“We have all the conditions for financing Russian science”


By Vestnik Kavkaza

The deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on Science-Intensive Technologies, Mikhail Degtyarev, who is well-known for his ideas on confirmation of the identities of users of social networks, on the ban on sexual minorities donating blood, and on making physics a required course in passing the USE, spoke about other initiatives and drafts which the committee would discuss in autumn.

“The State Duma adopted the draft on the Russian Academy of Sciences and state academies in the second reading. A return to the first reading is unlikely. It should be realized that scientists, those who deal with science (and me who have three invention patents), know that the most interesting decisions which are being quoted and for which scientists get Noble Prizes are made in short terms and under difficult conditions, not in comfortable conditions when one has a lot of time, resources, and so on.

The draft which was adopted in the second reading is an example of intensification of work on amendments by scientists and MPs. 68 amendments were adopted (30 of them were mine or with my participation). For example, coordination of directors of scientific facilities with the presidium of the RAS; absence of the norm on potential liquidation, and so on.”

After studying amendments of the RAS representatives, Degtyarev concluded that it was not necessary to return to the second reading: “For instance, the proposal on positions overlapping – the head of the RAS and the head of the Agency on Managing Property of State Academies of Science – has already been taken into account. The President has already stated about it and proposed Vladimir Fortov to be the head of the Agency. I see no sense in noting this in the draft. Some people suggest giving an opportunity to the Academy of Science (and register this in law) to be financed from foreign sources. Let’s define it clearly – is it the state Academy of Science of the Russian Federation or an international club of scientists? We have all the conditions for financing Russian science. So we expect that the draft on the RAS reform will be adopted in autumn, and everything will be alright with Russian science. Don’t worry dear colleagues and society.”

Moreover, in autumn MPs plan to consider in the first and second readings the presidential draft on establishing the Russian Scientific Fund. “The current state funds – the Russian Fund of Fundamental Studies and the Russian Humanitarian Scientific Fund – are state-financed institutes. Thus, they are financed according to the state order and are very unfixable instruments of financing scientific projects. The Fund of Breakthrough Technologies which has been founded recently and is supervised by the vice-premier Dmitry Rogozin is aimed at financing scientific studies for the defense complex. So, the President’s draft is very important and necessary – on establishing the Russian Scientific Fund,” Degtyarev explains. “Its main functions are competitive selection of scientific programs and projects on promising directions. Not only the state budget, but also state corporations which are interested in new technologies and new inventions will finance the fund. Moreover, grants will be allocated through the fund.”