30 Mar 2022 17:18

Russian Academy of Sciences president admits major outflow of academics from Russia

MOSCOW. March 30 (Interfax) - Russia is experiencing a massive outflow of scientists from the country amid the foreign sanctions, which can be stopped only by adopting a system of special measures, including an increase in financing, Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) President Alexander Sergeyev said.

"In general, what can be done here is to provide better conditions for the development of science than exist abroad. Then they [scientists] won't leave. What else can you do? Certainly, there's a need for a system of measures for our scientists and for our institutes to stop this outflow. And this concerns both theorists, fundamental scientists, and those who specialize in applied sciences," Sergeyev said at a press conference in reply to a relevant question on Wednesday.

"It's hard to estimate the scope of the losses, but I think they are high. It's necessary to offer benefits and increase the financing of science so that, apart from prestige, there should also be a proper material basis for it," he said.

The RAS has a major package of proposals submitted to the government as to "how to organize the work of institutes and offer them more freedom," Sergeyev said.

"It's difficult to compete for science with the whole world. It's necessary to unshackle initiative and the creativity of scientists and give them a chance to work conveniently in the country," he said.

After Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the start of a "special military operation" in Ukraine on February 24, Western countries have imposed massive economic sanctions on Russia, which have affected Russia's scientific and technological cooperation with foreign countries and highlighted the problem of an outflow of academics from Russia.