Russia's Medvedev slams brain drain after Nobel prize win

5th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday called for the government to stem the brain drain of gifted scientists after two Russian-born physicists were awarded a Nobel prize.

"We need to make an effort so that our talented people do not go abroad," Medvedev said at a meeting with teachers in Moscow, the Interfax news agency reported.

Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, who shared the 2010 Nobel physics prize for pioneering work on graphene, graduated from the Moscow Physics and Technology university (MFTI) and conducted research in the Moscow region.

Geim left Russia in the early 1990s and is now a Dutch national while Novoselov, 36, holds a British passport.

Medvedev said that his initial joy at the Nobel win was dampened when he realised that both men worked not in Russia but at the University of Manchester in Britain, Interfax reported.

"We do not have a normal system to stimulate our young specialists, talented people, so that they stay to work in this country," Medvedev said, adding that the government "has been fighting for this for years."

He said Russia's main problem in this regard was outdated research facilities, calling this area a "huge failure".

"Our laboratory research base unfortunately is quite seriously outdated," he said.

"We have not developed it in recent years, or if we have, only in major scientific centres such as Moscow and Saint Petersburg state universities."

The number of scientists leaving Russia would fall "significantly" if research facilities were improved, Medvedev said.

© 2010 AFP

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