A controversial law has critics fearing the ‘liquidation’ of the nation’s science endeavors
Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, approved controversial reforms to the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) on 18 September. More than 330 members of the Duma voted in favor of the law, with only 107 against, in a move critics say will deprive the 289-year-old body of its independence and halt attempts to revitalize Russia’s struggling science system.
If, as is widely expected, the parliament’s upper house and Russian President Vladimir Putin approve the law, the 436 institutes and 45,000 research staff of Russia’s primary basic-research organization will be managed by a newly established federal agency that reports directly to Putin. The agency will manage the academy’s 60-billion-ruble (US$1.9-billion) budget and extensive property portfolio, which includes lucrative sites in Moscow and St Petersburg, and will also have a say in the appointment of institute directors.
Outside the Duma building during the vote, a group of outraged scientists protested the unpopular changes, which were first proposed in June without prior consultation of the RAS leadership.
They said that a number of amendments adopted in yesterday’s third reading — for example, that the Siberian, Ural and the Far Eastern branches of the RAS will remain under the academy’s jurisdiction, and a slight dilution of government interference compared with the initial bill — do little to avert harm to Russian science.
“This is not a reform — this is a liquidation of science in Russia,” says Alexander Kuleshov, director of the academy’s Institute for Information Transmission Problems in Moscow.
The Latest on: Russian Academy of Sciences
- Russian attempts to restock its military may be doomed to failureon May 19, 2022 at 4:37 am
New revelations about Russia's reliance on foreign components means replacing equipment lost in Ukraine may prove nearly impossible.
- Slovakia: strategic dilemmas after the Russian invasion of Ukraineon May 18, 2022 at 6:05 am
The centre-right government in Bratislava decided to discontinue its long-standing policy of avoiding antagonising Russia. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Slovakia has found itself in the ...
- The cruel irony of being arrested in Putin’s Russiaon May 12, 2022 at 9:49 am
He attended Moscow State University, obtained his doctorate in geological and mineralogical sciences at the Russian Academy of Sciences, and has a Russian passport. In 1987, Mikhail Kavun married a ...
- Chernobyl Still a Health Risk, Top Russian Nuclear Safety Scientist Warnson April 27, 2022 at 7:17 am
Russian Academy of Sciences' Nuclear Safety Institute (IBRAE) head Leonid Bolshov told the Russian state-run news agency Tass on Tuesday that the shut-down reactors and spent nuclear fuel stored ...
- A future destroyed by the paston April 27, 2022 at 4:21 am
A year under Putin’s presidency, he indeed left Russia for good. According to the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), as many as 50,000 scientists left the country for research and work overseas from ...
- Chemists invent an efficient thermal camera to reduce costs of chemical researchon April 26, 2022 at 7:32 am
Scientists of St Petersburg University, together with the researchers from N.D. Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences, have developed a tube-in-tube reactor ...
- A new soil amoeba species discovered in the 'Siberian jungle'on April 19, 2022 at 10:19 am
the All-Russian Research Institute for Agricultural Microbiology of the Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences; the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology of the Siberian Branch of the ...
- Study of data from NASA, ESA and Russian space agency explores effects of extended spaceflight on brainon April 12, 2022 at 7:39 am
But space physiologist Elena Tomilovskaya, Ph.D., of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said further study is needed to determine if there are clinical implications for future flights.
- Study explores effects of extended spaceflight on brainon April 11, 2022 at 5:00 pm
But space physiologist Elena Tomilovskaya, Ph.D., of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said further study is needed to determine if there are clinical implications for future flights. "We need to ...
- Ukraine conflict hurts Russian science, as West pulls fundingon April 11, 2022 at 8:20 am
head of the Russian Academy of Sciences, according to Interfax state news agency. The protest letter was temporarily removed from the site after Russia passed a law March 4 criminalizing “fake ...
via Google News and Bing News