De los cohetes a los arados

Moscú: La primera ley de la investigación científica (que cuesta muchísimo dinero) es tan inmutable como las leyes de la gravedad. Por ello, no es de sorprender que la ciencia en Rusia se haya hundido en un agujero negro debido a los desórdenes económicos de la década que siguió a la caída del comunismo. La libertad económica que transformó a Rusia, para bien y para mal, fue desastrosa para los laboratorios e institutos de investigación, cuyos presupuestos desaparecieron, al tiempo que los talentos jóvenes salieron o se dedicaron a la banca o a otros negocios (resalta el caso de Boris Berezovsky, que de matemático pasó a oligarca).

Esta fuga de cerebros tanto interna como externa golpeará a la economía rusa en las próximas décadas. También constituye un regalo no intencional de Rusia al Occidente. La magnitud de esta tansferencia de intelectos probablemente no tiene antecedentes en la historia de la humanidad, y es mayor que la fuga de científicos de la Alemania nazi que tuvo lugar en los años treinta.

Tomemos por ejemplo la institución que yo dirigí durante 35 años: el departamento de física del Instituto Moscovita de Física y Técnica (IMFT), comparable con el prestigiado MIT norteamericano. En los últimos diez años, 1500 egresados de nuestro Instituto se fueron a los Estados Unidos. Utilizando medios comunes de evaluación se calcula que la educación de un científico especializado de alto nivel cuesta un millón de dólares. Así, sólo un Instituto ruso subsidió a los Estados Unidos con científicos por un valor nominal de ¡mil quinientos millones de dólares!

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