A socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions, congress, exhibitions, business, social and sporting, public, and cultural events.

The Roscongress Foundation is a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, sporting, and cultural events. It was established in pursuance of a decision by the President of the Russian Federation.

The Foundation was established in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential, promoting its national interests, and strengthening the country’s image. One of the roles of the Foundation is to comprehensively evaluate, analyse, and cover issues on the Russian and global economic agendas. It also offers administrative services, provides promotional support for business projects and attracting investment, and helps foster social entrepreneurship and charitable initiatives.

Each year, the Foundation’s events draw participants from 208 countries and territories, with more than 15,000 media representatives working on-site at Roscongress’ various venues. The Foundation benefits from analytical and professional expertise provided by 5000 people working in Russia and abroad. In addition, it works in close cooperation with 155 economic partners; industrialists’ and entrepreneurs’ unions; and financial, trade, and business associations from 75 countries worldwide.

The Roscongress Foundation has Telegram channels in Russian (t.me/Roscongress), English (t.me/RoscongressDirect), and Spanish (t.me/RoscongressEsp). Official website and Information and Analytical System of the Roscongress Foundation: roscongress.org.

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Popularizing Science: A Task for the Creative Industries or Young Scientists?
5 June 2021
10:00—11:15
KEY CONCLUSIONS
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Any job should be done by professionals. Effective communication with a wide audience [is impossible – ed.] without the kind of expert analysis, experience, and resources concentrated in media holding companies, tech giants, and government bodies. <...> And without forming close and equal partnerships with the scientific communities, this process will certainly be neither effective nor impactful — Yulia Golubeva, Deputy General Director, Gazprom-Media Holding.

The race for tech solutions and discoveries <...> does not negate the arms race, if we take a global view. However, if we concentrate solely on the arms race, then we will lose the very essence of what it is to be human. A human must create, they have a need to invent — Sergei Lyulin, Deputy President, Russian Academy of Sciences.

There is a clear algorithm which unites creativity and science. And it is a simple one, consisting of an idea, a hypothesis, and an experiment. In each area, this algorithm works very smoothly — Sergey Pershin, General Director, Centre for the Development of Cultural Initiatives.

If we want people to join the sciences, we must demonstrate what awaits them there. And what awaits them is an environment where a young scientist <...> is a person who is very much in demand, who has a very distinguished position in society, and, above all, has access to genuinely limited resources. By ‘limited resources’, I mean knowledge and the luxury of communicating with colleagues, including from the creative industries — Denis Sekirinsky, Deputy Chief of the Presidential Directorate for Science and Education Policy .

Tradition in science is very important. However, this does not mean that nothing should change. Once creative people join the sciences, changes will happen. Work opportunities need to be created for these scientists — Sergei Lyulin, Deputy President, Russian Academy of Sciences.

If the applied sciences want to be popular, they need to follow the example of the creative industries. That means commercialization, efficiency, and a business-minded approach. And again, the fundamental sciences must also understand that they are a driver and indicator [of civilization – ed.] — Andrey Krichevsky, Chairman, Committee on Intellectual Property and Creative Industries, Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs; President, IPChain.

ISSUES
A brain drain

There are an awful lot of people who believe that their main aim after graduating from university – or even leaving school – should be to move to a successful region in terms of science. <...> It’s an enormous problem — Sergei Lyulin, Deputy President, Russian Academy of Sciences.

There has been mention of 70,000 [scientists emigrating from Russia – ed.]. However, this should probably be placed in context, and we should also look at how many people are returning. A figure should not be cited in isolation. Yes, it does sounds appalling, and may be accurate, but I think we should look at the situation more broadly. For example, the way I see things is that we have scientists moving equally in both directions — Nikita Marchenkov, Acting Head, Kurchatov Complex for Synchrotron and Neutron Investigations, Kurchatov Institute National Research Centre.

Funding for the sciences and a solid base for conducting experiments

Science needs a good supporting infrastructure. Scientists need instruments to do their job. If we start scrambling around trying to build an amazing instrument with whatever comes to hand, we’ll end up with a quantum computer made out of an abacus — Sergei Lyulin, Deputy President, Russian Academy of Sciences.

Lack of clarity regarding the role of science in socioeconomic development

The answers to the major challenges emerging today lie in the work being done by scientists and researchers in their laboratories. And the most interesting thing is that the contribution made by one or another scientist to solving these big challenges is by no means always apparent — Nikita Marchenkov, Acting Head, Kurchatov Complex for Synchrotron and Neutron Investigations, Kurchatov Institute National Research Centre.

Only 5% of Russians believe that their country’s future may depend on the development of the domestic science and technology sectors. And here’s a figure which I consider to be appalling: 90% of respondents struggled off the top of their heads to name even a single world-renowned Russian scientist alive today — Yulia Golubeva, Deputy General Director, Gazprom-Media Holding.

Treading the fine line between popularization and trivialization

There is a fine line between popularization and trivialization. We need to tread this line carefully, precisely, and professionally in order to avoid the spread of pseudo-science — Yulia Golubeva, Deputy General Director, Gazprom-Media Holding.

It is crucial to popularize good content in order to ensure that good science is not overridden by bad science. Bad science can become too widespread and popular, and we need to avoid that. <...> There are a great many examples today of facts being falsified and manipulated. This is a dangerous area — Sergei Lyulin, Deputy President, Russian Academy of Sciences.

Uninspiring websites published by the scientific community

[I wish to – ed.] praise the ministries and the Russian Academy of Sciences. To my great regret, the overwhelming majority of our organizations’ websites are as dull as ditchwater. It’s impossible. There’s no desire to even glance at them — Alexander Sokolov, Senior Researcher, Arctic Research Station, Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology of the Urals Branch of the Russian Academy of Science.

The lack of a culture promoting collaboration between the creative and scientific communities

We inhabit the same playing field – intellectual and creative work is all intertwined. The only issue is that we are not totally accustomed to working together. <...> There’s no strong inclination to benefit from each other’s environments — Igor Namakonov, General Director, Federation of Creative Industries.

A creative visualization of science is crucial. I believe that collaboration between the creative industries and the sciences – the scientific community – is a crucial factor today. <...> And yet, in my opinion, the scientific and creative communities inhabit their own, isolated ivory towers — Sergei Lyulin, Deputy President, Russian Academy of Sciences.

Science as a mass pursuit

At the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries, only around 1,000 people throughout the entire world practiced science. Today, more than 8.5 million researchers work in science. The field of research has become a mass pursuit. And as a result, we are gradually moving away from having groups of polymaths or an intelligentsia as such. <...> However, we are talking about a more specialized type of scientist. And that is not always a good thing. Indeed, in many areas, it is bad — Denis Sekirinsky, Deputy Chief of the Presidential Directorate for Science and Education Policy .

SOLUTIONS
Increased funding for the sciences

A number of major, positive shifts are currently under way with regards funding for the sciences. It is also impossible, you know, to immediately build a scientific paradise from scratch. That just does not happen. The trends are looking good though, and funding for the sciences is increasing. These are both evident and tangible changes — Sergei Lyulin, Deputy President, Russian Academy of Sciences.

Building an infrastructure enabling the creative industries and the scientific sector to work together

We need to erase the boundaries. There need to be spaces for dialogue. And I do not think one event’s agenda will achieve this. We have the wonderful Nauka 0+ science festival. It’s certainly interesting, <...> but it’s still an event. What we need to do is build the requisite socio-humanistic infrastructure — Sergei Lyulin, Deputy President, Russian Academy of Sciences.

Positioning science as key to socioeconomic development

Today, it is vital to position science as key to socioeconomic development. <...> It is vital that we present scientists specifically as people who are helping to build the future of humanity through their developments — Nikita Marchenkov, Acting Head, Kurchatov Complex for Synchrotron and Neutron Investigations, Kurchatov Institute National Research Centre.

Bringing together specialists from a wide range of scientific fields to tackle today’s challenges

The complex nature of the challenges we face are so multi-faceted that we need to involve specialists from a wide variety of fields. The pandemic is a fairly striking example. On the one hand, it has clearly been a task for medical workers and biologists. But upon greater thought, it becomes clear that it has involved materials scientists and physicists – for example, in developing innovative masks, and it has involved humanities specialists as well. Sociologists, for example, have been studying human behaviour, psychologists have been studying mental health in the wake of the pandemic, and economists have been studying how it has affected the economy. This is all very important — Nikita Marchenkov, Acting Head, Kurchatov Complex for Synchrotron and Neutron Investigations, Kurchatov Institute National Research Centre.

Employing state initiatives to encourage scientists to return

Today, a large number of scientists are returning to Russia as a result of initiatives put in place by the government. The mega-grant programme spearheaded by the President has enabled many scientists to return to Russia. These are key people at the top of their profession — Nikita Marchenkov, Acting Head, Kurchatov Complex for Synchrotron and Neutron Investigations, Kurchatov Institute National Research Centre.

Using content to draw attention to science

When a content creator is able to present strong characters on screen, it can act as an excellent spur to raise the prestige of a profession or field, and as a result, attract talented young people to the area. <...> As a tool for raising young people’s awareness of science and popularizing science, content is extremely effective. And undoubtedly, the government should be involved in this process through co financing productions of this kind — Yulia Golubeva, Deputy General Director, Gazprom-Media Holding.

Several YouTube channels, such as PostNauka, Galileo, Physics by Pobedinsky, Nauchpok, and Vert Dider have enormous followings. People watch them. These creative outlets package science in an eye-catching and interesting way, and have made science accessible — Igor Namakonov, General Director, Federation of Creative Industries.