2012 January 02 Monday
Corruption Strangling Russian Science

Russia's economic recovery has been based largely on natural resource extraction, especially oil production. Unfortunately, the rest of Russian society is choked by corruption. The Russian government's attempt to boost Russian science has been choked by its own corruption.

PUSHCHINO, Russia — For the past decade, Russia has been pouring money into scientific research, trying to make up for the collapse of the 1990s, but innovation is losing out to exhaustion, corruption and cronyism.

A big increase in spending with nothing to show for it.

Shot through with back-scratching and favoritism, the government’s science program has tripled its spending in the past 10 years — and achieved very little. The number of papers published in scientific journals is the same as it was in 2000 and as it was in 1990, even while the rest of the world’s output has exploded.

Russian is in dire need of some virtuous leaders. Will it ever get them? A great deal could be accomplished if even some parts of the Russian government became incorruptible. Russia should be a warning on why we should want to keep corruption (and all of the conditions that favor the development of corruption) out of Western societies.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2012 January 02 04:47 PM  Russia


Comments
Abelard Lindsey said at January 2, 2012 8:10 PM:

Russian science has always been flaky. Anyone remember Lysenko?

Black Death said at January 3, 2012 6:47 AM:

Russian science had its problems under communism - Lysenkoism is just one example. However, prior to 1917, Russian science had its stars - Pavlov and Mendeleev, for example.

I'll never forget what my college Russian teacher told me - this was back during the days of the USSR, and she was a native Russian. She said that Russia never changes - the history of the country could be discussed without mentioning communism. Stalin was just an exceptionally cruel (but rather effective) tsar. Not too different from some of his predecessors. Corruption was built in to everything. Something else she said that sticks with me - "It's a cruel land, soaked in blood."

Abelard Lindsey said at January 3, 2012 10:35 AM:

"I'll never forget what my college Russian teacher told me - this was back during the days of the USSR, and she was a native Russian. She said that Russia never changes - the history of the country could be discussed without mentioning communism. Stalin was just an exceptionally cruel (but rather effective) tsar. Not too different from some of his predecessors. Corruption was built in to everything. Something else she said that sticks with me - "It's a cruel land, soaked in blood.""

The Economist once described Russia as having no useful history to draw on, whatsoever.

WJ said at January 3, 2012 12:14 PM:

Corruption, or brain drain?

Izhmash said at January 3, 2012 7:46 PM:

Russian science has always been flaky. Anyone remember Lysenko?"

Yeah, there is some flaky Russian shit. But some of the stuff they came up with was/is awesome. The AK comes to mind...

Peter A said at January 3, 2012 11:27 PM:

Russia is a horrific warning about what happens to a country with no real rural culture. It is no accident that the societies that seem to have the most internal integrity are deeply rooted in agricultural traditions of private farming and land ownership - Germany, France, England, the US. Japan and Korea both took off when they introduced land reform and created legions of family farms. The only real bright time in Russian history was that short period between the abolition of serfdom and collectivization. The tragedy of Russia is that it is a rootless culture thanks to the Bolsheviks. Most people can trace their roots back no further than their great grand parents. Very few Russians feel a vested interest in their country as a shared and eternal concept, the way French, Chinese or white Americans do.

A.Prole said at January 4, 2012 1:25 AM:

Abelard Lindsay,
The Economist is the biggest, stinkiest pile of shit this planet has produced since the Catholic church.The Economis has no intelligence or wisdom whatsoever in its entire archive.

Anyhow, don't you think that stopping Napoleon an Hitler from their ambitions of turning France and Germany, respectively, into the masters of a united, single European continental state (if these ambitions had been realised the shape of the world today would be far, far different in all sorts of unimaginable and strange ways), isn't an historical achievement of mega proportions?

Mthson said at January 4, 2012 5:17 AM:

Something I don't understand: Russia being a "cruel land" is in stark contrast to the prosocial natures of the other northern, high civilization populations.

Scandinavia's excellence isn't because it's socialist, but rather because it's full of Scandinavians (who do even better in the US than in Scandinavia). Same with North East Asians.

Is Russia's HBD (human bio-diversity) profile an outlier relative to the other northern, high civilization populations, and that drives the cultural outcomes? Or is Russia like North Korea: a high IQ population that just has bad history?

Black Death said at January 4, 2012 7:18 AM:

Russia's bloody history may have something to do with its geography and history. Spanning Europe and Asia, Russia has fought wars with most of its neighbors at one time or another. Plus there were lots of invasions. The Russians I've met have mostly been paranoid about invasions. The Mongols, the Turks, the Swedes, the French, the Germans - all have taken their shots, and all have ultimately failed. In spite of frequent military incompetence, General Winter and General Distance have always come to Russia's aid at the critical moments.

Abelard Lindsey said at January 4, 2012 9:36 AM:

"The Economist is the biggest, stinkiest pile of shit this planet has produced since the Catholic church.The Economist has no intelligence or wisdom whatsoever in its entire archive."

Actually, the Economist was very good during the 1980's and early 1990's. It started its decline around 1995. The aforementioned critique of Russian history appeared in an early 90's edition of the magazine.

Peter A said at January 5, 2012 7:01 AM:

Don't worry Abelard. A.Prole is clueless. Stopping Napoleon and Hitler is no credit to Russian civilization, anymore than we should worship Mongolia for overrunning Central Asia. Barbarians have beaten civilized people many times through history.

A.Prole said at January 6, 2012 2:00 AM:

Peter A,
Are you seriously describing Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime as 'civilized' - then either you are one of those dumb shit-headed wannabe American neo-nazis #who because they have a drop of German blood think they are wonderful, but have never actually been to Germany# are just a plain crazy fucker.

Check It Out said at January 6, 2012 12:56 PM:

Interesting, but just one thing. There's no such a thing as "Russian Science" or "American Science". I'll assume you mean Science in Russia.

Thanks.

saim said at April 24, 2012 12:01 AM:

I wish I had a goverment with Medvedev as bookish arch and Putins experience, refletion and boxy determination! If Russia ends corruption, with all the bookish resources, peoples will and ability no agnosticism has what it takes to become a GRAND cool economy!!!

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