Conferment of doctor of sciences diplomas and professor certificates

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At all times government and geopolitical boundaries have been too tight for science. It invariably belongs to all mankind and is meant to serve the whole civilization, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at a ceremony to present doctor of sciences diplomas and professor certificates in Minsk on 25 January.

“Your age-old thesis is that science is international. Belarusian scientists as well as the entire international scientific community still has to accomplish a lot to respond to the modern challenges that are unprecedentedly complex and multidimensional,” the President said.

It is necessary to continue the search for alternative sources of energy, to stop irreversible environmental changes, to discover new ways to prevent diseases and treat them, to overcome food crises and solve many other problems important for all people on the planet. “But in our country, we must work together primarily to achieve the strategic goals of the state,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

He added that there is a need to increase the competitiveness of the domestic economy, to ensure the national security of Belarus, to strengthen the country's sovereignty. “Using talents and skills you will change the world for the better, raise the mankind to a new stage of development. Because there where science stands high, high stand the man,” the head of state noted.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said that it is with a special attitude that he meets with scientists, that he always look forward to them. “Today we have only a small part of these daring, hard-working people in this hall. The profession is not easy. I never tire to repeat it everywhere. The decision to go into this profession is commendable,”  the Belarusian leader believes.

The President noted that science plays a very important role in the life of any state, ensures its independence, gives a country a political weight on the international arena. “Therefore, by awarding diplomas and certificates to doctors and professors in the run-up to the professional day [Belarusian Science Day is marked on 27 January], we not only celebrate the results of their research but also, and above all, set new conceptual, strategic objectives before science,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.

The head of state noted that every new generation of scientists always strives to raise the bar higher. “It is like in sport. You always move forward. You need to be faster, more accurate and stronger to beat those who already set a record. On the way to the goal you need not only skills but also the character. The same way success and recognition in science come to strong personalities, talented hard-workers endlessly dedicated to the cause,” he stressed.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stated that all the achievements of Belarusian scientists are the fruit of many years of labor, fine work, genuine desire to serve the people, improve the quality of life of the contemporaries and change the lives of future generations for the better.

“Time sets the goals before science. Today, we especially need the knowledge and experience of the prominent, decorated scientists, the energy and ambitions of young fledgling researchers willing to not only conquer the unknown forces of nature but also confront complex political and economic challenges together with the state. We expect innovative projects and technologies in nuclear energy, space exploration, digitalization, economy, medicine, education, sociology, ecology and geology,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.

He stressed that intellectual work is the basis for the development of any society, and it should be applicable, aimed at a concrete result, and produce real benefits for both the state and its people.

A lot has already been done in the country to support promising specialists. Optimal conditions have been created for scientific, technical and practical work. A system of financial incentives has been developed to reward effective implementation of ideas.

The President congratulated the new doctors of science and professors, as well as all the scientists of the country on their professional holiday and wished them every success in their difficult but endlessly fascinating work.

Doctor of Medicine, Associate Professor at the First Department for Pediatric Diseases of Belarusian State Medical University Sergei Baiko told attendees about his knowhow. He was awarded the doctorate for improving and upgrading the renal replacement therapy in children with an acute and chronic renal failure.

“In 2005 we moved into a new building of Municipal Children’s Teaching Hospital No. 2. Over the past decade, the National Center for Pediatric Nephrology and Renal Replacement Therapy became the best in the entire post-Soviet space. In terms of treatment outcomes we are on par with leading European hospitals,” the doctor said.

He unveiled the details of the current treatment protocols that allowed reducing the death rate manifold and personalizing approaches to diagnostics and treatment.

Sergei Baiko invited Aleksandr Lukashenko to visit Municipal Children’s Teaching Hospital No. 2: “When you opened our clinic 14 years ago, we talked about challenges and prospects, while now we can demonstrate the results of our work.”

“Thank you! I will come to the hospital with great pleasure,” the President responded.

At the same time, he noted that this hospital is not a place where one could relax their mind. “It is always hard for me to see sick children. When a child is sick, it is dreadful. Thank you a lot for children. It is a very important issue and a very important matter,” the President noted.

The meeting discussed the domestic achievements in the field of foundry. Doctor of Technical Sciences, Associate Professor, Head of the Machines and Foundry Technology Department at Belarusian National Technical University Sergei Rovin briefed the President on the state of affairs in this sector. The scientist was awarded the doctor academic degree for conceptual development of a new research area in dispersed metal waste recycling. Simply put, the work is dedicated to resource conservation, and this task is relevant for all countries with advanced machine engineering. The new technology allows recycling waste of alloys of non-ferrous and ferrous metals. For Belarus this means the annual recycling of up to 200,000 tonnes of iron and steel. The profitability of production workshops even with small processing volumes will make up not less than 50% with the payback period less than a year.

Aleksandr Lukashenko got interested in this development and asked Vladimir Gusakov how these innovations are being assimilated. He recalled that the NASB has the right to directly interact with the government on relevant issues. If there is no understanding, the government members in charge of this matter will have to defend their point of view at the level of the head of state. “But I do not think that a scientist will offer something that is impossible to implement or that is bad for the economy,” he said.

Electric vehicles and electric energy in general should be used more broadly in Belarus, President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he talked to scientists after a ceremony to present Doctor of Sciences diplomas and Professor certificates.

The head of state noted that the nuclear power plant will soon be commissioned in Belarus. Existing power grids have largely been upgraded. As a result, the country will be able to export electric energy and expand its use domestically. “Let us start with our own people. We can develop energy-efficient stoves and devices at reasonable prices that will not be higher than gas prices. Cars running on gasoline and diesel fuel can be replaced by electric cars. This task was set for the National Academy of Sciences. Will you be able to fulfill this task this year? This pertains to a broad range of electric vehicles, from electric bicycles to tractors and MAZ vehicles with electric traction. We need to do it on our own,” the President said.

He noted that he uses an electric motorcycle, though this motorcycle is made of Chinese parts. “It is good that you designed an electric motorcycle in China and brought it here for me for a test drive. I use it as much as I can. It is a great thing. However, it is all Chinese, except for the frame that you welded there. But we need our own products. First of all, batteries,” the President noted.

Chairman of the Presidium of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus Vladimir Gusakov reported that work is underway on a whole range of electric vehicles. “An electric bicycle, scooter; now we are also working on a Belarusian motorbike. As far as electric cars are concerned, the first test model that we demonstrated has been finalized. We have already designed an electric mini-van, a small electric municipal vehicle and a small truck. We are ready to show them to you,” he informed.

Vladimir Gusakov unveiled plans to set up a small experimental facility to produce electric transport.

According to him, scientists have already developed a domestic battery that is undergoing tests right now. It can challenge foreign products in terms of many specifications. “It is a graphene battery, not a lithium one. Lithium is very expensive and it can be found only in China. At the same time, we produce enough graphene in Belarus. We have already installed domestically produced batteries on an electric car and electric bicycles. We are testing them,” Vladimir Gusakov said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that it is important to move forward using the world’s best practices instead of trying to invent the wheel. “I brought you a Tesla and put it next to your model. I realize that this model was crude, but I do not think you will invent a Belarusian Tesla. However, you should strive to roll out an affordable car with a good price/quality ratio,” the Belarusian leader said.

Vladimir Gusakov informed that the improved model is two times more powerful and efficient than the previous version of the Belarusian electric car. “We are working on it. A task was set to come up with a product similar to a Tesla car,” he said.  

Aleksandr Lukashenko asked about specifications of the Belarusian electric car. It turned out that this car can cover only 250km on a single charge. “We will increase it up to 500km. We are working on it,” Vladimir Gusakov assured.

He added that a Belarusian electric engine will be on display at the exhibition timed to Belarusian Science Day.

Belarus’ Deputy Prime Minister Igor Lyashenko noted that last week he saw a tractor fitted with an electric drive. “This work should be streamlined. We know our bottleneck – it is the lack of a high-capacity energy source, like you said,” he noted.

According to the vice premier, this matter had been discussed with the Geely company chief during the talks on launching production of electric cars in Belarus. “They are still working on it; therefore they were not ready to roll out electric cars this year. The work is underway. They are not there yet when it comes to electric battery cells,” Igor Lyashenko said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko believes that electric cars, just like electric transport in general are something Belarus should focus on. Speaking about his experience of driving a Tesla car, he said: “I love driving. It is my hobby. I have driven many cars. However, a Tesla is a wonder car. It is fast and can move at a high speed. There is even no place to test it properly.  It can go as fast as 250km/h on the ring road. It is very smooth and stable,” the head of state said.

“It is very important for our people and the country. Electric vehicles are not the future; they are the present of the entire planet. We should not drag behind. Therefore, we will see at the end of the year what you will have achieved,” the Belarusian leader said.  

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that science should focus on things that are relevant for people and the state. “It is advisable to avoid irrelevant areas of research. Scientists should work on the things the economy and people need today without forgetting about fundamental research if it is necessary and marketable,” the head of state said.