Science has no prospects for development unless the national economy calls for, the RIA Novosti correspondent quotes Nobel prize winner Academician Zhores Alferov as telling the Thursday visiting session of the cabinet in St.Petersburg.
To him, science in St.Petersburg and country-wide is in plight: less than a half of the research potential of St.Petersburg scientists is put to use.
In the opinion of Alferov, the material and technical base of St.Petersburg-based research institutes has become obsolete.
The cabinet session was attended by, particularly, Valeri Goloschapov, deputy minister for industry, science and technologies; Yury Shlenov, deputy minister for education; Valentin Pashin, president of the North-Western Association of State Research Centers and Institutions and director of the Academician Krylov GNTs RF TsNII shipbuiding centre. They noted one more aspect standing in the way of scientific development - "the aging of the cadre of researchers". The average age of doctors of science in St.Petersburg /5,400/ is over 59 years and many young researchers go to work abroad, where they are better paid.
Vladimir Yakovlev, governor of St.Petersburg, reported that within a month a 2003-2006 goal-oriented programme of developing the research, scientific-technical and innovation sphere of the Russian northern capital will be prepared.
St.Petersburg has over 300 research organizations, including 49 research institutes under the Russian Academy of Sciences, academies of medical and agricultural sciences, 12 state research centers, 78 higher educational institutions, as well as over 1,200 innovation enterprises.
In all, about 300,000 people in St.Petersburg are engaged in scientific work.