Science is of strategic significance for the country and its future, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he attended a ceremony to bestow Doctor of Sciences diplomas and professor certificates on scientists and academic researchers on 23 January.
“Two main forces underpin the power of our state (probably of any state, but it is especially true about ours). These are high intelligence of the nation and a life-giving source of cultural traditions. By honoring the best representatives of the Belarusian science in the Independence Palace ahead of Belarusian Science Day, we emphasize the strategic importance of science for the development of the country,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The participants of the ceremony will celebrate their professional holiday in a new status this year. The head of state said that conferring the Doctor of Sciences and professor titles would become their next victory on the most difficult path of learning the laws of nature and society, and also the basis for new achievements.
“They say that many discoveries in science are made by chance. Yet, they are made by not random people. There are years of dedicated hard work behind each of your results. I often say: the hardest work that mankind has known is the work of a scientist. Only the most talented, persistent and purposeful people understand the scientific truth,” the President stressed.
According to him, science in Belarus receives special support and trust from the state. “Requirements are also very high. I am convinced (maybe I am wrong about something, but I am mostly right) that it is difficult to become a scientist in Belarus. It requires efforts to become a scientist. It takes even more efforts to get a title, to defend a candidate's or doctoral thesis today. This is because of many reasons. It is virtually impossible to do this for money, as it was done many, many years ago,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.
Scientists are actively involved in many social and political processes in the country, he added. This noble mission requires a lot of commitment and responsibility for decisions.
“It is science and modern innovations that change the world, open the horizons of civilizational development of the third decade of the 21st century. Today it is vital to join and gain a foothold among a group of countries-developers, manufacturers of high-tech and knowledge-intensive products. We have all grounds for making progress in this direction,” the head of state said.
According to the President, Belarus has already gained a wide visibility through research and development in information and space technologies, nuclear power engineering, physics, mechanical engineering, agro-industrial and biotechnologies, medicine and pharmaceutics. “Everything that has been achieved for the benefit of man and our state is the merit of people like you - selfless and devoted to noble goals. You are responsible for the future of our children,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The President is convinced that today the country needs to look many decades ahead and do everything possible to make every new generation of Belarusians proud of their origins, to preserve its historical heritage and improve the best initiatives. “Moreover, your achievements must surely find further development through the work of the best students, promising, ambitious, and state-minded people. Their future success will be a true confirmation of your title and scientific authority. May this tradition of continuity of intellectual potential serve the main goals of further development of our state,” the Belarusian leader said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko wished the scientists inspiration to move forward. “I would like this career milestone to become a foundation for your further development as scientists,” he said.
The President bestowed the Doctor of Sciences diplomas upon 11 scientists. They included representatives of medical, pedagogical, technical, physico-mathematical, philological and economic sciences.
The Belarusian head of state presented professor certificates to seven representatives of educational, scientific and medical institutions in art history, construction, physics, technology (mechanical engineering), law and medical biology.
Aleksandr Lukashenko compared the assignment of the doctor of science degree to the general's straps, calling these titles "people's". “All the heights that we reach in life are very important. But the ‘people’s rank (professor, general) is a great thing. I have the greatest respect for you, heroic people, because science is a very difficult thing. In due time I refused to go into science, realizing that it was very difficult and that it required a really huge commitment and support from above. This is why I am always very sensitive to these issues and I am very attentive to scientists,” the President said.
After the ceremony, the head of state talked to the newly minted Doctors of Sciences and professors, and asked them to speak frankly about the problems, “the things they really care”. “There is such a practice: before meeting with the President, people are instructed what to say and what to ask. I do not mind. You can touch on any issue. But I want it to come from the heart. If it does not, I will immediately notice it because I have a lot of experience working with people," Aleksandr Lukashenko said.