Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Russia Losing Whole Generation of Scholars but Only One in 100 who Emigrates Now Finds a Place, Schmadeke Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Dec. 19 – Putin’s repressive regime is costing Russia an entire generation of scholars and future scholars who cannot work under the conditions he is creating. That has led many of them to emigrate. But at present, only about one percent of those who do have found new permanent employment in their specialties, Philipp Schmadeke says.

            That means, the head of Germany’s Science at Risk Emergency Office says, that these people often are forced out of science altogether even if they do leave and that the number who are choosing to flee from Putin’s Russia is declining because they see ever less hope in the West (ehorussia.com/new/node/30140).

            This is creating a situation very different than the one that was the case in the 1930s when the US accepted so many German scholars threatened by Hitler’s regime and by so doing became an international powerhouse as far as scholarship is concerned. The failure of Western governments to do that now means they are also among the losers in this situation.

            The office Schmadeke heads is funded by the German government and seeks to help scholars and advanced students find their way, providing them with short-term assistance, certifying their backgrounds and providing explanations to Western scholars of why these people often lack higher degrees, and putting them in contact with academic officials.

            But in 99 percent of the cases, his group cannot find permanent positions for these people, forcing many who have emigrated either to return or to leave science altogether and leading others who may have been thinking about leaving with the conviction that they will not gain by leaving, giving Putin and other authoritarians a victory they don’t deserve.


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