KNF with concern about the initiative of the President of the Republic of Poland regarding the Copernican Academy
KNF shared the concerns expressed by the chairmen of the committees of Department I of the Polish Academy of Sciences related to the submission by the President of the Republic of Poland to the Sejm of the draft act on the Copernican Academy. On March 25, 2022, the Committee endorsed the chairmen’s position, which noted that “it is not the right time to undertake such initiatives in the shadow of the tragedy of war, without consulting the community.”
The supported position also recalled that “the academic community, gathered in the Committees of the Polish Academy of Sciences, has already opposed opposed this initiative in April 2021, perceiving it as a threat to the independence of Polish science and the continued existence of the Polish Academy of Sciences.” “We fully maintain this position. We also share the voice of the Warsaw Scientific Society expressed in the resolution of March 16, 2002 and we call for the withdrawal from further proceedings on this Act and the withdrawal of the project from the Sejm” – wrote the chairmen of the committees of Division I.
The Committee condemns Russia’s aggression and supports a sovereign Ukraine
The Committee of Philosophical Sciences of the Polish Academy of Sciences, in its resolution of February 25, 2022, supported the statement of the academic community of February 24, 2022 in connection with Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
The statement condemned the attack on our neighbor and the use of violence against Ukraine. Full solidarity with the entire Ukrainian nation and support for Ukraine as a sovereign state were also expressed. Assistance was also declared and the authorities of the Ministry of Education and Science were asked to support Ukrainian scientists, doctoral students and students.
The statement was signed by the President of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Chairman of the Conference of Rectors of Academic Schools in Poland, as well as representatives of other organizations representing scientists, doctoral students and students.
The Committee supported the statement on changes to the Education Law
The Committee on Philosophical Sciences (KNF) of the Polish Academy of Sciences supported the statement of the Committee of Pedagogical Sciences (KNPed) of the Polish Academy of Sciences of January 16, 2022 on the act amending the Education Law (Prawo oświatowe) and other acts adopted by the Lower Chamber of the Polish Parliament on January 13, 2022.
KNPed addressed this statement to the President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda. The Committee asked the President of the Republic of Poland not to sign this act and to start talks with the community about the shape of the education system. The Committee assures that it is ready to continue the dialogue and cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science. The full text of the statement is available on the Committee’s website: https://knped.pan.pl/
The resolution on the support of this position was adopted by the KNF on January 25, 2022.
The Committee supported the appeal in defense of the “Memorial” Association
The Committee of Philosophical Sciences of the Polish Academy of Sciences supported the appeal in defense of the Association “Memorial” presented by the Committee of Historical Sciences of the Polish Academy of Sciences in the resolution of January 20, 2022.
The appeal contains a protest against the verdict of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation ordering the liquidation of the International Association of Historical, Educational, Charitable and Defense of Human Rights “Memorial” and a call to discontinue “further steps aimed at destroying” its achievements, positive consideration of the appeal and allowing “further unhindered action”. In its resolution, KNH emphasizes the great importance of the association and assures its founders, employees and volunteers of solidarity and gratitude. The Committee also asks you to contribute to the defense of this organization.
The KNF’s support was expressed in the unanimously adopted resolution on January 25, 2022.
The Committee supported the opinion of the Committee on Demographic Sciences of the Polish Academy of Sciences
The Committee on Philosophical Sciences (KNF) of the Polish Academy of Sciences supported the opinion of the Presidium of the Committee on Demographic Sciences (KND) of the Polish Academy of Sciences on the parliamentary draft act on the Polish Institute of Family and Demography. The KNF adopted a resolution on this matter on December 7, 2021.
The aforementioned draft was prepared by a group of Members of Parliament without conducting public consultations, “without a diagnosis of how the current institutions supporting the shaping and implementation of population policy work by providing evidence and the appropriate quality of knowledge” and “without findings on the effects of the proposed regulations on their functioning”. Furthermore, as the representatives of the KND further note, “the project of establishing the Polish Institute of Family and Demography as a new institution located outside the already existing scientific structures raises serious substantive and financial concerns”.
In addition to general comments, the KND Presidium also formulated 9 specific reservations and recommendations aimed at “increasing the rank of scientific population research”. The full text of the opinion is available on the KND website at: http://knd.pan.pl/index.php?lang=en
Meeting with the Editors-in-Chief on the scoring of journals
On October 1, 2021, the Committee on Philosophical Sciences (Komitet Nauk Filozoficznych, KNF) of the Polish Academy of Sciences organized a meeting with the Editors-in-Chief of philosophical scientific journals. Its purpose was to share experiences and formulate possible proposals related to journal scoring. At the end of the meeting, a significant number of editors decided that the proposal in this regard should be formulated by the KNF.
The meeting was prompted by the statement on September 1 this year, uttered by the Minister of Education and Science prof. Przemysław Czarnek, who announced that the score would be raised. In a radio broadcast, Minister Czarnek said then: “All editors of scientific journals who would like to raise points of their scientific journals, I invite you to submit motivated and justified applications to the ministry, because at the end of this month and at the turn of October there will be another campaign to raise points of Polish journals”. Therefore, at the September plenary session, members of the Committee decided that it would be good to discuss the matter among the editors of philosophical magazines.
The meeting was attended by representatives of 25 scientific journals. They exchanged opinions both on the evaluation criteria (qualitative and quantitative) and the formula in which to submit proposals to MEiN in this regard. They indicated numerous advantages and disadvantages of various solutions. As part of the voice supported by a large part of the gathered, that such a proposal should be presented by the KNF, there was also an appeal for the Committee to indicate which journals should be scored higher and to submit such a request to the ministry. The chairman of the KNF undertook to present this voice to the KNF Presidium.
The Presidium decided that the KNF was not able to responsibly assess the journals in terms of quality in an accelerated procedure and prepare a reliable proposal to raise the scores of journals that deserve it. The Presidium indicated that there was too much risk that the result of such a hastily action might not be reliable, and that such a proposal could further increase the tensions in the academic community related to the recent changes in the scoring.
However, in line with the main conclusion of the meeting, the Committee will develop criteria for expert evaluation of journals that could be used in the future. Such criteria will include both formal elements (such as indexing in databases or assigning DOI identifiers) and substantive aspects (e.g. scientific quality of articles, impact of articles on the discipline).
A statement on the situation at the Pedagogical University of Cracow
The Committee discussed the situation at the Pedagogical University of Cracow on June 18, 2021. The Committee adopted a statement in which serious concern connected with dismissal of professors was expressed.
Joint resolution on the National Copernican Program
The Scientific and Problem Committees operating at Department I – Humanities and Social Sciences of the Polish Academy of Sciences issued a joint resolution concerning the idea of the so-called National Copernican Program (NPK). The Committees pointed out the threat that the announcement of the establishment of such a body poses to the independence of Polish science and the continued existence of the Polish Academy of Sciences. The resolution was published on April 16, 2021 on the PAN website.
Opposition to the procedure for introducing changes to the list of scientific journals and peer-reviewed conference materials
The Committee on Philosophical Sciences strongly opposes the procedure of introducing changes to the list of scientific journals and peer-reviewed conference materials by the Minister of Education and Science on February 9, 2021.
The list contains changes that are assessed by the Polish academic community, including The Conference of Rectors of Academic Schools in Poland, as arbitrary and unlawful. In the opinioin of The Committee of Philosophical Sciences, due to the requirement of transparent shaping of a stable scientific policy and in light of the applicable law, the list should be changed only as a result of the applicable procedures, and the grounds for changes should be made public. The changes introduced in the list are assessed by the Committee not only as illegal, but also as deeply unfair, as they undermine the principles of objective evaluation in science. They also undermine confidence in the stability and objectivity of the research evaluation system, and threaten the autonomy of research.
It should be noted that journals of particular importance for culture, society and economy should be evaluated not by changing the scores of scientific journals, but by developing appropriate impact indicators, indicating their importance in the evaluation of scientific units. This also applies to journals of a journalistic nature that have been wrongly included in the list as philosophical journals, even though they do not have the nature of peer-reviewed scientific publications at all. The Committee is concerned about the lack of a proper response to other voices of protest regarding the shape of the published list by the ministry.