Thursday, February 22, 2024

Moscow Passes 300th Anniversary of Russian Academy of Sciences ‘Without Fanfare’

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Feb. 18 – For a country that routinely celebrates the most inconsequential anniversaries, Russia last week allowed the 300th anniversary of the Russian Academy of Sciences to pass almost unnoticed, a reflection of the Kremlin’s reluctance to call attention to problems in that sector, Valentin Katasonov says.

            A glance at the latest edition of the Science.Technology.Innovation annual prepared by the Higher School of Economics, Rosstat and the Ministry of Education and Science shows why the authorities decided to play down this anniversary, the economist at Moscow’s Strategic Culture Foundation says (

            In 2018, Vladimir Putin set as Russia’s goal in science to be in the top five on all key indicators of scientific progress by 2024. The statistics in the latest annual are for 2022, but they who Russia isn’t going to make it – or even come close. And no one in Moscow wants to call attention to that.

            Katasonov cites the following figures: In terms of the number of scientific investigators, Russia ranks sixth and has seen the number of such people decline since Putin came to power. In terms of the number of investigators per 10,000 employed, Russia ranks 10th. And in terms of spending on science, Russia ranks 10th as well.

            In addition, he continues, it will well below the top five countries in terms of patents applied for and other innovations, yet more reasons for not calling attention to these shortfalls by having a major celebration of even a round anniversary like the 300th of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

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