Hungary: Scientists protest govt proposal on research funds

Scientists in Hungary are protesting government efforts to take control of their research funding, a move they say endangers academic freedom.

Several thousand people formed a human chain around the headquarters of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences on Tuesday. They called on academy leaders to fight the government plan and continue its stand for independence.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban said the government's aim is to improve innovation in scientific research and for research projects funded with public money to create "a direct economic profit."

Marton Zaszkaliczky, a research fellow at the Institute for Literary Studies, thinks the government is trying "to control every possible institution in the country."

Institutions that belong to the academy have some 5,000 researchers in a range of disciplines, from medicine and economics to computer science and astronomy.