Cover Image


View/Hide Left Panel

ries were no longer real concerns, even if they had in earlier times been identified as questionable undertakings. Through scientist-to-scientist engagement, understanding and trust have often replaced suspicion and apprehension with transparency being an essential component of personal contacts.

A good example of opportunities in this area is the recent interest on both sides in establishing long-term contacts between specialists of the U.S. Agricultural Research Service and their colleagues at the agricultural research center in Pokrov in Russia. The current dialogue followed several years of discussions about mutual interests. Unfortunately, during the long delay, the economic condition at Pokrov has deteriorated; but new collaborative projects could assist in revitalizing important scientific capabilities.

2.   The transformation of a foreign assistance relationship between the United States and Russia to a series of mutually beneficial partnerships. Too often in the 1990s, the United States provided simply research funds for joint projects while Russia provided most of the scientific brainpower. This form of cooperation resulted at times in very useful research findings but greatly distorted the traditions of science. Reliance on a donor-recipient relationship was destined to have a short lifetime.

First in the nuclear area, and then in the biological sector, the Russian government gradually assumed responsibility for financing a greater share of joint research and related activities. This transition is still in its early stages. But as the funding responsibility began to change, the attitudes of the participants also changed in a positive direction. The biologists have played an important role in the effort to transform scientific “assistance” to more lasting partnership arrangements, with the potential to continue in the future.

3.   Facilitation of the recovery of decimated Russian research groups to financially viable research teams, which effectively complemented U.S. and other international research capabilities. The financial plight of many Russian biological research centers during the 1990s was desperate. Staff departures were commonplace, and the entry of young biologists into the labor force was minimal. Support programs that were quickly developed by the U.S. government and by private foundations in the United States provided critical lifelines. This effort enabled many highly talented researchers to remain in place until increased financial support of science by the Russian government began to preserve premier scientific establishments and replenish the cadres of promising young scientists.

4.   Strengthening capabilities in both countries to prevent, detect, diagnose, and control outbreaks of dangerous infectious diseases. For several years beginning in the late 1990s, an important emphasis of joint programs was research on a few diseases that had been previously given special importance in defense programs—for example, anthrax. The scientific achievements in improving

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement