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Scientific Experts Corps

Since 2008, the Dynasty Foundation has been supporting the formation of a Corps of experts in the natural sciences (Rus) being created by the initiative of the scientific community.

Mikhail Feigelman (left), deputy director of the Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics, and Galina Tsirlina (right), professor of chemistry, Moscow State University, talk about the Experts Corps on Radio Svoboda (Radio Liberty). Photo courtesy of www.svobodanews.ru

Scientists have long discussed the shortcomings of Russian expertise in allocating scientific research funds, primarily in the governmental sector.

In addition to inappropriate evaluation requirements, there is the problem that incompetent experts are recruited. Companies and knowledge-intensive businesses have been facing a related issue: a difficulty in identifying competent experts.

A survey project, based on the snowball technique and intended to identify the most authoritative experts in the scientific community, was started as a result of the public debate. This poll is expected to form a list of experts who are more trusted in their areas of expertise than those resulting from simplified selection methods based on formal criteria (citation index, number of papers, the title, academic degree, etc.). Using this method definitely allows to minimize the effect of clannishness in the expert community.

In October 2007, the first stage of the project—a poll related to the physics of condensed matter—was initiated by the Editors of the leading Russian physical journals and supported by the RAO UES and the Troika Dialog investment company.

The first list of experts was published in April 2008. Lists of experts in physics (Rus) and astronomy (Rus) in whom Russian and overseas colleagues expressed their professional confidence were subsequently developed with support from the Dynasty Foundation.
A list of experts in physico-chemical, molecular, and cell biology and in bioinformatics (Rus) was completed in 2009.
The lists of experts with their areas of expertise indicated are in the public domain and continue to grow.

A version of the list “Who's Who in Russian Science” (Rus) was created using the database of the Corps of experts.

In 2010–2011, the Corps of experts and the lists of the most cited Russian scientists are being developed in the framework of a joint project entitled “Self-organizing science in Russia.”

During the project, a database containing information about the specializations of more than 4,000 Russian scientists living here and abroad has been created. Also, similar information about foreign scientists who have been named as potential experts has been collected. The information about specialists in physics, astronomy, and molecular biology is currently the most complete.

The most complex and ambitious task is to investigate the real structure of Russian science as it has evolved up to now and to identify viable, globally competitive fields and research groups.

The organizers and many participants of the project believe that no meaningful reforms of the Russian scientific and technological system are possible without such an analysis.

To learn more visit the project site (Rus).

During the course of the project, the Experts Corps has assembled a database that contains information on the specializations of more than 4,000 scientific researchers from Russia and the Russian diaspora, as well as analogous information about foreign scientists who were identified as potential experts. At present, the most complete databases pertain to physics, astronomy and molecular biology.

The most complex and massive task that the new Experts Corps could be asked to solve is a study of the real structure of Russian science as it exists at present in order to identify the most viable, internationally competitive areas of research and the most successful research teams.

The organizers and many members of this project believe that unless such an analysis is undertaken, it will be impossible to carry out meaningful reforms of Russia's technical and scientific research complex.

 
© 2002-2015
Dmitry Zimin
Dynasty Foundation

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The Dmitry Zimin Dynasty Foundation was included in the Register of ‘Nonprofit Organizations Performing the Functions of a Foreign Agent’ by the Russian Ministry of Justice on 25 May 2015.