Вчера вечером я написал письмо редактору Геосаинтиста - Теду Ниэлду. Он согласился его опубликовать и порекомендовал послать его еще в Nature в раздел Сommentary. Для натуры можно сделать совместный текст или другой текст похожего содержания, чтобы было побольше Дон Кихотов. Текст с редакторскими правками ниже. Получилась страшилка, конечно :-) (хотя если честно, мне не смешно).
<head>Russian brain drain may feed terrorism
<standfirst>A recent report by the Russian Ministry of Education and Science his likely to start a mass exodus of scientists and engineers from Russia, says Alexei Ivanov*
<body> Russian scientists have been deeply alarmed by a 32-page document produced by the Russian ministry of education and science. This document, “Principles governing the involvement of the Russian Federation in the management of institutions carrying out scientific research”, is devoted to providing the major goals and principles underlying a national policy for supporting and developing science in Russia up to 2008.
The report was widely leaked in late September of this year , and as a result was heavily criticized by almost everyone in the Russian scientific community. Vitaliy Ginsburg, Nobel Prize laureate in Physics, called it as “total nonsense”. Scientists from research institutions and universities all over Russia are now preparing for a joint strike on October 20. We believe public opinion will soon be motivated in our support. Andrey Fursenko, Russian minister of education and science, has said publicly that he is “astonished” and that he fails to understand why scientists are so upset since the document is merely a draft text produced with a view to initiating discussion. But is this really so?
The report sets out four strategic goals, two of which are: the creation of the right conditions for involving science in the development of innovative economics and preserving and augmenting Russia’s scientific potential. However, only one solution is presented by Fursenko and his subordinates; namely, to cut the number of research institutions funded by the federal budget to between 400 and 700 by 2007. Of these, only 100-200 institutions will be oriented towards fundamental science. The other 1500-1800 institutions funded from federal budget (and over 1000 scientific institutions of other national budgets) will be sold off.
Almost a half of the document therefore deals with the juridical tasks of the mechanism for this sale. Not one page is devoted to considering Russia’s research needs. Eight amendments to federal law are scheduled in the document for implementation during the first quarter of 2005. The likelihood that these suggested amendments will be accepted by the Duma, the Russian Parliament, are obviously high, because the Duma is under nearly complete government control following the 2003 elections. The plan is also being “spun” positively through the news media, whose independence from the Kremlin has noticeable lessened following Russia’s entry into the “war on terror”.
Privatizing institutions dedicated to fundamental science is hard to imagine. Who are expected to become the new owners - private businessmen? Multinational companies? This does not seem very likely. Moscow’s Steklov Mathematical Institute is not Chelsea Football Club. Mathematical institutions are just one example – they would be useless to billionaires and large companies (unless of course, asset-stripping their property portfolios is the real object of the privatization).
The desire of the Government to cut the Federal budget by cutting its scientific research is also hard to understand. For the last three years the federal budget has benefited from the extra income due to the enormous rise in oil prices on the global market. Instead of putting this extra income into innovation and development of industry, it is being salted away in the so-called “stabilization fund”. That is why many of us suspect that the privatization of federal land holdings in Moscow and other large cities is the true purpose of this document.
Developed countries should be concerned about the situation – this will affect them. Whether this document is accepted or not, the fat is in the fire. Russian scientists are deciding to leave for countries that offer more support for scientific research than their homeland. The size of this scientific exodus is hard to estimate, but there are over 50,000 researchers and a similar number of technical engineers in the Russian Academy of Sciences alone . The total number of scientific staff forced to find a career outside Russia will be enormous. But what fraction of this brain drain can be absorbed by the developed countries – and, more sinisterly, what fraction of those who cannot find regular employment will work instead for terrorists and the regimes that nurture them?
What price the “War on Terror” then?
 Published on September 17, 2004 by Poisk, the official newspaper of the Russian Academy of Sciences, No 38(800), pp. 3-7. (In Russian)
 Quoted in report of Scientific Secretary of the Russian Academy of Sciences on May 18, 2004.
*Senior Researcher at the Institute for the Earth’s Crust, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Irkutsk, Russia