By Vladimir Khromovsky
Mr. Lukashenko believes that we need to significantly enhance the role of science within our socio-economic development plan for the country, solving major tasks through innovation. Contemporary creative thinkers are needed for the scientific industry, with the younger generation particularly requiring encouragement.
Doctors of science in higher educational establishments are aged 61 on average, while candidates are around 10 years younger. Meanwhile, fewer people are applying for scientific postgraduate studies. The President wonders whether modest salaries and other material factors are discouraging scientists or whether science lacks enough prestige to attract young people.
“Around 1 percent of our GDP is directed into science in our country while this figure reaches 2, 3 and, even, 4 percent abroad. Contributions by commercial firms account for a significant portion of these finances, being directed into the most profitable areas,” explained the President. “At present, our scientists tend to conduct pure, theoretical research, which doesn’t always find practical application. Researchers and manufacturers aren’t making full use of the Innovation Fund.”
Mr. Lukashenko is pinning hopes on recruiting scientific personnel via the Higher Attestation Committee; this oversees the scientific sphere, assisting young scientists in entering the profession while maintaining standards for thesis works and encouraging promising ideas. It also aims to enhance the prestige of scientific jobs.
In 2012, scientific doctorates were awarded to 46 people, while 33 candidates received professorships. The President told them, “You’ve inherited a legacy of knowledge and experience which you must now pass on to future generations. Develop the traditions of our educational research schools, which have made Belarus famous all over the world, and help us raise enthusiastic scientists. Their talent can help our homeland.”
Mr. Lukashenko detailed the achievements of Vladimir Kalinov, from the Physics Institute of the National Academy of Sciences, who has been working on nuclear reactors and space technology. He also mentioned Dmitry Migas, from the Belarusian State University of Informatics and Radio-electronics, whose work in the field of optics and nano-electronics is opening new doors.
“The Head of the Republican Scientific and Practical Centre for Organ and Tissue Transplantation, Oleg Rummo, has been developing surgical methods to save lives and improve patients’ health all over the globe,” emphasised Mr. Lukashenko. He believes that the thesis of Denis Duk, who heads Polotsk State University’s Chair, is a valuable contribution to archaeology, revealing the origins of one of the most ancient centres of Belarusian and world culture.
The President congratulated all those present on obtaining their scientific degrees and titles, as well as on their professional holiday: the Day of Belarusian Science.