Councils of Young Scientists of the Far East: The Scale of Regional and Federal Communication
4 September 2021
The scientific community is taking on board the views of young scientists more often
For sure, scientists, young scientists, make up a key target audience for the entire year. Today, science is increasingly becoming a driving force in politics, and a driving force in the socioeconomic development of our country. The active role of young scientists today is of course a key phenomenon, which must be fostered further with the help of various measures — Nikita Marchenkov, Acting Head, Kurchatov Complex for Synchrotron and Neutron Investigations, Kurchatov Institute National Research Centre.
Thanks to its infrastructure and human capital, the Far East has the potential for further development in the sciences
Institutions making up the scientific and education potential of the Far East of course include the Far Easten branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Yakutsk Scientific Centre of the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and two federal universities – the Far Eastern Federal University, and the North-Eastern Federal University. The national development programme for the Far East has directly set out measures to support development programmes for these institutions. <...> There are 57 scientific organizations in the Far East, and 35 higher education institutions. The region is home to almost 1.5 million [young people – ed.] out of a total population of 8 million. <...> As a percentage, this is even 1.5% more than the Russian average — Ilya Kupryashkin, Coordinator, Community of Young Scientist Councils of the Far East.
The development of the sciences in the Far East is being hindered by the rapid outward migration of young people
I would like to talk about parallel programmes in which we participate as the Council of Young Scientists. [One such – ed.] programme is a consortium entitled ‘Integration’. It refers to integration between the Far Eastern Federal University and the Far Eastern branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The consortium has existed for many years now. Early this year, we were requested to get young people involved in this body, amongst others, which we did. <...> It turned out that it’s not so simple to make progress without young people. Today, all grant applications include a quota for young people. Today, there are even applications specifically for young people — Andrey Sushchenko, Chairman, Council of Young Scientists, Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
The personnel vacuum in the region in the 1990s has led to a shortage of qualified personnel today
One of the critical issues in science, in professional education was, is, and will remain the shortage of highly qualified personnel in the field. An analysis of the current situation at the majority of scientific schools in the Far East reveals there is cause for concern. This is because we have a very large personnel vacuum, which emerged in Russia as far back as the 1990s. Recently, there has been a palpable flow of young people to the central cities. This is particularly true of the Far East. Sadly, in this regard, the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), where I was born and now live and work, has been among the worst-hit in terms of outward migration of promising young people — Ninel Malysheva, Chairwoman, Council of Young Scientists, Ammosov North-Eastern Federal University.
Some regions of the Far East are lacking formal bodies for young scientists, and no links have been formed between them
The young scientists’ council in Transbaikal Territory is, let us say, not very popular, as the council of young scientists and students at Transbaikal State University is virtually the only body at educational and scientific organizations which is functioning. We don’t have that many educational organizations focusing on science in the region, and standalone ones – i.e., not branches – are even fewer in number. So-called student scientific communities are more developed. They <...> perform various functions, but we have found, let us say, a form of interaction, and we are moving in a single direction, supporting one another — Anna Shapieva, Chairwoman, Council of Young Scientists, Transbaikal State University.
Science should be promoted to specific target audiences
The President declared 2021 to be the Year of Science and Technology. So, at the start of the year, we considered what aims and objectives we should set ourselves. <...> And we came to the conclusion that there were three core audiences which we should focus our efforts on this year. The first was the professional community, i.e., scientists like us. These initiatives aimed to raise the prestige of science as a profession, both in the media, and on the ground through various support measures. The second audience was made up of future scientists – senior-year school pupils, students, and parents who may have a say in their children’s future careers. <...> And the third audience was Russian society as a whole, which by the end of the year was to be made more aware of science in the country — Nikita Marchenkov, Acting Head, Kurchatov Complex for Synchrotron and Neutron Investigations, Kurchatov Institute National Research Centre.
Modern technologies are making it possible to establish nationwide ties between young scientists
Our service has 12 branches spanning the entire country – that’s nine time zones with their own characteristics. We have four branches in the Far East, so these issues regarding online communication were raised during the pandemic, and we did everything in good time. That was in April 2020, when I moved to Kamchatka. Virtually right from the beginning, I was having ideas about what could be done to improve interaction in the sciences, and to improve youth policy in the integrated geophysical service with the aim of achieving strong results in scientific endeavours. Organizing the first online meeting took a few months. We not only had to discuss matters with the management, but also work through them with our employees. In October we held our first online meeting, where we announced a set of changes in line with the needs of young specialists and the management — Sergey Tikhonov, Chairman, Council of Young Scientists, Unified Geophysical Service of the Russian Academy of Sciences Federal Research Centre.