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67% of Russians don't blame scientists for emigrating. Do you?

0 20 February 2014

In a recent report a number of leading figures from the Russian venture industry highlighted the need for the Russian government to improve science education in the country. 

This is backed up by an infographic about science and innovation in Russia from “Russia in Figures”, recently published collection of enlightening infographics covering all aspects of Russian life. 

Russia’s Innovation ranking of 62 is not particularly encouraging. The rankings were created by INSEAD Business School, and are based on institutions, human capital and research, infrastructure, market and business sophistication, knowledge and technology outputs and creative outputs. 

The infographic also captures how detached Russian science and research is from the global academic community - managing just 1.4 million citations, a fraction of those achieved by much smaller scientific communities in the Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden. While language may be a factor (South Korean scientists are also cited comparatively rarely), Russia also lags far behind its rivals for international patents. South Korea applies for 10 times as many patents, while Japan applies for 43 times as many and the USA, 50 times. 

The statistics also highlight a tendency which won’t surprise anyone who’s studied at a Russian university - the majority of scientists and researchers are over 40, and indeed many of these may be much older than that.

There are a number of reasons for this - but surely the fact that the average monthly salary for researchers is a mere $870, barely higher than the overall national average, deters many intelligent young professionals from joining the sector. 

With all these factors in mind, it is unsurprising that as many as 67% of Russians don’t blame scientists for emigrating. 

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