Tamás Freund, the newly elected president of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA), said cooperation between science and politics is in Hungary’s interest and communication should be two-way.
According to MTI, Freund pledged to respect excellence in all fields of work regardless of political affiliation. Diversity is key to progress, he said, adding that an academic who saw the world differently was not necessarily a bad scientist. He added, however, that academic debate and competition should happen among the country’s top scientists. “There’s room for criticising the government but it should be done by excellent scientists in the interest of the country on a strictly professional basis," he said.
Freund added that the MTA is a “national treasure”. Mutually beneficial cooperation between science and politics is key to the country’s development, he said.
Freund said he aimed to re-integrate the Academy’s research network into the MTA, which was separated from the institution last year. His first task, however, he said was to build a “working relationship and mutual trust” with the government.
Freund was elected in a 24-hour online ballot at the Academy’s 193rd general meeting ending on Tuesday. He garnered 58.5 percent of the votes.