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What is human-level mathematical reasoning?

William Thurston speaking at Harvard in 2007.

Mathematics is unpredictable. That’s what makes it exciting. New things happen. William Thurston, May 14, 2007

It’s a gloomy, rainy, almost wintry day in Paris, which I don’t always love when it drizzles, and I’m starting to write the next entry in this newsletter, trying to figure out what, if anything, Christian Szegedy had in mind when he predicted, as I reported a few weeks ago, that “Autoformalization could enable the development of a human level mathematical reasoning engine in the next decade.” Is there exactly one “human level”? The expression is common among the knights of the artificial intelligence community, whose grail is something called “human level general AI.”

Part 1 of the text continues.

Intelligent Computer Mathematics vs. Intelligent Mathematics

Part I: A review of Christian Szegedy’s “Promising Path”

“Grothendieck’s way of writing is based on an atypical conception of mathematics, described and theorized in texts [that] vigorously bear witness to the unavoidable poetic aspect that motivates scientific work and the surplus of meaning that formalization believes should be eliminated, although this surplus is precisely where the essence of mathematical thought lies.”                 (F. Patras, La pensée mathématique contemporaine, Introduction)1

This week and the next I compare two perspectives on the “the surplus of meaning” and “the essence of mathematical thought,” both implicit in texts about mathematics:  the first by a prominent exponent and prophet of “intelligent computer mathematics,” the second by a prominent number theorist.  It would be too easy to say that the first text takes the position that there is no surplus and that the “essence of mathematical thought” resides in formalization and nothing more, while the second text exemplifies the surplus of meaning as well as what one reviewer of Karen Olsson’s book The Weil Conjectures (to which we return in Part II) called “the poetry and precision of a theorem.”  What, after all, is an “essence”?  Philosophers have worried about this for millenia, with some interruption, asking for example in what sense the essence of Socrates resembles that of being an even prime number, and have failed to arrive at consensus on the essence of “essence.”  The whole confusing history is recorded in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy’s entry on “Essential vs Accidental Properties” (which, troublingly, includes no references in French).

The complete text has been published on my Silicon Reckoner Substack newsletter.

A Portrait of Jacques Rancière in Fruit Stickers

Several footnotes in MWA quote the philosopher Jacques Rancière’s Aisthesis:

Jacques Rancière writes that “Art exists as an autonomous sphere of production and experience since History exists as a concept of collective life” and dates this existence back to the mid-18th century…. Replacing Art by (small-m) mathematics in the above sentence, it says that the existence of mathematics as a self-conscious tradition-based practice is tied up with its projection in history, which is consistent with the themes of Chapter 2. The timing for mathematics may be different.

(note 70 to Chapter 3)

The questions of where (or whether) to draw the line between art and technique, or between the artist and the artisan, dominate many of the aesthetic debates of the 19th and 20th centuries, as reconstructed in (Rancière 2011).

(note 40 to Chapter 8)

For the educational benefits of the arts in France, see (Rancière 2011), Chapter 8, especially pp. 173-175. The aesthetic theorists Rancière treats in this chapter, which covers a period stretching from Ruskin through the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900 to the Bauhaus, have in common a vision of art as “the power to order the forms of individual life and those in which the community expresses itself as community in a single spiritual unity” (p. 178). This ethic of art is much more familiar than the model on which Hardy draws and it is hard to imagine its application to mathematics in any way.

(note 18 to Chapter 10)

But Rancière’s influence on MWA is pervasive in the chapters that attempt to characterize what mathematics has in common with the arts, and goes well beyond what is contained in these few quotations. So I am pleased to share this portrait, created by the French artist who goes by the name Chaix et les étiquettes, at the request of a group of the philosopher’s admirers.

Chaix’s portraits are composed entirely of stickers that he collects surreptitiously, by the hundreds, during visits to the fruit departments of local supermarkets. The detail below reveals that the red background was liberated from a batch of pears, whereas the philosopher’s wavy white hair originally enlivened a stack of Royal Gala apples. The blue eyes are too blurry for me to read.

Does mathematics “progress”?

American Progress, 1872 painting by John Gast; this image is available from the United States Library of Congress‘s Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID ppmsca.09855.

An updated and expanded version of this post has been published at Silicon Reckoner. Comments on the new version are welcome below.

Mechanization of mathematics, at least in certain aspects, has been welcomed as “progress,” notably in a comment on this blog. Most readers of this blog, I suspect, will embrace the “progressive” label, if the alternative is what is being promoted on the Killing Obama’s Radical Progressive Agenda Facebook page. Nevertheless, as the above image reminds us, the notion of “progress” in its current usage is so thoroughly entwined with technological determinism, European colonialism, genocide, and environmental devastation, that it is a struggle to find an interpretation of the word, applicable to mathematics, whose connotations are unequivocally positive.

The OED traces the first use of the word, in the (originally metaphorical) sense of

Advancement to a further or higher stage, or to further or higher stages successively; growth; development, usually to a better state or condition; improvement…

to 1457 in the Acts of Parliament of Scotland, in the sentence

Sen Gode..hes send oure souerane lorde sik progres and prosperite, that [etc.].

The word’s current use evolved from the mid-18th through 19th centuries, from the Enlightenment through the Industrial Revolution. The OED quotes Benjamin Franklin using the word in 1780. In 1794 the Marquis de Condorcet wrote his Sketch for a Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Mind, “perhaps the most influential formulation of the idea of progress ever written” according to Wikipedia, while hiding on the “rue des Fossoyeurs” (the present-day rue Servandoni) in Paris from the warrant for his arrest issued by the Convention. (By dying in prison, Condorcet escaped the guillotine, “a symbol of the penal, technological and humanitarian progress inspired by the Enlightenment” according to the Open University website.) In the 19th century “progress” was a watchword for thinkers as diverse as Hegel, Comte, Marx and Engels (“entire sections of the ruling class are, by the advance of industry, precipitated into the proletariat [… and] also supply the proletariat with fresh elements of enlightenment and progress”), Darwin, and Herbert Spencer (“the civilized man departs more widely from the general type of the placental mammalia than do the lower human races“).

Gast’s painting is one illustration of the principle, that was generally accepted by European colonizers, including the American settlers, and given clear expression by the German Rudolf Cronau in 1896:

The current inequality of the races is an indubitable fact. Under equally favorable climatic and land conditions the higher race always displaces the lower, i.e., contact with the culture of the higher race is a fatal poison for the lower race and kills them…. [American Indians] naturally succumb in the struggle, its race vanishes and civilization strides across their corpses…. Therein lies once again the great doctrine, that the evolution of humanity and of the individual nations progresses, not through moral principles, but rather by dint of the right of the stronger.

Rudolf Cronau, in Friedrich Hellwald, Kulturgeschichte in ihrer natürlichen Entwickelung, 4th ed., 4 vols. (Leipzig: Friesenhahn, 1896 ), IV: 615-16

Other colonial powers used the notion of progress in similar ways. Gast’s painting is well-known but I only became aware of it last month, when I watched Raoul Peck’s indispensable four-part documentary Exterminate all the Brutes, whose title is a quotation from the character Kurtz in Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, characterized as “an emissary of pity and science and progress, and devil knows what else.” “By the simple exercise of our will we can exert a power for good practically unbounded,” Kurtz said, a few lines before arriving at the words that served as Peck’s title. This was the intellectual matrix in which Hitler formed his world view. The word “progress,” in expressions like “human progress” or “progress of mankind,” appears dozens of times in Mein Kampf. A typical example:

“Not through [the Jew] does any progress of mankind occur.”

Mein Kampf, Chapter XI.

Now that Godwin’s law has been reconfirmed, possibly for the first but certainly not for the last time, in connection with mechanization of mathematics, I can quickly come to the point of this post, which is to draw attention to the questions that are not being asked when the desirability or feasibility of mechanization of mathematics is under debate. Arundhati Roy asked one such question in her first non-fiction book, about the Narmada Dam project:

How can you measure progress if you don’t know what it costs and who has paid for it?

Arundhati Roy, The Cost of Living, Random House of Canada, 1999

Twenty years after the book’s publication, when the dam has submerged at least 178 villages in Madhya Pradesh, Tina Stevens and Stuart Newman defended the precautionary principle as protection from the “hidden agendas of BioTechnical science”:

Precaution does not derail progress; rather, it affords us the time we need to ensure we progress in socially, economically, and environmentally just ways.

Tina Stevens and Stuart Newman, Biotech Juggernaut, Routledge, 2019

Most of the mathematicians and philosophers who promote mechanization are perfectly candid about their agendas, and cannot be suspected of genocidal tendencies. But the potential implications of the widespread adoption of technological solutions to perceived mathematical problems — “what it [will] cost… and who [will pay] for it,” not to mention the question of who stands to benefit — are simply not being acknowledged.

This post is meant to be the first of a series of texts exploring these questions and the reasons for the absence of any sustained discussion of these issues on the part of mathematicians, in contrast to the very visible public debate about the promises and dangers of AI. Much of MWA was devoted to a critique of the notion of “usefulness” in mathematics when, as is nearly always the case, it is not accompanied by a close examination of the perspectives in which an application of mathematics may or may not be seen as “useful.” The similarities with the intended critique of the uncritical use of the word “progress” are evident, but now I want to keep focused on the ideology surrounding mechanization — mechanical proof verification and automated theorem proving, in particular. So the plan is to continue this discussion in a different venue, and gradually to phase out this blog, as I have already tried and failed to do once before.

Freedom for Azat Miftakhov!

miftahov_0

To quote the petition that you are all invited to sign:

In February of 2019, the Moscow State University mathematics PhD student Azat Miftakhov was arrested and detained for manufacturing explosives. Later these charges were dropped. As soon as he was released, he was arrested and detained for another unrelated crime: breaking a window in the office of United Russia, the ruling political party in the Russian Federation. We, along with the international civil rights society Memorial, consider Azat to be a political prisoner, unfairly framed due to his anarchist views. The court extended his pre-trial period multiple times — a year and a half in total — without reason. Law enforcement officials have tortured him, restricted his access to scientific literature, and threatened his relatives’ personal safety.

The Société Mathématique de France published an update on December 21, and called for its membership to sign the petition:

Le procès d’Azat Miftakhov approche de sa conclusion. Les débats sont prévus le 23 décembre. Le verdict devrait tomber peu de temps après.

Le 14 novembre 2020, la SMF a exprimé sa profonde préoccupation face à la détention prolongée  du jeune probabiliste et activiste politique russe qui fut  incarcéré début février 2019. Il est resté emprisonné depuis et a été torturé. Azat Miftakhov est accusé d’avoir cassé une vitre dans un bureau de la “Russie unie”, le parti politique  au pouvoir. Il plaide non coupable.

UPDATE: Azat faces sentencing tomorrow (January 11). This article published in Novaya Gazeta refers to this letter to the organizers of the ICM, and to this letter by the President of the AMS. The petition has meanwhile been signed by more than 2700 mathematicians, and Azat has received support from the Unione Matematica Italiana and the Sociedade Brasileira de Matemática.

Ivar Ekeland’s letter on anti-Black racism

I copy this post from (mathematician and economist) Ivar Ekeland‘s letter to the presidents of the Société Mathématique de France and the Société de Mathématiques Appliquées et Industrielles, published on the Médiapart website .  For those who don’t read French online translations capture the meaning surprisingly well.

Ce 10 juin est une journée internationale de grève pour marquer la volonté des universitaires et des chercheurs de lutter contre le racisme antinoir dans leurs rangs. Le mouvement est parti des Etats-Unis sous les hashtags #ShutDownAcademia, #ShutDownSTEM,  et  partout dans le monde les institutions les plus prestigieuses se sont interrompues pour marquer leur solidarité.  Partout, sauf en France. Pourquoi ? Croit-on vraiment que cela ne nous concerne pas ? J’ai adressé aux présidents des deux sociétés savantes auxquelles j’appartiens, la SMAI (Société de Mathématiques Appliquées et Industrielles) et la SMF (Société Mathématique de France) la lettre suivante. L’AMS (American Mathematical Society) et SIAM (Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics) sont les sociétés correspondantes aux USA.

 

Le 2 Juin, la présidente de l’AMS écrivait à tous les membres de la Société pour marquer le soutien de celle-ci au mouvement populaire qui se développe aux Etats-Unis contre le racisme antinoir et les violences policières. A cette occasion, elle écrit « We must accept the shared responsibility of changing our world for the better, and examining our own biases as part of that ». Le 3 Juin, la présidente de la SIAM faisait de même et écrivait : « We recognize that we are all accountable for making change happen, and we offer our solidarity to those who are deeply impacted, especially our Black colleagues, students, and staff in the SIAM community ». Le 4, le directeur de l’IAS de Princeton parlait au nom de l’institution : «  At IAS, we all must stand together against racism—in the U.S. and in all parts of the world—and, in our work, strive to be leaders in understanding and dismantling the ways that discrimination and injustice are perpetuated. «

 

Je regrette que ni la SMAI, ni la SMF, ni aucune de nos prestigieuses institutions n’aient jugé bon de prendre une initiative de ce genre. Il y a pourtant bien des raisons de le faire. Le racisme antinoir et les violences policières ne sont pas l’apanage des Etats-Unis, la France en a largement sa part. Je rappelle que la répression violente contre les gilets jaunes a été condamnée par une résolution du Parlement Européen, et que dans son dernier rapport le défenseur des droits, Jacques Toubon, dénonce l’emploi d’armes « non léthales » (ce qui veut dire qu’elles ne tuent pas nécessairement, mais qu’elles peuvent laisser de très graves séquelles) contre des manifestants pacifiques et l’impunité des forces de l’ordre.

 

Quant au racisme antinoir, nous le constatons tous les jours dans nos universités. En cinquante ans de carrière, j’ai rencontré en tout et pour tout trois professeurs d’université noirs – un en France, un aux Etats-Unis, un au Canada. Par contre, chez les appariteurs, les vigiles, et ceux qui nettoient nos bureaux la nuit, ils sont là, et l’habitude fait qu’on ne les remarque même plus.

 

Je vous rassure : il n’y a pas que chez les matheux ! Je me souviens d’avoir discuté avec un collègue économiste. Je lui disais : « Est-ce que tu connais un professeur d’université noir? ». La réponse a été: « Mais qui tu verrais? ». Si nous en sommes au point qu’un professeur ne se rende pas compte que c’est justement là le problème, qu’il n’y a personne parce qu’il n’y a pas de candidat, et qu’il n’y a pas de candidat justement parce qu’il n’y a personne, c’est vraiment que nous sommes malades, et beaucoup plus malades que les Etats-Unis. Eux, au moins, savent qu’il y a un problème et s’en préoccupent.

 

Je pense que la SMAI, et la SMF, et les autres sociétés savantes françaises, devraient prendre exemple sur l’AMS, et proclamer comme elle que « Nous devons accepter notre responsabilité collective de changer le monde en mieux, et pour cela de remettre en question nos propres préjugés ». En particulier, je demande qu’elles se saisissent de la question de la sous-représentation des noirs parmi les enseignants du supérieur. Peut-on la mesurer? [This is an allusion to the illegality of collecting ethnic statistics in France, MH.] Après tout, je ne peut faire état que d’une expérience personnelle, et il faudrait l’étayer par des données statistiques. Comment lutter contre elle ? Les racines du problème plongent certainement très loin, et y remédier demanderait sans doute que l’on intervienne dès le lycée et les classes préparatoires. Il est urgent de lancer une enquête.

 

Je regrette que la communauté mathématique française n’ait pas suivi l’exemple de nos collègues américains, et ne se soit pas mobilisée comme eux le 10 juin, suivant l’appel #ShutDownAcademia. Ecoutons au moins leur appel : il faut lutter contre les violences policières et le racisme antinoir. Et si on ne l’a pas fait avec eux, faisons le après eux. C’est urgent ! Le déni n’est plus possible.

Justice, finally, for Maurice Audin

Place Audin

Photo taken in Paris by Ammine May 26, 2004.

 

It was announced today that French President Emmanuel Macron

would acknowledge that Audin “died under torture stemming from the system instigated while Algeria was part of France.”

More details can be found in the article published today in the Guardian , in a 3-minute video on lemonde.fr and a long article by the inevitable Cédric Villani.  The role of Laurent Schwartz in the story was recalled on this blog in 2015.

There is also a Place Maurice Audin in Algiers:

PlaceAudinAlger From Cédric Villani’s blog, http://cedricvillani.org/le-coeur-a-sa-memoire-prix-maurice-audin-2016/

AMS letter on the immigration ban

From the AMS website.  See also the letter dated January 31, signed by 164 organizations and universities.

AMS Board of Trustees Opposes Executive Order on Immigration
Monday January 30th 2017

Providence, RI: The members of the Board of Trustees of the American Mathematical Society wish to express their opposition to the Executive Order signed by President Trump that temporarily suspends immigration benefits to citizens of seven nations.

For many years, mathematical sciences in the USA have profited enormously from unfettered contact with colleagues from all over the world. The United States has been a destination of choice for international students who wish to study mathematics; the US annually hosts hundreds of conferences attracting global participation. Our nation’s position of leadership in mathematics depends critically upon open scientific borders. By threatening these borders, the Executive Order will do irreparable damage to the mathematical enterprise of the United States.

We urge our colleagues to support efforts to maintain the international collegiality, openness, and exchange that strengthens the vitality of the mathematics community, to the benefit of everyone.

We have all signed the online petition of academics opposing the ban. We encourage our colleagues to consider joining us in signing it and in asking the Administration to rescind the Executive Order.

Robert Bryant, President of the AMS
Kenneth Ribet, President-Elect of the AMS
Ruth Charney
Ralph Cohen
Jane Hawkins
Bryna Kra
Robert Lazarsfeld
Zbigniew Nitecki
Joseph Silverman
Karen Vogtmann

UPDATE: The online petition is experiencing a delay in accepting emails and displaying new names. [1/31/17]

Contacts: Mike Breen and Annette Emerson
Public Awareness Officers
American Mathematical Society
201 Charles Street
Providence, RI 02904
401-455-4000
Email the Public Awareness Office

###

Founded in 1888 to further mathematical research and scholarship, today the American Mathematical Society fulfills its mission through programs and services that promote mathematical research and its uses, strengthen mathematical education, and foster awareness and appreciation of mathematics and its connections to other disciplines and to everyday life.

Did Simon Jenkins get it wrong?

AmazonMarch11

 

That MWA currently (but temporarily) occupies the top two spots in the Amazon UK ranking in philosophy of mathematics [sic] can be entirely attributed, I believe, to its mention in yesterday’s Guardian column by Simon Jenkins.  The journalistic charisma of Jenkins is such that his readers were willing to sail behind him into MWA‘s uncharted waters even though the point of his allusion is by no means clear.  Judge for yourselves:

I agree with the great mathematician GH Hardy, who accepted that higher maths was without practical application. It was rather a matter of intellectual stimulus and beauty. A new book by Michael Harris, Mathematics Without Apologies, goes to the extremes of this stimulus, to the categorical ladder, incompleteness theory and the Black-Scholes equation, used to assess financial derivatives. It ends in the “inconsistency nightmare”, that nought might possibly equal one.

I’ve read the sentence with my name in it ten times, not out of vanity but because I still can’t figure out what it means, nor what it has to do with the point Jenkins wants to make: which is that what British pupils really need from school is “crowded out by a political obsession with maths.”

It seems that Jenkins cites MWA as proof of the “extreme” uselessness of mathematics.  There is absolutely nothing like that in the book.  Nor does the word “nightmare” occur even once (much less “incompleteness theory”) and I have no idea what the “It” is that “ends” in the nightmare equation 0 = 1.  The syntactical confusion of this paragraph — which didn’t dissuade a few dozen Amazon UK customers — can be blamed on an overzealous Guardian editor, or perhaps on a Jenkins assistant  who was assigned to read (or rather, to “read”) MWA (or perhaps any recent book that alludes to Hardy) and who got muddled in its disorganized snobbery.  The article’s motivation, on the other hand, is a recurring theme in Jenkins’s columns.  In 2008, he called his study of quadratic equations a “waste of time” and wrote

Maths and science self-justify as economically worthwhile in a way that law or economics or management studies do not dare.

In 2014, he returned to the charge with at least articles, including one entitled  For Britain’s pupils, maths is even more pointless than Latin.   There have been more diatribes against mathematics and science education over the years, so that Stephen Curry wrote memorably that

Arguing about science with Simon Jenkins is like trying to wrestle with a fart — you can’t miss the odious stink but there’s almost nothing to get hold of.

The malodorous simile didn’t discourage me from trying to cash in on the moment, in my small way, by renaming the link to Princeton University Press “PURCHASE THE BOOK.” Curiously enough, the link in the Jenkins article is to this blog — that’s how I detected the existence of his article — and not to the Guardian bookshop, which reports that my book is in stock and which may be the last place on earth where you can still see the rejected initial cover.

Jenkins’ “miserabilist” complaint puts me in mind of an analogy Ed Frenkel has used repeatedly, notably in the December 5, 2013 issue of The Economist, where Jenkins should have read it:

Imagine you had an art class in which they taught you how to paint a fence, but never showed you the great masters. Of course, you would say; ‘I hate art.’ You were bad at painting the fence but you wouldn’t know what else there is to art. Unfortunately, that is exactly what happens with mathematics.

On the evidence of his public disagreement with Andrew Hacker — this tweet seems to be the most recent instance — Frenkel would undoubtedly reject Jenkins’s arguments about the place of mathematics in the curriculum.  Frenkel’s fence-painting analogy helps to clarify just what Jenkins got wrong in his (or his assistant’s) reading of MWA.   Nowhere is it claimed in MWA that mathematics is useless.  Rather, what MWA has to say about the utility of mathematics has two parts.  The less important part is that utility, whatever that means, is not a primary motivation for pure mathematicians, nor even a secondary or tertiary motivation.   The much more important point is that justification of mathematics on the grounds of utility begs the question of what utility really means, and how the ideology of utility is used by decision-makers (or Powerful Beings) to foreclose reasoned discussion of social priorities, replacing them by invocations of purely technocratic criteria which leave no alternative.  The ideology of utility serves in practice to protect the interests of the powerful.  Jenkins has certainly not broken with this ideology; he just disagrees with the details of its elaboration.

Pétition contre l’ingérence du président du CNRS dans les élections de l’UPMC

Voici le texte de la pétition, que vous pouvez  signer, mise en ligne deux jours avant les élections à l’Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris 6).

Dans un courrier récent envoyé aux personnels CNRS de l’Université Pierre et Marie Curie, le président du CNRS, M. Fuchs, a apporté son soutien ès-qualités à une liste particulière de candidats aux élections des conseils centraux de l’UPMC.

Ce courrier serait déjà au-delà de l’admissible si l’expression publique de ce choix était faite en son nom, balayant démocratie et devoir de réserve. Cependant, M. Fuchs s’autorise à déclarer que “le CNRS soutient la liste X”. Or, le CA du CNRS n’a pas été consulté sur ce choix et des collègues CNRS figurent sur la liste opposée à celle à laquelle il apporte son soutien. Certes les statuts du CNRS donnent à son directeur le pouvoir de représenter l’établissement dans ses relations extérieures, mais on peut s’interroger sur la légitimité et la représentativité de la parole de cet organisme auprès de ses membres et de la société dès lors qu’il se trouve enrôlé, malgré lui, derrière l’initiative toute personnelle de son PDG.

Cette ingérence du président du CNRS dans la vie démocratique d’une université, pour venir en aide à l’un de ses homologues, serait anecdotique si elle ne venait ajouter l’insupportable à une longue suite de réformes et d’incidents conduisant à une dépossession de nos métiers et de nos libertés d’exercice.

Nous, universitaires et membres du CNRS, n’approuvons pas l’expression d’un pouvoir solitaire qui ne dit pas son nom et souhaitons par ce message le faire savoir publiquement.

Nous ne sommes pas des salariés du CNRS: nous sommes le CNRS.
Nous ne sommes pas des salariés de l’Université: nous sommes l’Université.

Nous attendons de vous, Madame Vallaud-Belkacem, Monsieur Mandon, un rappel des libertés académiques et du respect de la démocratie universitaire, rappel qui devra s’imposer au directeur du CNRS que vous avez reconduit dans ses fonctions.

Voir aussi la réaction de la CGT, la réaction de la FSU, ainsi qu’un communiqué de plusieurs organisations syndicales :

Les organisations syndicales : 

FERC-SUP CGT

SGEN-CFDT

SNASUB

SNESUP

SNPREES-FO

SNPTES

SNTRS CGT

SUD Education

UNSA

sont scandalisées.

Nos collègues du CNRS ont reçu vendredi dernier un mail de la déléguée régionale du CNRS leur transférant le message d’Alain Fuchs, Président du CNRS,  adressé à Jean Chambaz, président de notre Université. Dans ce message, que vous pouvez trouver ci-dessous dans son intégralité, Alain Fuchs écrit « Le CNRS soutient la liste « Réunis » que vous portez pour les élections prochaines …. » !

Nous nous  inquiétons de cette ingérence du CNRS dans des élections locales universitaires. De quel droit M. Fuchs se permet d’engager le CNRS et par là-même ses personnels sans les avoir consultés ? Beaucoup de nos collègues CNRS partagent notre stupéfaction  et nos inquiétudes.

L’engagement institutionnel  de M. Fuchs est une ingérence inacceptable dans le fonctionnement de l’Université. Nous espérons que l’équipe présidentielle  actuelle n’est pas complice de cette grave atteinte à la démocratie.

Nous appelons nos collègues à se rendre massivement dans les urnes demain 16 février où ils pourront s’exprimer librement sur ce scandale. 

Pour rappel, toutes les informations sur les élections (listes, professions de foi, bureaux) sont consultables  ici :

http://www.upmc.fr/fr/espace_des_personnels/pour_vous/participer_a_la_vie_democratique/elections/elections_2016_conseils_centraux_personnels.html