About 100 academics, who were then joined by a further 400-500 members of the left-wing opposition, have staged a rally outside the Moscow White House to protest against their low standards of living and the poverty-stricken state of Russian science. Prior to this rally, the academics had marched 130 km from the Moscow region town of Pushchino.
The rally's leader, Boris Kondyk, who is an engineer at the Pushchino filial of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Bio-Chemistry, said that the academics were protesting against the level of state funding for science. For over ten years this has not accounted for more than 0.5% of the country's GDP.
Kobdyk pointed out the average wages for scientists did not exceed 1,500-3,000 rubles a month, which meant that the best staff preferred to go abroad. The representative of the Pushchino scientific centre said that if the situation did not change in the future then "Russian science would be brought to its knees once and for all."
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