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Several thousand people formed a human chain around the headquarters of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, urging the academy's leaders to fight the government plan and hold onto their independence.Populist Prime Minister Viktor Orban said the government's aim is to improve innovation in scientific research and to have publicly funded research projects create "a direct economic profit".Scientists fear the new financing system being pushed by the Ministry for Innovation and Technology – which takes away basic funding for the research institutes and forces researchers to compete for funds for specific projects – will seek to impose political and ideological goals on their scientific work, while curbing their long-term financial and professional security.Researchers also fear the government could eliminate institutions dedicated to the humanities and social sciences, where direct economic profits may be harder to demonstrate.Orban's government has intervened in academic issues before.
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