High status of friendly meeting
Nobel Prize Laureate in Physics, Zhores Alferov, is familiar with Minsk, having studied at school #42 after the war. He received a ‘physics vaccination’ lasting his whole life, and still has many friends in the Belarusian capital. Having reached undreamed-of scientific heights, while becoming a major Russian politician, Mr. Alferov continues to view Belarus as his native country. He proudly calls himself its ‘plenipotentiary envoy’ in the world.
By Denis Krymov
Mr. Alferov met the Belarusian President as an old friend, a smile immediately lighting his face. The President didn’t conceal his joy either, saying, “I’ve been keeping a close eye on you, as well as on your speeches and announcements. I’m always grateful to you for your position. Even if we make a false step somewhere or don’t behave in the way we should, you always rush to protect Belarus. This is your keynote, for which I’m very grateful.”
Mr. Alferov responded briefly that it’s natural and can’t be otherwise. Only those who judge by actions, rather than by words, and who respect each other sincerely can speak in this manner.
Academician Alferov has many times proven that his respect for Belarus is more than romantic nostalgia; he is always ready to lend his authority and, where necessary, his shoulder.
As Co-Chairman of the Skolkovo Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Council, which plays a significant role in the development of high-tech industry in contemporary Russia, Mr. Alferov wished to discuss how best to promote the Foundation’s five areas of work: power engineering and energy-saving; information technologies; space technologies; biomedical technologies; and nuclear technologies. The Nobel Prize winner noted that he is determined to see Belarusian scientists involved in this work, especially talented young people. Moreover, Mr. Alferov was pleased to inform the President that Belarusians have been involved in all five areas, with definite success (although their degree of participation needs to be expanded).
The Skolkovo Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Council, which has already gained a reputation as a competent international venue for scientific collaboration, unites prominent scientists from Russia, the USA, France and Germany. According to Mr. Alferov, he is promoting an offsite session of the Foundation’s Council, being held in Minsk on September 20th-21st. “In March, we held a session in Berlin; Novosibirsk’s Akademgorodok hosted the meeting in May. Minsk will become a city where authoritative scientists will be able to hold their session; undoubtedly, it will have wide resonance.”
Mr. Alferov doesn’t conceal his reasoning. “When I suggested holding an offsite session in Minsk, I thought about the international press which, in my view, gives a distorted view of Belarus today. I’d like outstanding foreign scientists to see with their own eyes that Belarus boasts good science, with new technologies developing, including the most advanced. I’d like them to see that Minsk is among the beautiful, cosy and comfortable cities in Europe. Moreover, it’s very important that Belarus becomes an active participant of the process of creating promising new international companies,” he emphasises.
The President of Belarus supports Mr. Alferov’s ideas and has promised to assist in organising the Minsk session of the Scientific Advisory Council of the Skolkovo Foundation — to be hosted by the National Library. According to the Presidential Press Service, the meeting also tackled how best to develop high-technology and science in the academic institutions and universities of Belarus.