THE president of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Dr. A. P. Karpinsky, the distinguished geologist, is leaving his post at the Academy. This decision is the outcome of his unsuccessful protests against the recent forced decision of the Academy to deprive of its membership four academicians, including such historians as S. F. Platonov and E. V. Tarle, whose scientific views have been pronounced by the authorities to be incompatible with their presence in the Academy of a communistic State. It is noteworthy that at the same meeting of the Academy several foreign scientific workers were elected as foreign members. It appears clear, in the circumstances, that the acceptance of membership of the Academy of U.S.S.R. must involve silent agreement with the basic principle underlying the attitude of the Soviet authorities towards science. According to this principle, science is regarded as merely a means to the successful accomplishment of the Five Years' Plan, and scientific workers themselves are forbidden to express, or even to hold, independent scientific views.