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    MOSCOW, February 9, 2004. (RIA Novosti). Russian President Vladimir Putin is concerned for the ageing of Russian science.

    "The science is in danger of the loss of generations' connection as the number of young scientists and specialists is decreasing," the head of state said at the meeting of the Presidential Council on science and high technologies in Moscow.

    According to the President, the average age of Russian researchers is 49 years and candidates of science - 53 years.

    However, social polls show that young people are interested in science but often have no possibilities for self-fulfillment, Vladimir Putin said.

    According to him, young scientists often face the problem of career growth. "We should take into account not only the academic and administrative status and degree but also the real contribution of a scientist into the research process. Today many scientists do not see the direct connection between the results of their work, material rewards and career growth," the President noted.

    In his words, it is difficult for young scientists to work up their independent scientific position because much depends not only on research results but also on the place in the bureaucratic scientific hierarchy. The state should, first of all, provide equal access to education, Putin said.

    "Russian citizens regardless of their financial position and place of residence should have a possibility to study, reveal and realize their abilities," the President stressed.

    Vladimir Putin is aware that many scientists criticize the present education system in Russia. In his opinion, "we should seek the solution of the problem and find the golden mean".

    "People living in distant parts of the country should have a possibility to study in acknowledged education centers. However, these centers need a system to select talented youth," the President stressed.

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