Bogdan Simionescu: It is not right to believe that we can develop only with jurists and economists

Romania invests 0.28% of the GDP in science and research and the allocated amount is extremely small compared to that in Germany, which invests almost 5% of the GDP in research, Romanian academician Bogdan Simionescu stated in a public debate  titled “Romanian Academy and Academy of Sciences of Moldova: Partnership for the Development of Research and Innovation in the European Context”. According to him, due to underfunding, Romania in recent years has lost thousands of researchers who chose to work abroad.

The Romanian academician noted that Romania and the Republic of Moldova are two states that invest extremely small amounts in science and research, which leads to a massive exodus of professionals from the field.

“Both the Republic of Moldova and Romania invest very small amounts in research. We invest 0.28% of the GDP in research at a time that we should have a 3% investment in research. In some European countries, such as Germany, even more is invested, 4%-5% of the GDP, but their GDP is 50 times higher than Romania’s GDP. The researchers who at some point, unfortunately, leave their country of origin must also be understood. We should create the best conditions for them to be able to develop in their own country. That would be normal,” stated Bogdan Simionescu.

According to the academician, tens of thousands of researchers in Romania have chosen to leave in recent decades and physics and mathematics remained fully unprovided. Because of low salaries and poor infrastructure, Romanian researchers choose to continue their careers in highly developed countries.

“In 1990, there were 37,000 full-time researchers in Romania. Now, in 2024, we have 17,000 researchers. That is, less than half of what we had then. There are areas that are completely unprovided, such as physics, chemistry, mathematics. So, it goes to the fundamental sciences. There is a popular misconception about the fact that we can only develop with economists, jurists and public relations specialists. I’m not saying that they are not necessary. They are necessary, but you cannot build a country and a future if you don’t have engineers, doctors, teachers. All the disciplines must be well represented. If they are not, we have no future. We will only be a market for the products that some will produce and we will buy them,” opined the academician.

According to the academician, in order to attract young people to science and research, the specialized institutes must be outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment, offer a motivating salary and a pleasant atmosphere at work.

“The young people want to have a job, a fair remuneration at work. If you create a research institute with modern research equipment and a proper working atmosphere, the people will come to work with pleasure. But the material side is also extremely important. Our high school and university education was very well provided and was serious. This education wasn’t yet fully degraded. There are countries in Western Europe where education was degraded. If we let this degradation continue for another two-four years, we will have no chance. In many countries they insist that investment in education, health and research must be made. Research is the future”, concluded Bogdan Simionescu, professor at “Gheorghe Asachi” Technical University of Iași.

The public debate entitled “Romanian Academy and Academy of Sciences of Moldova: Partnership for the Development of Research and Innovation in the European Context” was the sixth edition of the project “Double Integration through Cooperation and Information. Continuity”, which is funded by the Department for Relations with the Republic of Moldova. The content of this debate does not represent the official position of the Department for Relations with the Republic of Moldova.

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