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Russian scientists defy push to cede control

Published March 29, 2007


MOSCOW - The Russian Academy of Sciences, the historic home of Russia's brightest scientific minds, rejected a government demand on Wednesday that it cede more control to the state, and instead adopted a charter that preserves its centuries-old autonomy.

The almost unanimous decision by the academy's general assembly sets up a potential clash with the government, which had told the academy to adopt a charter written by officials in the Education and Science Ministry.

The government wants to place the academy, which was founded by Peter the Great in 1724, under the management of a supervisory board on which a majority of members would be appointed by parliament and the presidential administration.

To be valid, the new charter must be approved by the government. There was no immediate word on how it planned to respond.

Academy members rejected the government's plan as a threat to independent scientific research and called it part of a broader trend of increasing official control over critical parts of Russian society.

[Last modified March 29, 2007, 01:48:43]

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