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Przemysław Czarnek criticized Barbara Engelking and the scientists who signed the open letter. The position of the institution from the scientific community

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“We are watching with concern the media statements of the Minister of Education and Science regarding Professor Barbara Engelking and the signatories of the open letter in this matter” – representatives of the scientific community said in a joint statement. They wrote that they perceive Przemysław Czarnek’s statements as “actions threatening the constitutional freedom of speech and the freedom of scientific research and the publication of their results.”

The position was issued jointly by the Conference of Rectors of Academic Schools in Poland (KRASP), the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN), the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences (PAU) and the Central Council of Science and Higher Education (RGNiSW). They were signed – in addition to representatives of these four institutions – by several other bodies.

“We are watching with concern the media statements of the Minister of Education and Science regarding Prof. Barbara Engelking and the signatories of the open letter in this matter” – wrote representatives of the scientific community.

“Particular concern is related to statements announcing sanctions, including financial ones, in relation to institutions whose employees signed the open letter. We perceive this as actions threatening the constitutional freedom of speech and the freedom of scientific research and publishing their results” – we read in the “position” on ensuring the freedom of scientific research”.

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“We believe that this kind of conduct is dangerous for the proper functioning of the higher education system, especially in the current complex economic and geopolitical situation” – added.

Minister Czarnek wants to limit the funds for the Institute of Sociology of the Polish Academy of SciencesThe Minister of Education, Przemysław Czarnek, directly announces that he will turn the financial tap on the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences. This is a response to Prof. Barbara Engelking, director of the Center for Holocaust Research of the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, on the anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. This outraged scientists and opposition politicians. – Minister Czarnek thinks all the time that he spends his money, that it is not public money – comments KO MP Katarzyna Lubnauer.Michael Golebiowski | Facts in the afternoon TVN24

What Professor Engelking said

Professor Barbara Engelking, director of the Center for Holocaust Research of the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, visited “Kropka nad i” on TVN24 on April 19, the anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

80TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE WARSAW GHETTO UPRISING. SEE THE SPECIAL TVN24.PL SERVICE >>>

– The Jews knew what to expect from the Germans. The German was the enemy and this relationship was very clear, black and white, and the relationship with Poles was much more complex – she said, among other things. – Poles had the potential to become allies of the Jews and one could hope that they would behave differently, that they would be neutral, that they would be kind, that they would not take advantage of the situation to such an extent and there would be no such widespread blackmailing – she said.

Minister Czarnek criticizes, scientists protest

These words of Professor Engelking outraged the rulers. They were criticized, among others, by the Minister of Education, Przemysław Czarnek. On April 24, on government television, he said: – I, of course, do not intend to influence the personnel policy of the Institute of Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences in any way – this is not my role. However, I will certainly review my financial decisions, because I will not finance an institute on a larger scale, which supports the kind of people who simply offend Poles.

In turn, scientists reacted to Czarnek’s statement in an open letter signed by over a thousand of them. The protest reads that the minister’s words “arouse deep concern and opposition”. The statement “undermines the freedom of scientific research guaranteed in Article 73 of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland.” ‘Contains a threat against a scientific institution and its management, and bears the hallmarks of an attempt to intimidate researchers dealing with topics inconsistent with the views of politicians,’ the authors wrote.

Everyone is guaranteed the freedom of artistic creation, scientific research and the publication of their results, the freedom to teach, and the freedom to use cultural goods.

The scientists also called for an “immediate cessation of slandering Prof. Barbara Engelking and the community of Holocaust researchers” and “a cessation of threats and financial blackmail that limit the constitutional freedom of scientific research.”

Professor Rychard: Czarnek is already carrying out his threats

Later, on Tuesday, May 9, the head of the MEiN, while hosting Polish Radio 24, again criticized Engelking and repeated the words about “reviewing financial decisions”.

– What Ms Engelking said was intentional, intentional, prepared for this program, had no scientific basis. Therefore, I decided that I would review my financial decisions in relation to the institution where Mrs. Engelking is employed, because state money is not for professors maintained with taxpayers’ money to slander Poland and the good name of Poles, he said. – Please, do it yourself, but for your own money. I will review my financial decisions regarding the type of institutions that employ such people – he added.

He also referred to the protest of scientists. – If under the letter allegedly in defense of the freedom of science – when it has nothing to do with science, it is just slander of the Polish nation by a lady who has no scientific basis for the claims she made – a thousand scientists signed… – said the minister . Dorota Kania, the host of the program, interrupted him and asked if he “saw the names”.

– Of course I saw it. We analyze which universities it comes from, and we will react to it. There is no permission for something that is not science, but is plain anti-Polish rudeness, to be financed with Polish money – replied Czarnek.

>> Scientists protest after Czarnek’s words. Minister: I saw the names. We will respond <<

The next day, the professor Andrzej Rychard, director of the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciencessaid in an interview with TVN24 that the minister “already implements his financial threats” and “cut off some of the additional funding that other institutes received”.

– The good image of Polish science is being destroyed by the censorship of the authorities – said the professor.

The whole conversation with Professor Rychard

The whole conversation with Professor RychardTVN24

Main photo source: PAP/Albert Zawada



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