Science and Education News

Dmitry Medvedev, President of the Russian Federation, announced the necessity to create a united e-base of scientific theses. According to the President’s words, all theses and author’s abstracts should be accessible in electronic form, “so that we could see those who really do scientific research, and those theses we can sometimes be simply ashamed of.”
Medvedev stressed that “no one would go to the library to work through a volume written for a certain sum to get a status bonus”.
At present in Russia there are rules stipulating that scientific theses are kept in the Russian State Library after their defense. The exception is made for theses in medical and pharmaceutical sciences which are kept in the State Central Scientific Medical Library. Besides, a legal deposit copy is kept in the Center for Information Technologies and Systems of the executive authorities.
Dmitry Medvedev himself defended a master’s thesis on civil law in 1990. The theme of his thesis was “The problems of realizing civil legal personality of a public enterprise” You can see the author’s abstract of the thesis following this link (in Russian, pdf).
The president made the declaration about the creation of the base of theses at the meeting of the Presidential Council for the Development of Information Society in Tver. Besides, he touched upon the issue of teachers’ computer literacy, according to RIA Novosti information agency.
“If students use all this, especially new software, new computer types, and teachers cannot even tell the one from the other, it is not very good, as, frankly speaking, it lessens a teacher’s authority,” Medvedev said, naming the ability to use the Internet an element of general culture.
For his part, Andrey Fursenko, Minister of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, announced at the same meeting the need to provide the necessary conditions for teachers to improve their computer literacy. Medvedev supported the idea, noting that “one cannot simply demand without providing conditions”.
Fursenko also informed that a “Student’s Profile” computer program is currently under development in Russia. It will help to track all student’s achievements. Besides, according to ITAR TASS information agency, Fursenko promised that by 2012 all Russian students will be using electronic school record books.
Source: www.lenta.ru
A new law on education should be amended so that library сould become a necessary structural part of a school, and school librarian’s position сould be improved at least a little. Lyudmila Putina, PM’s wife, intends to help achieve this goal. On July 1, Thursday, she visited the school librarians’ conference “Mikhaylovskoye-2010” taking place in Pushkinskiye Gory (Pushkin’s Mountains) in the Pskov Region.
Adults are fond of complaining about their children, who are glued to the computer screen, but at the same time 40% of Russian families do not even have one book at home, and 30% of families have less than 100 publications in their private libraries. These numbers were cited yesterday by Tatyana Zhukova, president of the Russian School Library Association. So how can children get into the habit of reading? They can probably learn reading from a library, but generally, 90% of rural libraries’ funds and 69% of city libraries’ funds are shabby and outdated.
“You have chosen the forum’s emblem so correctly – it is a paper ship. – Lyudmila Putina decided not to use dry official hackneyed expressions. It seems to be so unsteady, yet it doesn’t sink. I don’t know how about you, but I feel like crying…” she said.
It is not the first year that Lyudmila Putina supervises school libraries, so their employees consider her their patron. And school libraries need help from the state badly. Representatives of the Russian School Library Association give the US by way of example: Laura Bush, having LIS education, managed to gain a substantial increase in funding school book repositories. Tatyana Zhukova says that, according to her American colleagues, President Obama wanted to reduce this budget item, but people managed to persuade him not to do so: in the school where his daughters study there is a good library, but many other schools have worse libraries, so they need funding.
Modernization process in Russian libraries is under way, though it goes slowly. For example, a pilot project of using readers (e-books) in libraries started not long ago. However, librarians themselves say that library collections cannot be completely digital: children, especially little ones, need colourful pictures, convenient font and the very process of turning book pages for their development.
“It is even strange that school library platform is not used to the full,” regretted Lyudmila Putina. She explained that the platform can and must be both a recreation space and a place for solving problems within “teacher-student-parent” triangle.
PM’s wife confirmed that she is for giving school librarians the same status as teachers have. This would help solve the wages problem (now school librarians are “omitted” in school funding), and it would simply be fair.

The State Duma made amendments concerning the Unified State Examination to the laws “On Education” and “On Higher and Post-Graduate Professional Education”.
The amendments aim at improving the Unified State Examination and the process of accepting applicants to universities according to the examination results. The amendments were worked out by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation.
The amendments particularly aim at ensuring confidentiality of checking the exam results. It is also proposed to introduce public observers who would keep order during the examination. The authors of the amendments also propose to bind all licensed higher education institutions to accept applicants on the basis of their Unified State Examination results.

Recently many scholars have become worried about the fact that Internet destroys health. But the latest research in this field made people doubt this fact. Researchers from the university of California carried out an interesting experiment. They asked 55-78-year-old volunteers to surf the net actively for a month. Doctors were surveying the volunteers constantly and made EEGs.
It turned out that the volunteers’ cerebral activity was higher than activity of those who gained information mainly from books – book readers’ cerebral activity was much less stimulated, according to www.korrespondent.net. Besides, the researchers received evidence that work in the Internet helped prevent aged-related changes which often lead to dotage and amnesia.
“When surfing the net, the human brain works to complete several tasks simultaneously,” explains Robert Blanks, gerontologist and one of the initiators of the research. “In particular, parts of human brain in charge of speech, reading, memory, and vision are activated. It is wonderful that active mental work continues even after one has finished working in the Internet,” he said.
Specialists recommend to senior citizens to surf the net at least for an hour a day to prevent dotage and ageing. Perhaps, Internet is the very technology acting as “youth elixir”.
Source: Komsomolskaya Pravda

Pskov region became the only one in Russia that completely fulfilled its obligations in realization of the complex program of education modernization in 2006-2009. Over 30 Russian regions took part in the program. According to press-service of the regional administration, these numbers were mentioned at the meeting of the Board of the State Education Agency, the members of which summarized the work of the education system of the Pskov Region in 2009.
According to Vera Emelyanova, Head of the Agency, the program made it possible to raise the prestige of work at school and to raise wages for school teachers, which made a difference for their social security and productivity of their labour.
“In our region a teacher’s wages come up to 112% of the average level in this sphere. In St. Petersburg, for instance, the wages make up 79% of the average level. On the governor’s initiative, the starting allowance for new employees in our region is 50 thousand roubles, in St. Petersburg – 15 thousand roubles. This data is not our main checkpoint, of course, but it gives a clue to general trends,” - Vera Emelyanova thinks.
She noted that the complex program of education modernization allowed to make the use of budget money more efficient due to financial independence of enterprises and development of their directors’ managerial skills. They managed to raise education quality by modernizing material and technical basis, broadening the range of educational services, modernizing the system of post-grade studies, implementing independent assessment of the results of teachers’ work and students’ progress. Besides, modern education became available for all students, irrespective of their place of residence. “The program helped us to ensure active participation of the community in the development of educational process, as well as to prepare the educational community for external assessment of its activities and of school education quality,” Vera Emelyanova stressed.
Source: www.regions.ru
On Monday, March 29, Vladimir Ivanov, Vice Governor of the Nizhny Novgorog Region, conducted the final meeting of the organizing committee for preparation and holding of the III International “ITForum 2020/Information Society”. The organizing committee consists of heads of regional executive authorities, representatives of higher education institutions, heads of unities interested in supporting organizations of the Nizhny Novgorog Region.
Within the framework of the organizing committee meeting its members discussed the questions connected with preparations for the congress part of the forum, participation in the forum’s exposition, invitations to Russian and foreign guests of the forum, preparation of information and advertising campaign and of cultural program of the forum in Nizhny Novgorod.
The structure of the forum includes seven directions corresponding to the strategy of information society development in the Russian Federation:
Direction 1: Science. Personnel. Foresight;
Direction 2: Turnkey Infrastructure;
Direction 3: Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Defending Security;
Direction 4: Life Made Digital;
Direction 5: ICT and Law;
Direction 6: ICT at Public Service;
Direction 7: Economy Must Be E-conomical.
26 events will take place within the framework of these directions: a plenary session, 4 conferences, 9 round tables, 3 discussion clubs, 5 sections, meeting of the Club of IT-Directors of the Nizhny Novgorog Region, meeting of the Council of Chief Informatization Designers of the Russian Federation, Russian Internet Forum, Russian final of Imagine Cup international contest. Finalists of the regional contest “The Best IT Project” will be announced. It is planned that over 1,5 thousand people will take part in the forum: representatives of all the regions and of 16 federal structures: ministries, agencies, as well as foreign representatives. There will be a collective stand of the Government of the Nizhny Novgorog Region on the theme “Electronic Government” and a collective stand “Russian Regions” on the same theme.
The III ITForum will take place in Nizhny Novgorog on April 7-9, 2010. It is the largest IT event of the year. Its main topic in 2010 will be the creation of information society in Russia.
Government of the Nizhny Novgorog Region together with the Government of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation, Federal Agency for Press and Mass Communications, Federal Agency for Information Technologies, Committee on Information Policy, Information Technologies, and Communication of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, Federal Council Commission on Information Policy will take part in organization of the forum.
Source: www.regions.ru
Recently  many scholars have become worried about the fact that Internet destroys health. But the latest research in this field made people doubt this fact. Researchers from the university of California carried out an interesting experiment. They asked 55-78-year-old volunteers to surf the net actively for a month. Doctors were surveying the volunteers constantly and made EEGs.
It turned out that the volunteers’ cerebral activity was higher than activity of those who gained information mainly from books – book readers’ cerebral activity was much less stimulated, according to www.korrespondent.net. Besides, the researchers received evidence that work in the Internet helped prevent aged-related changes which often lead to dotage and amnesia.
“When surfing the net, the human brain works to complete several tasks simultaneously,” explains Robert Blanks, gerontologist and one of the initiators of the research. “In particular, parts of human brain in charge of speech, reading, memory, and vision are activated. It is wonderful that active mental work continues even after one has finished working in the Internet,” he said.
Specialists recommend to senior citizens to surf the net at least for an hour a day to prevent dotage and ageing. Perhaps, Internet is the very technology acting as “youth elixir”.
Source: Komsomolskaya Pravda
“Russia K” TV channel started to produce a new series of programs called "ACADEMIA". Within its framework, the viewers will get an opportunity to hear public lectures of the leading Russian scientists, including physicists Sergey Kapitsa, Jores Alferov, historian Andrey Sakharov, as is said in report of the channel’s press-service.
We have ambitious targets: to give an all-Russian auditory to the science stars of the 21st century, to broaden to the maximum the range of our compatriots interested in knowledge. The all-Russian TV chair will be given to Nobel prize-winner physicists Jores Alferov, director of the Russian History Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences Andrey Sakharov, a famous linguist and philosopher Vyacheslav Ivanov, patriarch of Russian archaeology Valentin Yanin, biochemist academician Vladimir Skulachev, bioengineer academician Konstantin Skryabin,” said Sergey Shumakov, chief editor of the “Russia K” TV channel, whose words are quoted in the report.
According to Shumakov, the TV channel will give air not only to the leading figures in science, but also to young scholars, including prize-winners of the Russian President’s awards.
The channel’s press-service reminds that the tradition to broadcast popular science lectures on Russian TV dates back to the mid-1950-s and early 1960s. Among the examples of the genre are TV-lectures delivered by the culture expert Yury Lotman, philologist and academician Dmitry Likhachev, historian Lev Gumilev.
“Reviving this most important TV tradition, organizers of "ACADEMIA" project gave it renewed momentum. We are speaking about an immeasurably larger scale, about involving the newest achievements in multimedia and modern television technologies. However, the essence remains the same: the live speech of authoritative scientists expounding fundamental scientific knowledge in the format of popular lectures understandable to as many people as possible,” the report says.
According to professor Kapitsa, such program format will enable “to show on TV the voices of outstanding scientists, and essentially the voice of reason against the background of ignorance that reigns today”.
In TV studio turned into a modern lecture hall with the help of new design, the greatest scientists and scholars of our country will give lectures to senior and post-graduate students from the leading Moscow colleges and universities, such as Moscow State University, Moscow Engineering Physics Institute, Russian State Humanitarian University, taking into consideration their own interests.
“Each scientist will give a lecture or a series of lectures reflecting his or her vision of the topical scientific and social problems. The speeches will not become mere recital of highly specialized problems. They will reflect scientific achievements, discoveries, and forecasts on the most interesting and important issues of history and civilization development. They will be not only scientific, but also social messages for our compatriots, reflecting the vision of the scientist,” is noted in the report.
Right after the lecture there will be time for Q&A.
“It will be very interesting for me to communicate both with people in the studio and with TV audience. It will inspire me and give me more impetus in my further work. This is because the task of a scientist is not only to sit and create fundamental scientific works, but also to speak directly to people, to the nation the about the conclusions made at the desk,” said the historian Sakharov, cited by the press-service of the channel.
Source: RIANovosti
In the upcoming couple of weeks Medvedev is to name the place for building the Centre for Research and Development. The question of what such a “Techno park” should be like seems to have been solved, but the question of where to put it is still open.
From the point of view of infrastructure and access to educational resources, the Moscow region in general, and especially its part closest to Moscow, certainly seems the most attractive place. Sure, the Silicon Valley in the USA is far from the centre of the country, but it is 20 miles from San Francisco international airport. To make such a centre accessible and attractive, an airport should be not just close, but very close to it. Besides, it should be an international airport.
The next factor is infrastructure. It is well-developed in Moscow: historically, not many scientific centres were situated away from Moscow. Certainly, there are Tomsk and Novosibirsk, but the centres there are highly specialized, there are no good, quality colleges and universities there. There are few of them even in Moscow, but still there is something to make a good university and a scientific centre from.
Another factor is climate. It is cold in Siberia, and this probably will stop many foreign specialists. For many, comfort is an important, decisive factor. Why move from sunny California to 40 degrees below zero? We should understand that beside “institutional” we also have natural restrictions that we should control as far as possible.
Source: www.slon.ru
Dmitry Medvedev, President of the Russian Federation, has signed a decree abolishing the Federal Agency for Science and Innovation and Federal Agency for Education, and transferring their functions to the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation. He ordered the Government of Russia to take necessary measures for realization of the decree, and to change its official documents according to it. The decree comes into force on the day of its official publication, according to the document.
“Determine that the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation is the legal successor of the Federal Agency for Science and Innovation and Federal Agency for Education, including obligations arisen from the execution of court decisions,” is stated in the decree.
Federal Agency for Science and Innovation (Rosnauka) and Federal Agency for Education (Rosobrazovanie) were established in 2004 and were under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation.
Federal Agency for Science and Innovation determined the state policy in the scientific sphere, ran state property in the spheres of scientific, technical, and innovative activities, was the customer of federal special purpose programs in the fields of science, technology, and innovations. Rosnauka was headed by Sergey Mazurenko.
Federal Agency for Education, headed by Nikolay Bulaev, offered state services, ran state property, and had law enforcement duties in the sphere of education, upbringing and youth policy.
The agency organized the work of educational institutions of general, professional, and additional education, refresher courses and retraining for scholars and teachers of the state institutions of higher professional education.
Source: RIANovosti
Since the end of 2007 Opera Software company has charged Microsoft with antitrust offense because of the use of Internet Explorer browser in all its operating systems. From this week on the problem will partly be solved: PC users from France, UK, and Belgium will get a window in which they will be able to choose a browser on default. Since March 1 this option will be available for all EU residents. Eurocomission approved of this variant, which had been proposed by Microsoft itself.
The list available to PC users consists of 12 browsers: 5 main ones (Apple Safari, Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera) that will be seen on the first page, and 7 additional ones (AOL Explorer, K-Meleon, Flock, Avant Browser, Sleipnir, Maxthon browser, and SlimBrowser) on the second page. It is also added that the browsers will be listed at random.
Soon all the people in EU who use Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7 will get a notice of this update, which can be installed through Windows Update service.
Let us remind that Internet Explorer has 45.4% of the European market, Firefox has 39.3%, Chrome – 6.4%, Opera – 4.3%, and Safari – 3.7%.
Source: www.cifrovik.ru
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