Back in April, 150 universities and scientific research centres from different countries (Germany, France, Brazil, the US) wrote a joint letter to RA President Serzh Sargsyan, RA Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan, and RA Minister of Economy Tigran Davtyan, expressing their support for the Yerevan Physics Institute (YerPhI), which might be made into a foundation.
In the letter, the scientists urged government officials not to “destroy” the physics institute.
Despite this letter, the Armenian government discussed the issue of turning the institute into a foundation at its meeting today.
On this matter, Epress.am spoke with senior researcher at YerPhI Ara Sedrakyan. According to him, the new foundation will be led by former RA Minister of Economy Nerses Yeritsyan (pictured).
“He’s had no discussion with us; we found out by accident that they have such plans. The foundation will become a private institution, because decisions will be made by a Board of Trustees. They are going to try to get grants, earn money. The Board of Trustees can change everything and since they’re not professionals, we can’t say what will happen. Yeritsyan generally knows nothing about the fundamental sciences; he half-heartedly learned a few things abroad. He’s an economist, the former minister of economy, and now he’s an employee of the Central Bank — who knows why he decided to get involved in physics. He’s someone who’s received an incomplete education; from a logical point of view, he clearly has problems,” said Sedrakyan.
The YerPhI senior researcher noted that recently, physicists sent a letter to the Armenian prime minister and after that it can assumed that the process was halted.
“But know this, it will become a topic of discussion at today’s regular government meeting. The employees will stay, but this is a matter of time, since there, with the creation of a foundation, the fundamental sciences will go, since fundamental science does not have the status of a foundation. It has to be either sponsored by the state or not at all,” he said.
According to Sedrakyan, the physicists’ representatives will attempt to meet with the prime minister today to discuss the issue. If they are unable to achieve success in Armenia, they are prepared to appeal to international centre and universities for assistance.