Four scientists at Russia’s Institute for Theoretical and Experimental Physics (ITEP) resigned in protest after their colleague Alexander Gorsky was fired for attending a workshop at Stony Brook University. As a condition for his attendance, where Gorsky was to deliver a paper published a year earlier, ITEP’s administration allegedly demanded a cooperative agreement with Stony Brooks and a security clearance for the paper. Gorsky refused to comply with these “illegal” and “absurd” demands.
CCS wrote to administrators joining their Russian colleagues demand for Gorsky’s reinstatement.
Dr. Michael Kovalchuk, Director
National Research Center, Kurchatov Institute
1 Akademia Kurchatova Pl.
Moscow 123182, Russian Federation
April 30, 2014
Dear Mr. Kovalchuk:
We write now in concern for Dr. Alexander Gorsky.
Dr. Gorsky was fired from the Institute for Theoretical and Experimental Physics (ITEP) for alleged truancy, according to news reports, after attending a workshop at Stony Brook University in the United States. Gorsky was invited to deliver a paper that had been published a year earlier. His trip was paid by a research grant and Stony Brook.
As a condition for authorizing Gorsky’s trip, the reports allege, ITEP’s administration demanded a cooperative agreement between Stony Brook University and ITEP, as well as a security clearance for the paper Gorsky was to deliver. Gorsky refused to comply with what he deemed to be “illegal” and “absurd” demands. He attended the workshop . Deputy Director Sergei Gorchakov then fired him for “truancy.” Four veteran scientists at ITEP, Drs. Mikhail Vysotsky, Viktor Novikov, Roman Mizyuk and Tagir Aushev resigned in protest, saying that preventing Gorsky’s attendance at the workshop failed to protect the interest of ITEP scientists.
We join our Russian colleagues in protesting what seems to be an arbitrary and unsupported action against Dr. Gorsky. His attendance at a scientific workshop to which he was invited appears to be a part of his professional duties and to be in the interest of ITEP. The international scientific community recognizes the value of international travel for professional reasons. Similarly the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, to which Russia is a signatory, recognizes in Article 15 the benefits of encouraging and developing international contacts and cooperation in science. We therefore urge you to immediately reinstate Alexander Gorsky to his position at ITEP.
Sincerely,Joel L. Lebowitz
Paul H. Plotz
Eugene M. Chudnovsky
Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists
cc: President Vladimir Putin
- Four Leading Physicists Resign After Leading Academic Critic Is Fired By Putin Appointees For “Truancy” (jonathanturley.org)