MOSCOW — More than 500 protesters have gathered in Moscow’s Pushkin Square to demand more government funding for science and scientists in Russia, RFE/RL’s Russian Service reports.
The gathering on October 13 was jointly organized by the Russian Science Academy’s labor unions, the Council of Young Scientists, Moscow State University students and teachers, the Russian Students’ Union, and the Interregional Teachers’ Union.
The protesters say their primary objective was to express their dissatisfaction with the government’s science policy.
They also demanded an increase in financial support for the Russian Foundation for Fundamental Studies (RFFI) and the “debureaucratization” of allocating funds for scientific research.
Dr. Mikhail Gelfand of the Russian Academy of Sciences told RFE/RL that one of the protesters’ demands is to increase financial support for the RFFI to the level that is specified by the law.
Gelfand said that the foundation is the only one in Russia that helps select the best-qualified group of researchers in any given discipline.
He added that current regulations do not allow research scientists to use allocated funds with the optimum effectiveness, as the allocation process is too complex and bureaucratic.
Read more in Russian here