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Move to Block Membership

As applications for entry into the Russian Academy of Sciences are considered, the New York Times reports that a group of Russian researchers are circulating a list of colleagues who support the war in Ukraine in order to block their membership.

The Times adds that while many top university officials, often administrator, signed a letter supporting Russia's war in Ukraine, many academic researchers have opposed it, noting that about 8,000 Russian researchers and science journalists signed a different letter in opposition to the war.

This new list, academics tell the Times could affect who is elected to the academy, a nonprofit network of research institutions with almost 1,900 Russian members and about 450 nonvoting international members. New members, it adds, are elected every three years. "Most of the scientific community is definitely antiwar," Alexander Nozik from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology who was not involved in creating the list, tells it. "Being in such a list could significantly reduce chances to be elected."

Some academics note that the prestige associated with the academy has fallen in recent years, due to some institutions being moved to the education ministry and due to a spate of plagiarism scandals, the Times adds.

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