In DepthHigher Education

Hungarian science troubled by nationalism

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Science  11 May 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6389, pp. 584-585
DOI: 10.1126/science.360.6389.584

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  • RE: Hungarian science troubled by nationalism
    • Sándor Nagy, Professor Emeritus of Surgical Research, University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary

    This article by Kata Karáth is a piece from the troubled psyche of a hapless political activist who admittedly hates being born Hungarian. It has nothing to do with Hungarian science. It is pure political propaganda. It is unworthy of publication in one of the most prestigious scientific journals in the world.
    A follow-up article in which you ask the opinion of a scientist about Hungarian science seems to me highly desirable. Many scientists in and outside Hungary could provide a meaningful opinion on this topic.This would be in line with keeping up the objective approach befitting Science as a leading journal of science.
    Sándor Nagy
    Emeritus Professor of Surgical Research, University of Szeged, Szeged Hungary

    Competing Interests: None declared.
  • RE: Hungarian science troubled by nationalism
    • Geza Fogarasi, Professor of Chemistry, emeritus, Institute of Chemistry, Eotvos Lorand University, Budapest

    As a scientist and regular reader of SCIENCE, I was shocked by seeing that this prestigious journal has given space to Karáth’s article. Her paper has nothing to do with science, it is political opinion, and an extremely biased one. Ask another person (a scientist, not a journalist like the author) and you may get just the opposite view. Nationalism has indeed been strong in Hungary as the ideology of independence fights; and led, for example, to the uprising against the Soviets in 1956. In recent decades nationalism has obtained a negative connotation in Europe, especially in the view of politicians of the European Union. But look at the Americans, with every second home proudly hoisting the national flag. Karáth apparently hates her own country: in a recent (March 7) The Guardian paper she writes “my nationality resembles a nasty skin disease that I want to scrub off.” Can I expect objective opinion from a person with this sentiment? And, anyway: what has nationalism to do with science, true, objective science?

    Geza Fogarasi
    Professor emeritus of theoretical chemistry

    Competing Interests: None declared.

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