Scientists who were once protected by the hammer and sickle are now being bludgeoned with them, according to a report published in November by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Thousands of scientists, professors, and science teachers who had been affiliated with the communist regimes of Central and Eastern European nations are being purged from academic institutions under the premise of righting a perceived historical wrong.

More than 3,000 scientists in Bulgaria, as well as 884 university professors and 10,000 teachers in the German state of Saxony, have lost their jobs in the past 5 years. Nearly 6% of all Czech faculty members also have been fired. The purges—which are more reminiscent of the communist past than of a democratic future—are the result of government-sanctioned programs to weed out public employees who may have received their positions due to their Communist affiliation.