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Nature Magazine has pessimistic forecast for Bulgarian science

Author: The Sofia Echo staff Date: Thu, Jan 13 2011 2288 Views
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Bulgarian scientists are facing harsh times and an uncertain future, while their Romanian counterparts have apparently gotten their act together, according to a report in Nature magazine on January 13 2011.

Both Bulgaria and Romania are at the very bottom of the European Union when it comes to financing their respective science sectors, but whereas Romania is at least on the right path, the Bulgarian Academy of Science appears to have floundered.

The journal compares the situation regarding scientists and researchers from the two Balkan countries, saying that "four years (since becoming European Union members), these neighbouring cash-strapped countries on the southeastern edge of the EU remain close neighbours at the bottom of the EU league tables of research expenditure and research output statistics. But their scientific fates may be set to diverge dramatically".

"Last year, Bulgaria slashed the budget of BAS by 38 per cent to 75 million leva, forcing some scientists to take unpaid leave. It reportedly reduced the budget of its granting agency by more than half, and will maintain those funding levels in 2011. It is also poised to make organisational changes that scientists fear will foster mediocrity," the report said.

"Over the same period, Romania has trimmed funding of the Romanian Academy by just three per cent, and increased the budget of its granting agency by 44 per cent to US$0.5 billion"

Read the full report at Nature Magazine

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