Severinov weighs in on future of The Dynasty Foundation

Russia turns screw on foundation

Many Russian scientists are shocked and outraged by the suggestion that Dynasty be designated a foreign agent. They hold the foundation in high regard for its cosmopolitan air — it requires all grant proposals to be submitted in English, for example — and its strictly merit-based funding criteria. These qualities help Russian science to flourish, something that the government has professed to be committed to, says Konstantin Severinov, a molecular biologist at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology near Moscow, and a professor at Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey. “For scientists who grew up in Russia, English-language proposals and fair peer review are very new experiences,” he says. “These kinds of things are really indispensable for bringing our scientists closer to their Western counterparts.” They are a far cry from counting as the activities of a spy agency, he says.

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