Neuroscience in Russia
Last two weeks I was fortunate enough to have a short vacation. It was refreshing, but in the meantime I managed to give two seminars: one in Moscow and one in St Petersburg. In Moscow I presented a lecture at Higher School of Economics or HSE. They recently opened launched the neuroscience program at the faculty of Psychology. I have been talking about brain oscillations, in particular the epileptic ones that I have been working during my PhD in Paris. The same talk I gave in St Petersburg in Sechenov Institute.
I was positively impressed by the quality of students in HSE. After the lecture many of them were asking deep questions about modeling in neuroscience. Unfortunately there is no picture of that, it was too intense discussion and I was really tired after the transatlantic flight. In parallel to that there are going to be open several laboratories in the neuroscience field in the near future, see the link. These attempts are not new in the modern Russia, but are further developmental steps. Certain criticism has been expressed by different senior researchers currently working abroad:
From my point of view, some necessary components to bring science in Russia back to the world-level are already there. There are many talented people fascinated by science with good education and new lab directors who could guide them. But there are also several problems such as isolation from the rest of the world and terrible administration system. Both these factors could substantially decrease or even kill the potential progress. Yet these days I hope that positive movements launched by the government could at least improve the current critical situation. Would it work or not the time will tell.