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Report: Russian science in crisis

Dec. 7, 2012 at 5:27 PM

MOSCOW, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Underfunding and the absence of a coherent national development strategy have left Russian science in crisis, a report by a science advocacy group says.

The Russian Science Promotion Association says Russian science lags behind international research standards and is plagued by acute personnel shortages, bad organization and bureaucracy, RIA Novosti reported Friday.

"Overall, the current state of Russian science can be described as catastrophic," the non-governmental advocacy group said.

Pervasive commercialization has also crippled Russian science, the group said, with television adding to the problems.

"Numerous programs broadcast on federal channels on subjects requiring professional expertise that are conducted by unprofessional hosts with unprofessional participants undermine the authority of professional knowledge," it said.

These programs suggest anyone can solve serious problems "regardless of education and practical experience," the group said in its report, resulting in damage to the "cult of knowledge" in public consciousness.

The group said Russia needs coherent scientific-technical policies based on long-term strategic development planning.

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