Contest of real achievements

<img class="imgl" alt="Alexander Lukashenko awards the Rector of Belarus State University with the Diploma of Academician." src="http://www.belarus-magazine.by/images/09/080904.jpg"/>President praises scientific achievements by newly-elected academicians and corresponding members of National Academy of Sciences<br />
Alexander Lukashenko awards the Rector of Belarus State University with the Diploma of Academician.President praises scientific achievements by newly-elected academicians and corresponding members of National Academy of Sciences.

For the first time in five years, the National Academy of Sciences has undertaken a secret vote to elect eleven new acting academicians and 24 corresponding members. President Lukashenko presented them all with diplomas confirming their new status and, after the ceremony, chatted to them on philosophical and applied topics. He has been pleased to see so many applicants for the academic honour and noted that electing truly talented and hard working scientists is vital. “This was a contest not of high posts or well known names but of true scientific achievements. The newly-elected academicians and corresponding members’ research is proof of them being well-chosen,” Mr. Lukashenko stressed.

Academician Sergei Ablameiko is well known in the sphere of informatics. Under his guidance and personal participation, theory and methods to distinguish graphic information have been developed; he also helped design the ‘SKIF’ supercomputer. “How do you manage to combine your scientific work with the post of Belarusian State University Rector?” journalists asked him. He replied, “I try to keep focused on science. I still head several fundamental research programmes, in which the University is involved. The BSU closely liaises with the Academy of Sciences and we are considering launching a student’s satellite into space. Students are keen to gather data from which to learn.”

The President told the academicians that they should encourage students to follow in their footsteps. Evidently, Mr. Ablameiko has no problems. In fact, 20 percent of staff at the National Academy of Sciences are under the age of 30. The same trend is being seen in the academic sphere. Interestingly, the academicians elected five years ago were, on average, 13 years older. However, there are very few women in this sphere. At the Republic Hall of the Presidential Residence, which hosted the event, only one woman was elected as a corresponding member (and failed to attend the ceremony).

“The results of scientific research are vital,” asserted Mr. Lukashenko. “We are expecting scientists to find not only new technologies and materials but also strategic proposals to develop science and strengthen the state.” The President notes that no important decisions are being made in Belarus without thorough scientific analysis. The present five-year period is almost over and the country is living through complicated times. Scientists now need to start developing a new plan, including proposals to modernise the economy.

The Chairman of the National Academy of Sciences’ Presidium, Mikhail Myasnikovich, admits that Belarusian science does not always meet today’s 21st century standards. Meanwhile, a newly-elected corresponding member (an economic specialist) has proposed his own anti-crisis solution, saying, “Investments and loans of our country should be targeted at the development of new technologies — pharmaceuticals, biofuels and microelectronics…”

The Chairman of the Ostromechevo agricultural production co-operative (in Brest district), Alexey Skakun, has become a corresponding member and tells us that he aims to raise productivity at his own co-operative and throughout Belarus’ agrarian sector. “Science is needed for this,” he notes. “It’s not enough to place fertilisers on the soil. Modern peasants need deep knowledge.” Machinery is becoming more expensive while agricultural products are becoming cheaper. According to Mr. Skakun, there are enough people at the top but more advisors at ground level would be useful, working with each agricultural company.

Scientists are keen to apply their knowledge to improve life in the republic and have much experience to share. Their views on the use of the Belarusian language and proposed financing for science were given at the ceremony, with the President stressing that he advocates the sharing of different points of view. “However, we must do this in a calm manner,” he added. Really, the meeting demonstrated well how dialogue needs to be conducted — seriously and with respect.

[i]By Igor Slavisnky[/i]
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