Not for the first time, Russian scientists are taking their considerable knowledge and moving abroad. Some of the brainy emigrants cite funding problems and Russian red tape as reasons to move. For others, heading West is simply a lifestyle choice.
...Russian graduate students prefer just about any small, unknown laboratory in Europe over the brand-new Russian scientific complex [Skolkovo]. “A stable trend has been established: 100% of working young people who get the opportunity to work abroad leave Russia,” said one scientific analyst. “If a young researcher gets the opportunity to enter the international arena, he or she will do it.”
Indeed, the trend extends beyond scientists. In October, 2011, a survey found that 22% of Russian citizens in general were prepared to leave the country. The only thing that sets the scientists apart is that they tend to be much more welcome by the receiving countries. “It’s not even really about the lack of financing for scientific projects, but general quality of life,” said one of the scientists. “If regular people are not coming back to Russia, then why would scientists do so?” _WorldCrunch
Russia is the world's largest country, in terms of land mass. It is a land rich with natural resources, and one of the world's foremost energy exporters. But not all is well in the land of the Russian bear. Alcoholism, suicide, mental illness, crime, and infectious diseases such as HIV and Tuberculosis, are all endemic. Russia's men die before they can retire, leaving Russian women with nothing but vodka to keep them warm at night.
Beautiful young Russian women compete to be mail order brides for European, North American, and Australian men. Ambitious and competent young Russian men compete for overseas positions -- anything to escape the dreary dead-end that Russia has come to represent to so many of its young.
“It turns out that in only two years the number of articles published by Russian scientists has dropped by 10%. That is unprecedented,” said a researcher at a Physics Institute in Moscow, who like other protesters interviewed, asked to remain anonymous. “That hasn’t happened in the United States, where funding is still plentiful for scientists, in Japan, which has suffered through several years of economic stagnation, or even in Greece, which is drowning in its own debt.”Russia's core population would be shrinking even without the outgoing emigration. But the loss of Russia's most ambitious, competent, and fertile young people to the outside world does nothing to improve the morale of those left behind.
...“Scientists have always left our country, but now we are talking about a large increase in the number of people who are moving away. Nearly all of our friends have packed up their things,” said one of the protest organizers. “Dissertation advisors don’t discourage young scientist from choosing to leave. Now we’re seeing a huge wave of people who are leaving the country. The only thing keeping most of them here is that they haven’t defended their dissertation yet.”
There are no specific statistics on the number of scientists who leave – emigrants don’t generally notify the Russian migration office that they are leaving. But this is not the first exodus. There was a massive wave of scientists who left Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union. Mathematicians, physicists, and biologists took whole laboratories to the United States. The second most popular destination was Israel, where a previous wave of Russian scientists had already set up shop in the 1970s.
By the beginning of the 2000s, nearly all the top names from Soviet science were working outside of Russia. According to the Association of Russian Speaking Scientists, there are around 100,000 Russian-speaking scientists and researchers working outside of the Russian Federation, counting those who left Russia before and after the fall of the Soviet Union.... _WorldCrunch