09.11.2017 change 09.11.2017

Ministry of Science: We are working on making Polish science more visible in the world

Photo: Fotolia Photo: Fotolia

We are well on our way to making Polish science more visible in the world - said Deputy Minister of Science Łukasz Szumowski on Friday in Cambridge. He invited scientists to propose ideas for the new programs of the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange.

The conference "Science: Polish Perspectives" was launched Friday in Cambridge. One of its purposes is integration of Polish scientists working abroad.

At the opening of the conference, Deputy Minister of Science and Higher Education Łukasz Szumowski commented: "Poland is still not as visible in the UK as it could be (...) We still insufficiently show the role of our country in science and research".

He pointed out, however, that the environment in Poland was changing rapidly. "We are working on making Polish science and higher education more visible in the world. Polish universities, institutes were, one could say, somewhat old-fashioned, focused on bureaucratic responsibilities. But we are changing it. We hope that our institutions will become more friendly to the scientists" - he said.

He reminded about the recently established Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange (NAWA). "The agency will strongly support the mobility of researchers - both those coming to Poland and those leaving the country" - he noted.

He explained that although some of NAWA\'s programs were already prepared, there was still a possibility to improve them and create new ones. Szumowski invited researchers to propose new ideas for programs for this new agency. He noted that some of the initiatives were bottom-up initiatives. "We talk to scientists and ask how we can encourage scientists to return to Poland, or what we can do to encourage Polish researchers to create international teams" - Szumowski said.

Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to the United Kingdom Dr. Arkady Rzegocki also spoke at the opening of the conference "Science: Polish Perspectives". Speaking about the conference, he said that for researchers who work abroad, it is "an opportunity to meet, engage in cooperation and think about the future of Polish-British relations in science".

He recalled that Poland and the UK had close political relations. But, he said, the British still know too little about Poland. He asked for help promoting our region in the UK.

One of the organizers of the conference, Bartosz Paszcza from Polonium Foundation, spoke about the problem of emigration of highly qualified workers from Poland. He reported that as many as 30 thousand such people emigrated from Poland in the years 2004-2012. In the comparable period prior to joining the EU it was 10 thousand. In a conversation with PAP he commented: "We have a huge brain drain, an outflow of intellectual capital from Poland. But the solution is not to force people to stay in Poland." In his opinion, it is worth it, for example, to encourage these people to return. And get to them with information on how they can return and how the situation in Poland is changing.

According to Paszcza, however, those scientists who do not intend to return to Poland may also contribute to the development of Polish science. "That is why we are working to develop scientific links between scientists from Poland and abroad. We try to show them the initiatives taken in Poland - in both science and industry. We also draw the attention of these scientists to the fact that Polish institutions that award grants are looking for foreign experts, reviewers" - he added.

From Cambridge - Ludwika Tomala (PAP)

Author: Ludwika Tomala

Editor: Anna Ślązak

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