"Stupid and ignorant": scientific workers opposed the Educational activities Act

"Stupid and ignorant": scientific workers opposed the Educational activities Act
"Stupid and ignorant": scientific workers opposed the Educational activities Act
12 January 2021, 09:10Society
On the first working day of the new year, representatives of the Russian scientific community appealed to human rights defenders with a complaint about the State Duma's draft law on the regulation of educational activities, adopted by the State Duma in the first reading.

It is assumed that now officials will decide who and how to educate.

Yulia ARKHIPOVA , human rights activist

As follows from the petition received in The Russian Association of Human Rights Advocates, “regulation” can cause irreparable harm to the development of science, new research and will call into question any new discoveries both in the humanitarian sphere, in particular in the field of history, and in the exact sciences.

The bill is submitted to the State Duma November 18, and until the end of 2020, according to information on the official website of parliament, passed the first reading. It is proposed to give the federal government bodies, which are responsible for education, the right to coordinate the participation of schools and universities in international cooperation "by issuing appropriate conclusions".

Russian scientists demand to prevent further passage of the bill, as there is a serious danger that the "conclusions" of officials will not affect pseudoscience and pseudoscientists, but will become a serious obstacle to the creation of modern scientific schools. In addition, the commission on pseudoscience already exists, and an attempt to duplicate it and regulate the sphere of educational activities will complicate the life of scientists engaged in research in promising and rapidly developing areas.

An extremely negative opinion on the proposed bill was expressed, in particular, by the scientist-popularizer Alexander Panchin:

"An explanatory note to the amendments speaks of the need to create a large set of by-laws and regulations to regulate educational activities, allegedly against - (I quote) - "the uncontrolled implementation of a wide range of propaganda activities by anti-Russian forces in the school and student environment under the guise of educational activities, including those supported from abroad and aimed at discrediting the state policy pursued in the Russian Federation, revising history, undermining the constitutional order""...

I looked at the text of the amendments and the explanatory note, and one thing is clear from them: the authors have no idea what educational activity is and how it works. Or they understand, but are opponents of such activity in its modern form, considering enlightenment to be hostile to their interests.

Virtually all educational activities that have flourished over the past ten years are carried out by enthusiasts. Bureaucratization, control of this area, the need to coordinate something with officials can only destroy this enthusiasm. Not a single person engaged in educational activities has asked for such an interest from the state.

A situation of absurdity is modeled, which will become possible after the adoption of the amendments: for example, physicist Kip Thorn arrives at the Physics Department of Moscow State University for work, the Trajectory Foundation invites him to give a lecture, Thorn agrees, and then the foundation is closed because they did not submit an application in advance with the lecture theses and a printout of the presentation to the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation.

Daria Khalturina, sociologist, anthropologist, public figure:

"The authors of the bill, obviously, are infinitely far from science, do not imagine the volume of scientific activity in Russia and what they doom the Ministry of Education and Science and, most importantly, science to. Everything necessary has long been regulated by Russian legislation on extremist activities, state secrets, etc. This law is simply redundant and at the same time destructive, not to mention the violation of the right to freedom of expression. The draft law essentially gives the regulation to the government".

Mikhail Gelfand, Russian bioinformatist, doctor of biological sciences: - The law is stupid and illiterate. Its consistent application is impossible, and the selective one hangs the threat of punishment over anyone engaged in educational activities - from lecturers and event organizers to libraries and clubs that have become the venues of these events.

Valeria Udalova, transhumanist, general director of a cry company:

"These amendments are introduced by people who represent the bloc of "hawks" and conservatives in the State Duma of the Russian Federation. Regarding the concern expressed by the authors of the amendments: one thing is to encroach on power, another is to defend and promote science. Our government is not against science, on the contrary, it is deeply for scientific -technical development of the country. Moreover, in rather advanced industries. But this does not exclude the possibility that there may be a group of deputies who will defend some amendments, even contrary to the state course. This is the very case. A group of hawk deputies who are not at all they are not connected with progress, they are promoting something that seemed suitable for them to advance their careers, they are misleading other MPs with their pseudo-patriotic position and promoting amendments directed against development, and therefore against the interests of our country".

Sergey Popov, astrophysicist, author of the petition against the proposed amendments:

"Despite the criticism of the project from well-known scientists, popularizers, science journalists, including speeches at the so-called. zero hearings in the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation at the end of December, the document passed the first reading in the Duma. The adoption of the amendments will open the way for a number of restrictive measures that will negatively affect the popularization activities in our country. Many educational projects, based primarily on the enthusiasm of their participants, may end up in danger of disappearing due to the appearance of numerous bureaucratic requirements, the need for licensing, coordination of the content of each lecture, etc. Until January 21, you can still influence the situation. We demand to withdraw the amendments to the law, to take into account the voice of the educational community and the millions of Russians who make up the audience for popular science lectures and festivals. Laws should help education, not hinder it!"

Maria Arkhipova (Bast), Chairman of the Russian Bar Association for Rights human:

"Of course, the initiative proposed by the legislators raises concern, as it contains signs of violation of the right to freedom of speech and freedom of creative, scientific activity. A scientist should not coordinate his position and his lectures with officials, for that and there is freedom of creative and scientific activity, it is it that is the basis for the development of human civilization, no patriotic, no national interests can be an excuse for limiting science and creativity".

Based on the explanatory note to the amendments, it is clear that the meaning of the amendments is not to protect citizens from the negative impact of fraudsters, but to prohibit studying their own history, the history of the indigenous peoples of Russia, studying other points of view, incl. from foreign sources, actually prohibit the research of archeology, history, literature, etc. The position of many scientists sometimes has opposite points of view, this is the meaning of science. The bill proposes, in fact, to ban the search for the truth. We hope that in this context the amendments will not be adopted.

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