RESEARCH ON THE ANCIENT HISTORY OF HUNGARIAN AND SCHOLARS' RESPONSIBILITY
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This short paper was originally delivered as a talk at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences at a conference entitled 'The responsibility of our disciplines'. The author being a Finno-Ugrist, his talk concerned the responsibility of scholars working in that field. The responsibility of a researcher consists in making statements exclusively on topics that (s)he is indeed an expert of. That is, for instance, a microbiologist should not try and masquerade as a linguist, and a linguist should not pretend to be an expert on microbiology (albeit the present author knows of no linguist who has ever tried to take a stance on some scientific or scholarly issue outside linguistics). In particular, what a researcher working on Hungarian and Uralic languages should advance are justifiable explanations and plausible assumptions concerning the history (or 'ancient history') of Hungarian; the author therefore mentions a range of characteristics that can safely be attributed to temporally distant predecessors of the Hungarian language. It is also the responsibility of the scholarly community that editors of journals or other publications should only publish papers that have undergone an appropriate reviewing procedure and organizers of scholarly events should also filter out talks that intend to propagate dilettante views. Furthermore, researchers should inform the interested general public about recent results of their disciplines in a comprehensible form.
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