International Laboratory in Russia As a New Form of Reproducing Scientific Elite

Sunday, 10 July 2016: 12:43
Location: Hörsaal 18 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Nadia ASHEULOVA, Institute for the History of Science and Technology, SPb Branch, Russian Academy of Scienc, Russia
Over the last decade, the academic world in Russia has seen significant changes. One of the government initiatives includes establishing new types of international laboratories under the guidance of a leading scientist. More than 160 laboratories engaged in promising research have been established. This paper presents study on the examining such laboratories. One of the main questions of the research: “Are young scientists potential academic elite and in which country are they going to build their academic career?” Our analysis is focused on weakly structured in-depth interviews with experts, leading scientists and heads of laboratories, as well as with young researchers from international laboratories in several Research and Education Centers of St Petersburg, Moscow, Rostov-na-Donu, Ufa. The theoretical and methodological background for verifying the hypotheses is actor-network theory by Bruno Latour and the concept of scientific elite by Harriet Zuckerman, Michael Mulkay, Grit Laudel.

The results of the study demonstrate, that the idea to invite leading scientists to the Russian laboratories is efficient. Laboratories under the guidance of leading scientists are incubators for young hopefuls. With the theory of scientific elite we diagnosed certain social process – the formation of potential scientific elite in international laboratories in Russia. We have found that there are significant prerequisites for it, and under certain circumstances young scientists could form “crème de la crème of the world elite” in a specific research area.

The paper is prepared withing the framework of the Russian Foundation for Humanities.