in both countries, and particularly in Russia. There, the physical sciences have for decades been the greatest strengths of the scientific enterprise, but too often they have been somewhat isolated from important biological research efforts.
In addition to the communities of well-established specialists in biology who will continue their careers in the United States and Russia during the next decade, the number of temporary scientific workers and of advanced students from abroad at U.S. universities, and to a lesser but still significant extent at Russian research centers, is growing. In short, the total efforts focused on moving forward the frontiers of the life sciences in the two countries are extensive. During the next decade, only a handful of countries will have the large number and diversity of biology-oriented scientific institutions that can rival the capabilities of institutions located either in the United States or in Russia.
In Soviet times, both the United States and Russia devoted significant resources to many areas of the biological sciences that were of international interest. The United States was among the world’s leaders in achieving scientific breakthroughs as the nation expanded its portfolios of science-intensive activities. But for decades, the USSR was recovering from the Lysenko era of the late 1940s, when his theory of “inheritance of acquired characteristics” had for a short time become the official dogma.4 Thus, it is not surprising that for many years the scientific productivity of American researchers and the number of articles published in international journals with roots in the United States were much stronger than productivity and publications in the USSR.
The publications gap has continued in recent years, further aggravated by a brain drain of some of the most productive young Russian scientists, including a significant number who have moved to the United States.5 The gap, in large measure, reflects the inadequate number of active Russian investigators currently in the 40–50 age group. Thus, in the near term, Russian science will gain substantially from bilateral cooperation that provides access to a broader range of specialists.
While the overall number of researchers in Russia has stabilized, as indicated in Appendix F.2, the impact of the brain drain is best measured by the quality rather than the quantity of the scientists who have left Russian laboratories. According to a number of Russian laboratory leaders, far too many of the best young researchers have departed for positions in the United States and Europe. However, opportunities for Russia to participate in international projects that involve recognized scientific leaders from abroad has at times been an effective way to encourage outstanding investigators to return to or to remain in Russia.
American researchers also benefit from cooperation. Those who do not regularly scrutinize Russian-language journals and have not been able to assess in detail the scientific methods used in Russia are given the opportunity to fill in many gaps in their understanding of Russian achievements through scientist-to-scientist contacts. In short, while the United States has been the international leader in the biological sciences, Russia has been an action-oriented follower,