Unfortunately, there are no statistics for young scientists who are doctorate graduates, the rate of which may well exceed 40%. It is about this class of scientists that I want to talk about today.
The best scientific potential of the country is either unemployed, or paid without receipts, without medical insurance and unpaid overtime wages. If they are lucky enough, they get 500€ a month for an uncertain period. Among those scientists, a large percentage follows the path of escape in the advantaged countries of the West. These people consist the best scientists in our country. That’s because they are the ones primarily chosen by the advanced western countries, especially by Germany, which knows how to invest in high-quality scientific- research personnel. On the other hand, the same exceptional scientists, who most of the times are doctorate holders, are the ones that distress most and realize that only abroad are they able to implement their research.
It is these few people that with their research will generate new innovative products, which will yield huge profits in the countries they move in, and thus they will contribute substantially to the economic development of that country. The era of heavy industry is gone forever. There have been almost no heavy industries founded in Europe in the last 29 years, and at the same time the industrial ghettos have been abolished. A good reason for not establishing heavy industries in western countries is the environmental conditions. These conditions are much more strict in the West, while in third world countries such as Africa and Asia, they are looser.
Everyday however, small- few people companies are founded, in order to take advantage of an innovation or to implement a new product they produced. Sometimes, they also develop a new product that will integrate with the existing technologies (for example software for navigating airplanes in order to save energy).
Research and innovation are the driving force of today's industry. All large industries have Research and Development departments, with which not only they utilize their own research results but also take advantage of products and ideas that others produce. The transfer of technology and know-how consists the 90% of the growth of today's industry. All this comes from those few people who change the world (such as computers, mobile phones, the decoding of DNA etc). Greece ignores these few people, it discredits them, belittles them and drives them away.
Greece spent huge amounts of money to create all these young scientists. It is estimated that for the education of a doctor, along with his specialty training, more than 120.000 € are required during his studies. For a science graduate with a doctorate, the country spent more than 80,000 € and for a doctor in social sciences Greece spent about 50.000 € during his studies. And all this without counting the costs that the family spent to help them study.
The country spends, or better yet invests, all these millions upon millions so that they could be repaid later with the improvement of the production process, the economic growth, as well as the quality of life of our comrades. When the state had to reap the fruits of the seeds it had sowed with so much toil, it allowed them to be reaped by others instead. The government talks about growth and investments and at the same time it disperses to the four corners of the globe the best investment it has itself created.
I know, from both Democritus and other scientific centers, more than a hundred researchers, each of those funding twenty researchers in their programs, reducing this way, significantly, the drain of talented young scientists abroad. The government, however, has put under persecution these research centers and research in universities with improvisations, experimentations and zero spending on research.
The countries of the West, and especially Germany, make the most of this braid drain of Greece, and they invest in it. Mrs. Merkel in a recent meeting she had with Greek officials in Berlin noted:” I ask from your technical and technological school graduates to come and work in Germany, and we will take care of the language learning, finding a job and all the rest”. At the same time, Mr. Schäuble, being aware of the low birth rates and the aging population of Germany, he stated at a German newspaper that “all the young, unemployed scientists in Greece are welcome in Germany. Priority will be given to the best of those scientists of course.” Meanwhile, Germany creates all conditions for the reception of the Greek talented scientists. Germany is the only country that entitles permanent residency to foreign students studying in Germany, as long as their parents are insured in the country of origin. In the meantime, Germany has created an entire network of benefits and privileges for the students, even before they arrive in the country: quick recognition of degrees, rapid language learning, finding a job, housing, etc. What is more important however, is the network that has been created in the countries suffering from brain drain, in order to attract talented scientists. The conduction of meetings entitled “Career Days” between Greek and German Universities aim at the relocation of Greek scientists for postdoctoral studies at the Universities and Research Centers of Germany. Similar events take place in various cities of Greece, which are twinned with German cities. Other local authorities move on the same length, by organizing “Career” workshops in cooperation with German institutions. The Erasmus program for student exchanges within the European Union has already received an all-European character.
From the 2.000.000 students that have moved until today, a very large part has moved to Germany for training and only a few have moved to Greece and other countries of the South. Germany has obtained an extension of this program for professional mobility and internships for the member countries of the European Union, where it will receive the majority of the countries of the South.
The economic crisis and the fiscal adjustment imposed on Greece, brings talented young scientists closer to immigration. The countries hosting them, such as Germany, achieve growth of production, economic growth and better standards of living for their citizens. Greece on the other hand, which lacks the elite of its scientific potential, will experience the decline of the production structure and the deterioration of the quality of its citizens.
Note: Mrs. Christine Michalakopoulou (RIEAS Intern) made the translation of this article from Greek to English. Mrs. Michalakopoulou is a senior student at the Department of Asian and Turkish Studies in the University of Athens, Greece.