Meeting with young scientists

Source: President of Russia – The Kremlin – English

The Congress of Young Scientists is being held on December 8–10 at the Sirius Science and Art Park.
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 President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends,
Nice to see you, good evening.
Through you, I would like to extend my greetings to all the participants in the Congress of Young Scientists – I was told that almost three thousand people are taking part in it. This is a big team, and the event is quite interesting, as far as I understand. There are meetings where you discuss joint projects, talk about your own, and think about what to do in the future.
As you can see, this event is taking place at our Sirius Educational Centre. I hope you like it here.
It seems to me that we did the right thing when we established a science and education centre using Olympic legacy facilities. Step by step, gradually, it is expanding and developing. Now it is a federal territory – an additional status that allows all science and education institutions that are created here to develop at the required pace.
The Congress of Young Scientists is one of the key events of the Year of Science and Technology. It was our intention to create conditions for young scientists to meet and talk to each other about possible joint projects, as I said before – and not only during the Year, but also after it ends; I hope in the future such conditions will be also be created.
I would like to say right off that when we speak about young scientists and young researchers, I want to remind you that in the early 2000s less than 25 percent of our scientists were under the age of 40 whereas now it is almost 50 percent. All that is evidence that regardless of all the difficulties or problems – which exist, and they are numerous, you will obviously tell me about them and I will try to respond – nevertheless, the prestige of research work, the prestige of being a researcher, a scientist, has significantly grown. It is evident from public opinion polls, as well as from the number of young researchers, which has doubled since early 2000s, as I have mentioned.
By the way, opinion polls conducted among parents with older schoolchildren indicate that over 60 percent of them would like their children to go into research. It shows that the situation in the country has changed considerably – I will avoid big words like radically, though it has changed considerably and that really makes me happy.
Of course, there still remain issues that we need to address together.
I know that there are three thousand participants here, it is a big team with people engaged in different areas – cognitive science, history, political science and, I am especially pleased to note, the natural sciences, new materials, artificial intelligence, genetics and so on – all that is represented. I hope you find it both useful and interesting here.
I have said that we planned this Congress of Young Scientists as a key event in the Year of Science and Technology, and, of course, we will try to maintain this pace, to retain the impetus and the momentum in the future with a view to boosting interest in research. We will try to draft a programme, probably, for the next decade, to support interest in scientific research.
I have repeatedly recalled my last conversation with Daniil Granin, who told me, You should personally pay more attention to science, research and young scientists. In general, society should understand how important this has always been and that it will be even more important in the near future. We are following this instruction. Yes, I am serious: I remember this conversation, and he was very sincere. This was my last meeting with him, and he was certainly right.
This is all I would like to say at the beginning. I will be pleased to listen to you and hear your proposals on what we should do in the future to make the situation more stable and better.
Incidentally, today’s meeting has practical importance for me because very soon we will be holding a joint meeting of the Presidential Council for Science and the State Council. This will give us an opportunity, in cooperation with the people who are in charge of science and higher education and the governors of the regions of the Russian Federation, to formulate the tasks that we will have to address to develop this most important area of endeavour.
I think this is all that I wanted to say at the beginning.
If you have any ideas, and I am sure you have them, I would be pleased to listen to you, and not only to listen but also to make notes for myself, in order to use them at the event I have just mentioned.
Go ahead, please.