The Nature journal, one of the largest and most prestigious editions in the world dedicated to science, has published an interview with Dmitry Livanov, the Minister of Education and Science of the Russian Federation.
Answering the question whether the complex geopolitical situation is a threat to international scientific cooperation of Russia, Dmitry Livanov said that the value of such cooperation today becomes even more than a year ago. "Some issues have still been needed to be solved, but they are mostly related to the supplies of modern technologies and the purchase of new equipment. Anyway, Russia will continue to work within the framework of such projects as the Large Hadron Collider, European x-ray free electron laser, the European Centre for Antiproton and Ion Research and the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor. Moreover, we will be taking part in the ESRF project (European Synchrotron Radiation Facility) in Grenoble", - the minister said, adding that the search for new knowledge is a process, beneficial to everybody, so it should not be affected by the political and economic situation.
Dmitry Livanov also said that the weakening of the ruble has not affected the funding of science in Russia too much. He recalled that the allocation for development of scientific research in Russia up to 2020 will be 834 billion rubles. According to the minister, the priority will be given to the interdisciplinary researches what is expected to lead to the emergence of new breakthrough ideas and allow the costs to be repaid.
The head of the Russian Ministry of Education and Science said that Russia will continue to develop the megagrants program. "The results achieved so far are impressive ones: 50 of the best Russian universities created 144 laboratories, which employs more than 4 thousand scientists; 1,825 scientific articles published, more than 800 of them - in journals indexed by Web of Science; 500 objects of intellectual property were created", - Dmitry Livanov said. Being questioned of why there are very few women among the megagrants owners, the Minister said that women, unfortunately, served only 5% of the total number of applications. However, he expressed the confidence that during the selection the quality of scientists work was taking into account, not their sex. "I am sure that science has no sex, nationality and age. If you're a world-class scientist, Russia is ready to support your studies", - Dmitry Livanov said.