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piątek, marca 11, 2005

Can Poland help stop Europe's Brain Drain?

Can Poland help stop Europe's Brain Drain?

News Poland
This just in from IHT:

"A proposal to create a European technology institute modeled on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology faces serious questions about financing and academic support, lawmakers say."

"Poland thinks it has a good shot at hosting such a European institute, its science minister has been reported as saying, but a group of 130 members of the European Parliament, calling themselves the Campaign for Parliament Reform, suggested founding it in Parliament headquarters in Strasbourg, France."

"We already have tons of really good research institutes in Europe. The Max Planck Institutes, for example, are world-renowned," Verstraten said. "There are many ways to stop the brain-drain. I'm not sure a European MIT is one of them."

For more, here

UPDATE [3/11/05]: Fears of brain drain from Poland and new EU states haven't been borne: "When Poland and six other former communist countries entered the European Union last year, many feared they would lose their most talented and skilled denizens to Britain, Ireland and Sweden - richer EU countries that have opened their labor markets to new EU members. "

Nice idea -- but why does Poland think it can host such an institute? Perhaps it's connected with location (possibly drawing talent from both East and West). But stopping the brain drain? It's not just about having the shiniest, fastest technologies, or the brightest minds -- the culture required to support such a project is the most important aspect...and this cannot simply be conjured up out of thin air. A culture of peer review, brutal peer review, is essential -- it's not just about money -- why does wealthy Japan only have a handful of Nobel laureates? It's not due to a lack of cash or top-notch facilities, no, it has to do with the research culture. The USA dominates the sciences when it comes to Nobels, it attracts the best, not because of a handful of cash, but also the research culture -- in sociological terms, this might be called cultural capital.

One way to stop the brain drain (although the fears are more real than the reality -- see UPDATE link above) is to create a friendly environment fo foreign investment , including infrastructure -- this would encourage people to stay.

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