central budgetary institution on August 1, 2019, the chairman of this body is Miklós Maróth classical philologist, orientalist, doctor of linguistics, and founding dean of Faculty of Humanities at the Pázmány Péter Catholic University. His mandate is for five years.
A joint decision has also been made regarding the twelve members of the ELKH body responsible for operating the network of the research institute from September 1, the statement points out.
The six members nominated by László Palkovics the Minister of Innovation and Technology:
- Ferenc Mezei – Széchenyi Prize-winning physicist, university professor, full member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA),
- Zita Horváth – Deputy State Secretary for Higher Education,
- György Grűner – Physicist, corresponding member of the MTA, university professor,
- Péter Sótonyi – Széchenyi Prize-winning physician, pathologist, university professor, full member of the MTA,
- Péter Gáspár – Traffic Engineer, corresponding member of the MTA, university professor,
- Miklós Kellermayer – Physician, biophysicist, university professor, full Member of the MTA.
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The other six members were nominated by László Lovász, the president of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA):
- Péter Pál Pálfy – Mathematician, university professor, full member of the MTA,
- Tamás Freund – Széchenyi Prize-winning neurobiologist, university professor, full member of the MTA,
- Veronika Ádám – Széchenyi Prize-winning physician, biochemist, university professor, full member of the MTA,
- József Bokor – Széchenyi Prize-winning electrical engineer, university professor, full member of the MTA,
- Balázs Borsos – Ethnographer, academic advisor, correspondent member of the MTA,
- László Borhy – Archaeologist, historian, university professor, full member of the MTA.
The decision regarding the members is the next step towards the transformation of the organization and the financing of domestic research, the statement says.
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The establishment of the new network system has been heavily criticized by many, most notably the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, as they fear that this is the nationalization of science and it will put an end to academic freedom in Hungary. Despite the domestic and international protest, the parliament finally adopted the bill about the restructuring of the network at the beginning of July.
According to Palkovics, the aim is to make Hungarian science and innovation more competitive, and this change will make the resource distribution more efficient while also increasing the profit generated by the researches. Next year, 32 billion forints (EUR 97.8 million) will be allocated into the ELKH budget, under a recent government decision on Wednesday.
Featured photo by Elekes Andor Derzsi/Wikimedia commons.