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Thursday, December 14, 2017

The first decisions of the new President of the RAS is not supported only one academician


What institutions of RAS will receive a “gold medal”, and which will be referred to outsiders with the “bronze”? Why is the Academy waiting for social tensions in connection with the adoption of the budget for 2018? All these and other difficult questions related to the life of the Russian science, was discussed Tuesday at the first Presidium of the RAS with its new President, Alexander Sergeyev. The meeting was attended by the correspondent of “MK”.


photo: Gennady Cherkasov

The responsibilities

Academy trusts on Wednesday. It was already obvious by how unanimously supported by the members of the Presidium of the distribution of duties between Vice-presidents, he proposed. Only one academician Yuri Gulyaev voted against it.

His right hand, informal “first Vice President” in charge of everything else, and the international relations of the Academy, Alexander Sergeyev has identified the scientific Director of the Special astrophysical Observatory of RAS Yuri Balega. “We don’t allow such use of “first Vice President”, but nevertheless, the location of his office is closest to the Cabinet of the President of the Academy of Sciences. Yuri Yurievich Balega is the person with whom we work in one team,” he presented it to Sergeev. Economic and financial issues of the Academy will be engaged in Director of the Institute aerokosmos Valery Bondur, regional policy has put the youngest Vice-President ran — 53-year-old Director of the Institute of marine biology Feb RAS Andrey Andrianov. Interaction with FANO, power and youth policy will address the mathematician Valery Kozlov. As for the interaction with universities and the Ministry of education, it will be engaged in Vice-rector of MSU and the head of the Council on science under the Ministry of education and science of the Russian Federation, academician Alexei Khokhlov.

After the allocation of responsibilities first discussed the legislative activity of the RAS. According to Sergeeva, it is important that the Academy itself has taken an active part in the development of laws related to scientific activity. And the first item raised for discussion the question of the elaboration of the new Statute, he received a welcome from Vladimir Putin.

On scientific activities

— We need to think not only about status, but to develop a long list of demands, including the issue of the return of the Academy the opportunity to conduct research activities, — said Sergeyev, a former competitor, also ran for President of the Russian Academy of Sciences, — Evgeny Kablov.

Sergeyev had assured him that the work in this direction has begun. In particular, the President invited the academics to lead interagency councils to implement the strategy of scientific and technological development of the country. “It will be 7-8 of the areas that will connect the various departments, like a chain. For example, decide that 5-7 years is necessary to cover the whole country electronic scanners to, for example, for every million people was such a setting. The first word has to say Academy of Sciences: what our experts can offer for this purpose, to determine where we have the highest competence to create such scanners? Created a prototype — connected physicians with clinical research — then comes the turn of Rosatom with its capacity to produce — well, after the industry and the market.”

Assessment institutions

Next on the agenda was the question about the assessment of scientific organizations, the relevant government decree which was issued in 2009. Something like the Academy has already conducted, but it was an internal process, which was not invaded by the representatives of other departments. Now agreed that the final decision on the qualification of an institution will make of the interdepartmental Commission. To rate will scientometric indicators (level of publication activity of the members), according to the expert groups and on the ability of institutions to earn their own additional funds. Based on all this, determined leaders and outsiders, who will share on institutions the first (best) category, the second (requiring some modification) and institutions of the third category, which will be dealt with separately. To select the best among its should Academy. First experience “internal” evaluation of the wounds showed that the academics are not too ready for such hard formation. There is a perception that necessary and valuable to all institutions. However, the President ran Sergeeva has a different opinion: “could the situation of science in the country to reach such level like we have today, if everything worked well. Tactics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, as a besieged fortress, where all the institutions belong to the first category, it is not constructive. So let’s have a real evaluation of their institutions. Otherwise, it will do for us FANO, what many of us would not like”.

The situation is that the process of institutional assessment in the thematic departments are not stepping up. This was quite understandable reasons: the need to assess institutions announced in the summer, when most of the staff was on leave, then came September with the election campaign in General, was not up to grade. However, the deadline for submission of results, according to supervising this question academician Valery Rubakov, expires 11 October, and more than 400 scientific organizations evaluated to date was only 28 organizations medical offices and several institutes of the agricultural Department. On any other branch of the RAS expert opinion yet. The Bureau decided to extend the process of collecting estimates to the end of this week, and then, as they say, all who do not have time, — blame yourself.

The funding of science

This is due to the upcoming elections of the President of the country or not, but next year for science in the budget includes a significant increase. As you know, on September 29, the Russian Government sent to the Duma a draft budget for scientific research. So, in General, fundamental science in the country will receive an additional 33 billion rubles (in General, funding will be 151,7 billion), financing institutions, within the framework of FANO (previously owned by RAS), will increase in 2018 17.7 billion (in General, it will amount to 93.8 billion roubles), financing of RFBR (Russian Foundation for basic research) will increase by almost half, to 9 billion (up 20.1 billion rubles).

— Increased funding of fundamental science by almost 30% — a record among all industries, that we, of course, pleases — says “MK” the situation with the financing head of trade Union of workers of the RAS Viktor Kalinushkin. — However, we must understand that the money budgeted for the execution of the may decrees of the President about a two-fold increase in comparison with the average salary in the region of salaries of scientific workers. In this regard, we expect serious social surge in our institutions, because those same saulabi that researchers are not considered, will not receive this raise. The difference will be tens of thousands of rubles. Also, dissatisfaction may occur in the regions where average salaries are significantly different from Moscow and St. Petersburg. The payroll we will continue to SAG but still have something to pay for utilities and to Fund research. In fact, in the framework of the decree of the President of the Russian Federation any throwing of money from research workers to other workers is unacceptable, it is misappropriation. In our opinion, it is necessary to change the decree of the President to the received funds to give new status.

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