Aleksandr Lukashenko holds session to discuss science development prospects

  • 17

Belarusian scientists should come up with breakthrough world-level research products. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement at the conference held on 31 March to discuss Belarusian science development prospects together with leading scientists.

“We don’t have rich natural resources but we have a powerful intellectual potential and smart specialists. However, I don’t want to offend you but the country has yet to see noticeable achievements in any high-tech areas,” noted the President. “What you have demonstrated at the exhibition today is important and great. In this case I refer to breakthrough avenues, the landmarks that we should keep in mind as we advance”.

At the beginning of the conference the head of state underlined that the agreement to hold the conference was made back in August 2013. The President said that as usual he had given new science administrators time to get up to speed. He explained that after appointing administrators he does not ask them to come up with their vision for the institutions they are appointed to but instead gives them an opportunity to set things straight. Later on the President hears out reports from the newly appointed administrators in the presence of his or her colleagues. “It is the principle I’ve been following for two years now,” specified the head of state.

It has been some time since the new head of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus (NASB) was appointed and now it is time for him to say how the Belarusian science will evolve. Aleksandr Lukashenko believes that NASB is the core of science, applied science and university science. The 31 March conference will discuss prospects of science development as a whole and the development of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus in particular.

The President said that apart from hearing out administrators he intended to hear out proposals from researchers themselves. It is necessary to come up with promising avenues. According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, “It is important because we spend a lot on research efforts and would like the money to be spent on what the state needs”. The President called upon the present administrators and scientists to talk sincerely: “I expect you to provide a relevant response in the context of the present situation, the situation in the world”.
“Now it is time for a serious conversation,” believes the President. “We are not satisfied with a lot of things in mutual relations between science and the society. I think you are not satisfied either”.
He also remarked that the share of innovative products is rising in Belarus according to reports. “It seems that the larger number of innovations is supposed to result in larger sales. In reality we see only the stock in storage rising,” stressed Aleksandr Lukashenko. As an example the President referred to BelAZ, which is surely not a bad company. “I see high technologies, things are going well, large-size trucks but you can see the results yourselves,” remarked the President.

Speaking about the excessive stock in storage, the head of state: “It may entail great consequences right up to currency exchange offices that you may frequent from time to time particularly if gutter press blows devaluation fears out of proportion”. The stock in storage at BelAZ, MAZ, and MTS could generate forex earnings, specified Aleksandr Lukashenko.

The President also stressed: “The accomplishments that you constantly mention in mass media, for instance, supercomputers, satellites, cancer cure, transgenic goats, a cell technology center represent important novelties on the scale of the country, I can’t argue with that, but still the results are below the world level”.

“What the Academy of Sciences and other research institutions of the country are busy with now is useful but small. There are no revolutionary discoveries and inventions,” the head of state is convinced. He was interested in reasons behind the state of affairs and in what has to be done to address the situation. He invited scientists to come forth with concrete proposals on what has to be changed and how things should be fixed.
“For now the number of proposals is small,” said the head of state. “We hear only the old words: give us money and we will do everything. Not everyone says that but the majority does”.

“If you are scared to say what has to be done, don’t be, speak bluntly. I am ready for any solutions, even revolutionary ones. We don’t need just development today. We need a breakthrough at least in several directions,” Aleksandr Lukashenko was convinced.