Russia: June 4, 2001



Lack of money and leadership has seen the old Soviet Union science research establishment evaporate in the last ten years. At the end of the Cold War, the Soviet Union had some two million scientists and researchers. Now the number is 800,000. Most of those who left science (for other professions) were the younger people. Few students are coming into science and the average age of existing teachers and researchers in science is old and getting older. The old Soviet science establishment was heavily subsidized and poorly managed. Scientists could do whatever they wanted, and this had led to a lot of previously unknown new scientific developments surfacing after the Cold War ended. But without the heavy subsidies, there is no economic incentive to stay at the university or isolated research institutes.