Michael Kovalchuk: the Science should become Mecca
| Among set of sights at our science there is also unexpected enough and even a paradoxical. Ostensibly thanks to it Russia very quickly to historical measures has passed from socialist economy to the market. Your opinion?
Michael Kovalchuk | The matter is that in each developed state all sectors of economy that is why creative, active people are distributed in them in regular intervals are in regular intervals developed. At us in the absence of the market and democracy, and also set of interdictions and restrictions the active person to be realised and keep at least any freedom, went mainly to a science. Actually it incorporated the best minds.
Becoming at a certain stage really poor, our science continues to maintain till now this image
When reorganisation has begun, the part of scientists has gone to business, having provided its fast development. Actually our science has appeared the huge creative tank, played the major role for transition of the country to market relations.
RG | But now the tank has become scanty. And youth, having already wide spectrum of possibilities, chooses other ways. In the list of prestigious trades the scientist at all does not appear. As it is clear, few interested persons to connect the life with poverty...
Kovalchuk | I Will tell a seditious thing. Becoming at a certain stage really poor, our science cannot leave till now from this image. Yes, there were hard times. When I in 1998 have headed institute, we could not pay months the salary, in a building pipes burst, there was no illumination.
But it is all in the past. The situation has qualitatively changed, but the science continues to maintain an image of the beggar. In my opinion, the similar position is unpromising. At least because the youth as you have truly noticed, does not involve poverty. Means, it is necessary to lift several times the salary of the scientist that, by the way, it is provided by the project of modernisation of scientific sphere. But money - not the most important thing, after all through road can offer more. Than the science is capable to carry away? What its trump card? It is possibility to work at world level, to compete to the best scientific minds of the world. And to win them so, to ego-trip. Speaking to big words, the science should become Mecca where the youth could aspire.
RG | All it beautifully sounds, but even the rich European union intends to increase expenses on a science twice. The budget of the Russian science even is less, than at large American university, while, according to our financiers, they do not know where to enclose means of stabilisation fund that they brought benefit.
Kovalchuk | Actually our financiers start with a simple thing: how many put in “ Zhiguli “ they will not go faster “ Mercedes “. Means, it is necessary to reconstruct system of the organisation of a science: structure, mechanisms of financing and many other things.
RG | That is opponents of reform are right: will break? But the president of the Russian Academy of Sciences Yury Osipov underlined time and again: the main merit of a management of academy that it has beaten off all swoops of zealous reformers and has kept academy while in a non-existence the whole branches of economy have left.
Kovalchuk | is difficult to overestimate merits of those who has kept academy in hard times. But time is not necessary on a place. That yesterday was obvious plus, today becomes a minus. I think, now it is difficult to find, except our academy, other structure which would remain actually in an invariable kind from Soviet period though life around goes already absolutely by other rules. As the result - efficiency of our science does not grow.
RG | And what is particularly obsolete?
Kovalchuk | Much. Here some obvious examples. As we many long years were the closed society it was necessary to compete to itself. Some institutes duplicating each other were for this purpose created. Now it is necessary to compete with the leading countries of the world, and at all of us remains on - former. We continue to hold on one scientific direction on neskolku thematically close institutes, spraying means.
Other relict. Financing of institutes is conducted, as before, proceeding from number. The similar system is extremely inefficient, as really working it is much less, than is registered in staff. All for a long time already it is clear that this system should be changed. However to reduce staff at the expense of those who badly works, it is almost impossible. After all it is simultaneously lost and an allocated wages fund.
RG | How many it is necessary to reduce employees that to 1000 dollars how it is planned in the project of modernisation of a science, to increase the salary that who really works?
Kovalchuk | For this purpose is necessary to spend inventory. If we want to compete to the leading countries of the world, to apply for Nobel Prizes workplace cost in the Russian science should be adequate, with the account, of course, our specificity, the internal prices. Having divided the science budget - and it is painted up to 2010 - on this cost, we will receive number of competitive employees in science public sector. In it, actually, one of the reform main tasks also consists.
And one more moment. Everything that directly is not connected with scientific work, it is necessary to deduce from institutes and to charge to the special economic organisations. It also will allow to reduce both states, and expenses.
And here when we will reconstruct the mechanism of financing of the academic science and its structure, we will make their adequate to conditions existing in the country, otherwise, we will transform “ a Zhiguli “ in “ Mercedes “ then the scientific community can address rightfully in the government with the request to increase financing.
RG | Much more serious transformations wait a branch science. It is planned for reducing in 10 times, taking on the state ark of 150 largest and succeeding organisations, and other outsiders to start up in free swimming - aktsionirovat and to privatise. Many name it science destruction...
Kovalchuk | Let`s understand. Today at us metallurgy, car industry, the coal industry and many other things in private hands. And the state continues to contain hundreds branch institutes. Unless it not a nonsense? We will tell, “ the Boeing “ “ Crysler “ “ Samsung “ have own science. Logically and at us the same metallurgy or car industry should get the institutes. By the way, in due time one of former heads of our science suggested business to take institutes free of charge. Did not take! Means, are not necessary.
RG | the Cruel sentence, whether but fair? Alas, our businessmen are short-sighted, they prefer to use West workings out, buying there technics. But the state should be wiser. Otherwise the country will lose the major scientific directions. We will think suddenly, but late will be.
Kovalchuk | That it has not occurred, representatives of a science, business and the state should sit down to table and together to decide what to do with a science, for example, in the field of the same metallurgy. We will tell, there are some institutes. It is necessary to estimate their scientific potential, to understand that from it it is required to business and that works on prospect. And as a result to leave at the state 1 - 2 centres of science, and something to transfer the industries, something simply to close. But mutual interest and the state thinking for now from different directions it is a lot of ambitions and confrontation are necessary.
RG | And the last. When - that Russia was capable to lift such huge projects, as nuclear and space. These times already irrevocably have left or the chance is?
Kovalchuk | By and large, of course, is necessary for us the project, on scale and an essence similar to the nuclear. It is capable to extend all scientifically - a technical chain, and behind it and economy branches. What can become the locomotive? Today in the world three in the lead scientifically - technical directions: computer science, biotechnologies and nanotehnologii. First two we have already lost, having missed possibilities successfully to compete in the world markets. Here other fashion-makers firmly holding the positions. And here in nanotehnologijah breaks only prepare. All while on start, and we were not late. We have very decent scientific reserve.
And one more trump is at Russia. By all estimations, our country - unique in the world which will be self-sufficient in the XXI-st century from the power point of view. We have coal, oil, gas, atomic engineering, the hydroresources, quite good prospects for development of hydrogen and nonconventional power. If to create correct power strategy, to use resources not only as raw materials but also as means for transition to innovative economy, it can become huge advantage.