IUBio Biosequences .. Software .. Molbio soft .. Network News .. FTP

Beware; Russian Scientist arrested

Dr. Martin Angel Martin.V.Angel at soc.soton.ac.uk
Mon Nov 8 05:40:30 EST 1999

Dear All,
        I have received this message from Alan Longhurst and it has a
warning for us all - although I am not sure I agree with Alan's approach in
that it requires action at Governmental level and by the EU - but if ou 
collaboration with Russian Scientists and I hope many of you have - do take
care, you may cause grief to your collaborator and run risks youself - so
seek guidance.

Alan's message
        If you have not yet seen this week's Nature, this is to alert you 
the fact that Sergei Piontkovsky and four of his colleagues at the 
of Biology of the Southern Seas (IBSS) in Sevatopol have been arrested by
the Ukrainian KGB and that they face charges that could land them in prison
for many years.  What they are charged with is the norm in international
cooperation in oceanography and we have all had to do exactly the same in
order to work with foreign colleagues.

You may have seen the series of papers that have appeared recently as a
result of research, by which some Ukrainian scientists have emerged from
isolation.   Bob Williams  of Plymouth is a co-author and has helped the
Ukrainians to join the rest of the world;  please look at 'The
bioluminescent field of the Atlantic Ocean' in Marine-Ecology Progress
Series 156, 33-41 , and other in MEPS 128, 35-41 and MEPS 148, 145-154.

What to do?   I suggest we ALL write letters expressing surprise that the
Ukrainian government should wish to cut itself off from contact with 
science, an association that can only be to its own benefit.   And saying
that cooperation between scientists of different countries is the norm in
oceanography, involves the free exchange of data in all directions and 
the financial support of scientists in another country.   Point out that it
can only be to the detriment of Ukrainian interests not to participate.
Say that you will not consider travelling to meetings in the Ukraine until
the matter is satisfactorily resolved.

Such letters should go to the Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma in Kiev,
with copies to the Ukrainian embassy in your own country.   Unfortunately,
the Ukraine is holding presidential elections right now, the results of
which will not be known until 14 November.   Contact the Academy of 
of your country and request them to contact as a matter of urgency the
Ukrainian Academy.   If you can send copies by e-mail as well, so much the

You may also wish to contact Piotkovky s colleagues or Bob Williams at
(bw at wpoi.nerc.ac.uk) and ask them to suggest other concrete measures to be
taken:   IBSS home page is  ibss.iuf.net , or try  zoo at ibss.iuf.net  or
 plankton@ ibss.iuf.net , or  zalex@ ibss.iuf.net .  IBSS director is Prof.
V. Zaika, deputy is Dr Yu. Tokarev .   The mailing adress of IBSS is 2
Nakhimov Avenue, 99011 Sevastopol, Ukraine, fax (380) 392 557813.

Please copy this whole e-mail to your colleagues; it would be good if
letters came in from as many diffecernt cfountriues as possible.   AND
QUICKLY!   Sergei Piotkovsky is said to be going to court in less than a
month now.

Yours sincerely,

place de l Eglise,
46160 Cajarc, France
tel. +33 65 40 76 37
email. longh at crdi.fr

Martin V. Angel
Room 494/05
Southampton Oceanography Centre,
Empress Dock,

Telephone  44 (0)23 80596333 (Secretary 80596015)
Fax        44 (0)23 80596247
E-mail    Martin.V.Angel at soc.soton.ac.uk

More information about the Deepsea mailing list

Send comments to us at biosci-help [At] net.bio.net