Autors: Gzoyan E., Ayvazyan N., Mkrtchyan S., Mailyan A., Stepanyan L.
Center for Scientific Information Monitoring and Analysis (Yerevan, Armenia)
Эта статья опубликована сборнике научных трудов "Фундаментальные науки и практика" с материалами Третьей Международной Телеконференции "Проблемы и перспективы современной медицины, биологии и экологии" - Том 1 - №4. - Томск - 2010.
Nowadays science, technology and innovation become key components in assuring sustainable socio-economic development. They also play an essential role in increasing economic growth of the state. An effective policy in the mentioned areas can help to shape a healthy environment, which will encourage social integration, enhance international cooperation and facilitate the entry of globalization. Globalization is closely connected with network-building, as both phenomena are characterized by the trends of speed, flexibility and mobilization. The aim of this cooperation is to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their business. Globalization not only challenges the economy, technology and research, it also affects countries and regions to their deep core. Together with industry and economy, social structures are also changing and renewing, raising new needs in the society. In this context the humanitarian disciplines need to adopt new roles and importance. In general humanitarian disciplines have an important mission in the formation of society, policy and knowledge-based economy, as knowledge-based economies depend not only on research in the natural sciences and engineering, but also in the social sciences and the humanities. Economic and political changes in a globalised world have enforced and are enforcing deep changes in the societies, which are becoming extremely complex and multi-cultural. Such developments challenge new sets of questions and problems, and some answers may be found in the SSH (Social Sciences and Humanities). There are several world-recognized areas, which are very important for the development of SSH and can be a real breakthrough in strategic social development: formation of a democratic, civil society; establishment of knowledge society, as well as knowledge-based economy; analysis of the political, cultural and social factors of globalization and their influence; integration into the world's political, economic, and social structures. These approaches have become an impetus for international community and an imperative for the separate states.
Meanwhile the role of the humanities is not yet fully recognized and comprehended. The sphere is fragmented; there is no connection between the humanities and policy, as well as the society at whole, which pays considerably low attention to the importance of humanities and social sciences. There are discrepancies between the potential importance of social science knowledge and the comparatively low attention it receives not only from the public in general, but from politics and other research communities. This phenomenon has its objective basis. One of the reasons is the local nature of SSH (Social sciences and Humanities), which are limited within the state and even sub-disciplines boundaries. This leads to some dangers: an overemphasized claim to autonomy of SSH and a misunderstanding of what 'applied research' means for SSH. Another problem in SSH is that the utilization of research in the Social Sciences and Humanities remains occasional and provisional. It is necessary to increase the awareness of society for the specificity of social sciences and humanities knowledge, which will in its turn increase the role of the SSH in the world. On the other hand, the SSH should undergo structural changes in order to better meet societies' needs; on the other hand, changes should occur in the approaches and attitudes of the society towards the SSH .
The concerns about the future of SSH vividly demonstrate the crucial and growing importance of the SSH in assuring our future. Nevertheless, we still have some hope. It is not too late. Nevertheless, it is not scientific knowledge or technological know-how that will enable us to preserve civilization for future generations. We have the most of what we need in these domains. Our problem, as a civilization, is more connected with values in the mentioned domains: economic and political priorities, social organization and etc.
SSH are now standing before the issue how to meet the needs of society? How can the SSH better cope with the needs of society? This issue is contingent on three elements: What are the society needs? What do the SSH have to offer? Can the knowledge-producing institutions deliver the requested expertise?  In order to reach this goal it is of vital importance to ensure the close links between the different intellectual communities. Particularly in complex societies, it is evident that single disciplines cannot provide solutions to some problems on their own. The collaboration between the knowledge producers is also important and necessary. Hence, interdisciplinary in research plays a key role in the acceptance of the new mode of knowledge production, which is expected to address political and social demands much better. The USA, most European, as well as other states have already recognized this role of SSH [7, 9, 10, 11, 14, 22]. What is the SSH current state of affairs in Post Soviet area?
The need of changes in humanities in Post Soviet area became evident after the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, as we have already mentioned, this tendency was evident in other states throughout the world as well. These explicit trends demonstrate the existence of similar problems in a wide range of states. It was particularly evident in Post Soviet area. Although Humanities and Social sciences are more conservative in their nature and they are carrying the ideology and conciseness of the particular state and it is said to be difficult to speak about their past collaboration, this approach is not applicable for the Soviet States.
Global challenges and developments in 1990s pose a great impact on the main trends of SSH. The formation of the European Union has demonstrated the necessity along with the economic and political unity to implement the tasks, aiming to unify the social, scientific and educational systems as well. In the result the definite need to create unified standards, approaches and policies was raised. The EU member-states had to be integrated to build a knowledge-based society and integrated community.
The next global change was connected with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the creation of CIS. The development of SSH in some states of the region was initially closely connected to the European scientific community but, later, this situation changed during the Soviet period. Soviet research institutes received their research themes from the “All-Union Academy of Sciences”, and were employed to particular tasks and directions in their research. There exist some objective factors, which create an appearance that research institutes in the field of the humanities were more autonomous in their research agendas. Among these factors one can mention the national – or, in fact, ethnic division of borders and administrative structures in the Soviet Union. Due to this it appears that humanities had more opportunities to research in the areas of history, local languages, ethnology, etc. However, definitely because of this local character, the humanities were probably the most deeply supervised and ideologically monitored area of research in the Soviet Union. The only permitted theoretical framework for research was that of Marxism-Leninism. The scholars were forced to loud only what the authorities want to hear and hide the reality, as well as their own points of view behind the dominant ideology. At the same time, the humanities played a crucial role in maintaining national heritage and saving the latter from elimination. Diversity of approaches in sociology, political science and other sub-disciplines of the social sciences were either forbidden or served as an ideological basis for the philosophical study of Marxism-Leninism or for the history of the Communist Party. It is worth mentioning that after the collapse of the Soviet Union the humanities disciplines fell into another extremity: a new generation began to reject the previous writings, approaches, ideology, offering their new versions. Sometimes this new is without objective basis or is just based on the denial of previous approaches. So, there is a real mix, a big gap in humanitarian disciplines in Post-Soviet area. Another serious problem after the collapse of the Soviet Union was connected with the “job market”. A great number of scientists in SSH stood before the question: reorganize their knowledge, leave for the new world or find another occupation.
The next global change affecting the SSH field was connected with the scientific-technical revolution in the world. Information technologies gained an inevitable place in all the spheres of life. In the case of natural sciences the access of Information technologies was painless. The same is not applicable to humanitarian disciplines. Nevertheless, it is obvious that the use of new technologies in humanities becomes an imperative of the century. Otherwise, the future of the field will be under a great question.
In spite of similarities in the development of SSH, there are some distinctive differences, connected with the history, economic development, and social conditions of a particular state. In spite of these differences it is possible to draw some general conclusion and pointed out the general ways of development.
In the Post Soviet area Baltic States were one of the first to employ steps toward the improvements in SSH. There were the first to overcome the past ideological and political burdens. Moreover, they were more closely connected with the European community and their values. So, the process of transformation and integration was objective and come into existence quite soon. As it has been mentioned, the Baltic community was initially very closely connected to the European political, economic and social life. Abrupt changes have occurred after the Soviet occupation of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania during World War II. SSH suffered gravely especially during the Stalinist era. History, classical languages, theology were removed from the agenda. A wide range of other SSH disciplines also suffered during that period. As a result of ideological pressure and a lot of restrictions imposed by the authorities SSH disciplines such as history, political and economic studies did not receive sufficient development. Concerned academic literature was published only in Russian and there was no access to international journals or scientific community. Financial allocations were very low and insufficient or were directed to the implementation of particular tasks and state order. The situation started to improve in the mid-1990s. The rebirth was connected with the collapse of the Soviet Union and declaration of Baltic States’ independence (Lithuania 1990, Estonia and Latvia 1991). Scientific community began to alive. After regaining their independence and especially after entering the European Union (in 2004 three Baltic States became a member of European Union), the institutional system for the support of science, including SSH, has been developing much intensively.
The governments of Baltic States are carrying out systematic policy of improving the situation in science. For this purpose a lot of scientific organizations, funds and centers of excellence have been established in order to promote science. A great attention was also paid on the reorganization and improvement of the situation in humanities and social sciences. Towards this end Baltic States have adopted strategic documents: National concept of the Republic of Latvia on research development; the strategy for developing social sciences and the humanities in Lithuania; Institutional setting, policy instruments and organization of research funding for Social Sciences and Humanities in Estonia.
The strategy priorities of all Baltic States related to SSH can be summed up in the following points: solution of socio-economic problems in the field of energy, national defense and security, health care, environment protection and etc; Maintenance and promotion of national culture, language, history, nature and the state.
One of the characteristics for the development of SSH in Baltic States is the active involvement of research organizations in international cooperation which is important for the development of SSH. Baltic States are part of different European and International Scientific Organizations. Many scientists from Baltic States successfully participate in the EU framework programs. The Estonian Science Foundation and Estonian Academy of Sciences, as well as the Lithuanian State Science and Studies Foundation became members of the
European Science Foundation .
The funding system before 1990s was typical to the Soviet Union. It was implemented through planned budget funding of higher education and the Academy of Sciences. There were research institutes, which belong to other ministries and got their funds directly from the affiliated ministries. Generally speaking, funds were allocated to large systems and distributed down. In 1990, the situation began to change. Several foundations were established with a view to changing the existing forms of funding. The foundations had to provide funds for oriented research and development projects via peer review and expert opinions. Funding for SSH was increasing since the beginning of 1990s; the last years this is connected with the establishment of state programs aimed to support the disciplines related to language and cultural heritage preservation. However, financial support to the SSH remains to be low, especially compared to other EU Member States. This results in a very low interest among young people towards doing science. A number of younger scientists in SSH are far from being sufficient.
The research in humanities and social sciences, which are less developed due to the historical context (political sciences, government studies, some areas of economics), as well as emerging interdisciplinary research fields gain less attention and have much less necessary conditions for development. To promote a more balanced in terms of fields the SSH research, it would be needed to initiate larger SSH interdisciplinary research programs bringing together scientists from different disciplines – from political science, international relations, other social sciences as well as linguistics [4, 8, 14, 19, 20, 21].
The Russian Federation
Russia still benefits from a substantial scientific basis and a well developed education system of the past. Overall, Russian science remains relatively strong despite ageing of researchers and brain drain which was particularly severe in the second half of the 1990s. After a collapse of S&T recourses for the hard sciences in the 1990s, a blossoming of a number of disciplines in the social sciences and humanities has been recorded with a leadership of economics and political science. SSH in HE institutions and research organizations is complemented by a great number of research associations and networks. There is a number of newly emerged electronic SSH networks (for example, the Russian electronic source "Social Sciences and Humanities"), joint international research centers, associations and initiatives [16, 22].
The more concise rebirth of the SSH in Russia dates back to the 1994, when by the decision of the Government Russian Humanitarian Scientific Foundation was established. The latter covers a wide range of humanitarian and social disciplines, beginning from the classical subjects (philosophy, philology, history) to the modern ones (ecology, theoretical basis of innovative economy, social aspects of medicine). The emergence of the Foundation played a crucial role in developing SSH in Russia. By the efforts of the Foundation a unique electronic source of humanities was created, which contains the whole data on SSH in Russian Federation. During the period of its activities the Foundation has established an excellent system of experts. One of the important tasks of the Foundation is the focus on local projects, which is aiming at two targets: the development of SSH in different parts of the Federation; the overall and detailed development of SSH. The main functions of the Foundation are: Interdisciplinary, interregional and interstate integration;
Development of SSH in all the regions of the Federation; Increase of the Higher Educational Establishments’ involvement in research; Integration with CIS and foreign scholars; Increase of social sciences segment; Strengthen the informative-material base of SSH. To comment on the situation it can be derived that the SSH are developing. There are a lot of things to improve; nevertheless the trends are optimistic .
The development of SSH in these Post Soviet states is carried out by the Foundations for Fundamental Research. Among the main directions to be developed, SSH have a dominant and vital position. The Foundation for Fundamental Research of Belarus was established in May 1991 with a view to enhancing financial support of fundamental and exploratory research in the areas of natural and technical sciences and humanities.
Later the Foundation was integrated with the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus. By establishing the Foundation the authorities of Belarus wanted to promote the science by implementing the grants- awarding system. The latter is carried out on the competitive basis in the priority research areas. The main tasks and functions of the Foundation include financing research projects in priority scientific areas; supporting young scientists; financing joint projects with foreign partners; supporting the publication of monographs and scientific information; supporting in organizing symposiums, conferences and other scientific events. All types of financial support are realized by the Foundation on the competitive basis .
In 2002 the Belarusian scientific field began to reorganize. As a result, the S&T potential structure changed greatly in 2002 focusing on specific economic branches. The National Academy of Sciences has got the leading role in conducting scientific research in Belarus. About 70% of all fundamental research is carried out by the Academy. NAS is consists of more than 50 research institutes, divisions and centers. Priorities of R&T development as adopted by the government of the Republic of Belarus include the following SSH directions: Health care; Elimination from the consequences of Chernobyl disaster; Environmental protection; Information dissemination and telecommunication.
The Republic of Belarus has taken an active part in international cooperative programs since 1993– INCO, INTAS, and other relevant EU instruments, especially, ISTC. 29% of the international projects carried out by the Belarusian scholars are made up by life sciences and environmental protection. The latter field is of vital importance for Belarus, as it effect is very huge .
In January 2002, the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus approved the fundamental scientific research priorities of the Republic, among which Humanitarian and Social Sciences have their constant place.
Governmental strategic directions for the support of science in Ukraine include fundamental studies in SSH as well as demography. Nevertheless, the implementation of the adopted strategic documents and policies remain a challenge in Ukraine. The reform of the S&T institutions was left half-way: the very limited domestic funding to S&T blur the implementation of radical reforms needed to restructure the S&T system. Reorganizations in research institutions have not been implemented and many inefficient and bureaucratic Soviet style institutions remain to exist, although new structures are established as well. This dual situation creates even more contradictions in the S&T management system.
The EU – Ukrainian cooperation in S&T is regulated by the EU – Ukraine Partnership and Collaboration Agreement and the Agreement on Cooperation in Science and Technology. The Foundation for Fundamental Research of Ukraine was established in March of 1992. The research assistance in Ukraine is also conducted by the grants-awarding system. The directions promoted by the foundation include environmental protection, fundamental aspects of humanities, fundamental socio-economical problems, forecasting problems of science and educational development. The features, concerning the value and methods of implementation of the grants-awarding process are nearly the same in both states. It is worth mentioning that the Foundations are in close contact with each other, as well as with the Russian Humanitarian Scientific Foundation. They realize joint projects in the sphere of social sciences and humanities, aiming to promote particular aspects of mutual interest and combine joint efforts in improving SSH situation.
The Republic of Moldova, as other countries, has the necessity to solve the same common problems: liquidation of poverty and improving the quality of life, improving environment and human ecology, transport problems, etc. as well as their integration in regional and world cooperation. The relationship between the Republic of Moldova and the European Community and its member states is regulated by the Agreement of the Cooperation and Partnership of 1994. The National Commission for European Integration was created by the degree of the president of the republic to enhance the cooperation with Europe.
The priority directions of R&D for the years 2003-2010 financed from the state budget include among the others: Fundamental research in mathematical, natural technical, economical, social and humanitarian sciences; Life sciences and human health; Social-economical recovery and development by innovation and technological transfer; Utilization of cultural and historical patrimony of the Republic of Moldova. The Academy of Sciences of Moldova is the highest scientific body of the Republic of Moldova .
The Soviet history of the Post Soviet States is about nearly the same: Georgia is not an exception, so it is needless to dwell upon the history of that period again. For Georgia, it worth mentioning, that the scientific community of the state defined itself as being European in its pioneering stage. Taking into consideration this concept, the Georgian scientific community paves a way to be integrated to Europe.
The system of education and science in Georgia has begun to be improved since the beginning of 2004, when substantial and major reforms have occurred. The aims of the transformation process were to identify national scientific priorities; to identify the establishment of a competitive mechanism for the distribution of state research funds; to integrate higher education and research; to develop knowledge-based economy and competitive environment. Major step in this area has been the introduction of a new science funding system, by which all scientific, research and higher education institutions, non-governmental organizations, as well as individual scholars and groups of scholars receive an opportunity to get public funding for research on the basis of open and transparent competition. In the sphere of SSH Rustaveli Foundation for Georgian Studies, Humanities and Social Sciences was established in May 2007. The Foundation is carried out grants-funding approach in the wide area of Georgian Studies, Humanities and Social Sciences. The Foundation is focused separately on the Georgian Studies, which includes a wide range of disciplines related to Georgia. This was explained by the paramount importance to maintain and transmit the spiritual and historical heritage of the country, as well as to develop new approaches and views of point through research. The Foundation is implementing different activities by organizing grant competitions (State research grant competition, thematic competition Ilea and globalization, travel grants, conference grants), fellowships and other activities (meetings with Georgian and foreign scholars organizing meetings and conferences, participation in international events, policy advising and support). The main intention of the Foundation is to continue its current task for the more benefit. It aims to extend the scope of state grants. Among the priorities of the field is to establish an international journal, as well as to organize a summer school on Georgian Studies.
One of the new major initiatives of the Foundation would be the creation of an online research portal, which will provide comprehensive information about research and latest developments in Georgian Studies, humanities and social sciences. It will also serve as a platform of communication for partnerships both within and outside the country .
The proposed policy is in line with EU policies for the enlargement of the European Research Area to third countries such as Georgia. New higher education institutions and programs are being established in Georgia with the support of international organizations. There are a number of international RTD networks with the participation of Georgia .
The Armenian government resolution "On Priority of S&T Trends in Armenia" was adopted in 2002 and established the strategic directions of the S&T development in Armenia, which include among other directions Armenian Studies. SSH, with the exception of Armenian Studies, has become a government S&T priority development field quite recently. Although the S&T strategy has been adopted by the Armenian government, its implementation remains weak. The government funding of science is still very low; moreover, the structures for the management of S&T themselves requires improvement. Armenian SSH is international; the majority of international connections are linked to the Armenian Diaspora in different countries. There are eight million Armenians living outside the Armenian borders and usually foreign Armenians are very active in communicating with and supporting Armenia, including sciences.
The EU cooperation with Armenia is organized through the formerly EU TACIS Program, currently the European Neighborhood Policy Instrument. However, in comparison to other international cooperation programs, the share of the EU programs in the international S&T cooperation is modest.
The Republic of Armenia is carrying out its first steps towards the development of SSH. The pioneering stage of humanities and social sciences is the same as in other Post Soviet states. The Government of the republic is undertaking certain policies, directed to the improvement of the field, clearly understanding the importance of SSH for the future development of the state and the whole nation. The State Committee of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia has to design a package of reforms in SSH, which should be presented to the Government for approval.
As a priority field, it is necessary to establish a strong Foundation for Armenian Studies, Humanities and Social Sciences, which will be the main instrument of the Armenian state for forming and implementing public policy in the relevant disciplines. Today, research activity in the social sciences and humanities is concentrated within the higher education institutes, research institutes, and non-governmental organizations. One notable characteristic of the Soviet academic system was a very sharp division between research and education. Research was mainly conducted in research institutes subordinated to the NAS, whereas most teaching, especially at the undergraduate level, was concentrated in the universities. Nowadays the international scientific community demonstrates very different approach to this issue. Modern science is based on the knowledge-research-industry triangle, which is absolutely different from the Soviet model. Of course, it is really very difficult to reorganize the whole system with a 70 years tradition and mentality; nevertheless it is an imperative, which will determine the future of SSH in Post-Soviet area.
One of the most important reforms in the field of SSH in Armenia should be connected to the increase of state financing and changes in the financing system itself. Those reforms maintained should lead to objectivity and transparency in fund allocations. In this regard, the key change should be the introduction of a state scientific grants program, which should include an expert evaluation component. Armenian Studies should be a priority due to national interests and should be funded more precisely. There are no stable scholarly journals in Armenia today publishing articles in the fields of the social sciences or humanities. Another serious weakness of the social sciences and humanities in Armenia is the gap between local and Western scientific discourses. The theoretical and methodological bases of research do not comply with international standards and needs a rapid change. A further drawback of the research institutions is their difficulty in integrating a younger generation of scholars. It should be emphasized that the most weaknesses and drawbacks mentioned in the case of Armenia exist in nearly all Post Soviet area [12, 13].
Azerbaijani scientific work is mostly conducted at institutes of the Azerbaijani National Academy of Science (ANAS), which suffers from the lack of funds, like the rest of Post-Soviet States. The development and management of SSH field in the Republic of Azerbaijan is also carried out by the National Academy of Sciences. Although the republic has great oil revenues, the promotion of science is not a national priority. A big initiative towards the development of science, including SSH field, was made by the creation of the International Academic Journal, which publishes scientific journals in nearly every academic domain and has a strong editorial board .
Research cooperation with the European scientific organizations is rare. There are a small number of projects supported by the FP6 and FP7, which are implemented by the few people. In most cases these few people are affiliated with the international NGOs and foundations. An important institutional structure for promoting the cooperation with Azerbaijani scientists is the “BSEC Working Group on Cooperation in S&T”. This a platform connecting representatives of Academies of Sciences and other S&T organizations from the Black Sea Basin countries, including EU Member States  .
Middle Asian States
The Ministry of Education and Science of Kazakhstan manages the research and technology development through its Department of Science and the National Academy of Sciences. The Academy carries out the scientific and technology policy of the country. The basic purpose of this policy is the creation of progressive technologies for various industries and agriculture. The purposes of the Academy correspond to the overall aims of the country and promote an increase in its scientific and technology potential. In the field of social and humanitarian sciences a priority is the theory and practice of the national idea as the basis of sustainable development of modern Kazakhstan: National idea as a spiritual basis of rallying and integration of peoples of Kazakhstan, harmonious development of the individual; Development of national system of continuous education in conditions of the changing world; Model of sustainable social and economic development of the Republic on the basis of national idea; System of national interests of the state, its basic geopolitical priorities and orientations, major factors and measures of maintenance of national safety of Kazakhstan; Principles and the concept of political stability and consolidation of the Kazakhstan society. The National Academy of Sciences is responsible for the international scientific cooperation between Kazakhstan and foreign countries. At present, the Academy has a number of agreements on scientific cooperation with foreign countries, as well as international agreements on carrying out joint research .
Kyrgyzstan is actively participating in international S&T programs. Most of them have been formed specifically for the States of the former Soviet Union, which allows consideration of the specific character of the post-soviet scientific area. Among the most successful samples of scientific cooperation under the European S&T programs for the last years is the EC Fifth Framework Program project "Assessment and prognosis of environmental changes in Lake Issyk-Kul (Kyrgyzstan)", started in 2000 and is under implementation until now (Institute of Water Problems). On July 3 2003, the Presidium of the National Academy of Sciences adopted the list of priorities of Kyrgyz science development, the 10th and 11th points of which are about SSH issues: Sustainable political, economical and social development of the Kyrgyz Republic; National language, political and cultural genesis of nations of Kyrgyzstan .
The main players in science in Kyrgyzstan are research branch institutes of the National Academy of Science and the scientific organizations coordinated by the State Agency for Science and Intellectual Property under the government of the Kyrgyz Republic.
The situation in SSH in Tajikistan can be assessed through the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) mission in Tajikistan, which aims at establishing an economically dynamic, politically stable, intellectually vibrant, and culturally tolerant Tajikistan . The goal is to be achieved by supporting the establishment of programs and institutions that allow the government, private sector and civil society to play complementary roles in increasing prosperity and creativity within a pluralistic society. The Network brings together individual agencies that operate in a range of areas, from economic development to education, rural development to cultural revitalization, health care to financial services. These agencies cooperate to reach an ultimate goal - to build institutions and establish programs that can take the contemporary challenges of social, economic and cultural growth in Tajikistan.
A great initiative in SSH was employed by The Aga Khan Foundation, which is the principal grant-making agency for social development. It concentrates on selected issues in health, education, rural development, the environment and the strengthening of civil society. Through its different agencies the Foundation implement various social tasks in the several countries, including three Post Soviet states (Tajikistan, Kirghizstan, and Kazakhstan). The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) is a group of development agencies . The mandate of AKDN includes a wide scope of disciplines: environment, health, education, architecture, culture, microfinance, rural development, disaster reduction, private-sector, the revitalization of historic cities. AKDN is building one of the three campuses of the University of Central Asia in Kazakhstan as part of one of Central Asia’s largest and most ambitious construction projects.
The University of Central Asia (UCA) was created to offer an internationally recognized standard of higher education in Central Asia . UCA was founded in 2000 by the governments of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan, and His Highness the Aga Khan. It is the world’s first internationally chartered institution of higher education. The mission of UCA is to promote the social and economic development of Central Asia’s states, as well as to help the peoples of the region to preserve and draw upon their rich cultural traditions and heritages as dominant assets for the future. UCA programs focus on the key social and economic issues of the region, highlighting the role of education in the development. Another important aspect of the Foundation is the maintenance and dissemination of the national music. The Aga Khan Music Initiative in Central Asia is also operating. Its aim is to contribute to the revitalization and continuing evolution of music in Central Asia, disseminating the work of leading exponents of Central Asian music, as well as stimulating interest in the region’s music worldwide.
Traditionally, Uzbek Scientists actively participate in international S&T programs of the European Union. A number of Uzbek teams are awarded grants for execution of research in natural and humanitarian sciences, for joint proposals on ecological problems, to carry out joint research on the ecological and economical problems of the region. Uzbek scientists take active part in EU Framework projects, thus linking close contacts with EU in the field of science.
Uzbekistan is represented by the research institutions of the Academy of Sciences. In addition, the main industries of the country (oil and gas, mining, textile, automobile) have their own research laboratories. Thematic fields of research carried out by Uzbekistan R&D entities actually cover all natural and humanitarian sciences in both basic and applied directions .
After the collapse of the Soviet Union the states of Central Asia followed different policies. Turkmenistan went the most further. It closed its NAS in 1997 and most of the research institutions. Nearly all research programs in the country were closed. Nowadays Turkmenistan’s policy-makers follow their colleagues in developing countries in the need to reorganize the science. Academy of Science of Turkmenistan was recently established by the president of the Republic, which has made a significant contribution to the reorganization of the country’s research. Turkmen Research Educational Network Association TuRENA, Turkmenistan Supreme Council of Science and Technology under the President of Turkmenistan were established to promote science in Turkmenistan . The first decade of transition was very painful. Nevertheless, as the national economy began to develop, many public sectors severely felt the absence of the national R&D and science base. First, Turkmenistan faced a shortage of highly qualified experts of new projects in the energy sector, agriculture, communication infrastructure and in new large-scale investment projects and deals, as many highly qualified Turkmenistan scientists retired, moved to work in other sectors or left the country. Second, the country has a shortage in qualified educators who could teach and train a younger generation to replace the existing ones. Third, the global energy market proved to be unsteady and the national energy resources are not unlimited (oil reserves). There was a definite need for diversifying the national economy by introducing new skill-intensive industries, like energy-saving and environmentally clean technologies, alternative energy . Turkmenistan’s government should support the re-establishment of its R&D and science through innovative research activities. It is also of vital importance to identify priorities and most-promising projects; create a competitive R&D system for the public and private sectors cooperation in funding research and experiments through transparent and competitive selection process; retrain from isolation, and work on developing regional and international cooperation with the entire world.
The social sciences and humanities in the Post Soviet area are in a paradoxical situation. Their position has been dramatically weakened at a time when their contributions to the society at all are more needed than ever. It is obvious that social sciences and humanities play a crucial role for the political, economic and social development of the states. In this respect some academic disciplines have become more prominent, for example economics, journalism, international relations, environmental policy and others. The new global context cannot be made comprehensible without its contributions. Conversely this context offers immense possibilities for advancement and conceptual innovation of the social sciences and the humanities but also for empirical probing and testing on a vastly expanded scale. Yet these potentials are unlikely to be realized unless institutional initiatives are taken on transnational and international scale.
The Post Soviet countries today differ considerably from each other in terms of their political orientations, economic development levels and institutional landscapes of their S&T. Development of institutional landscapes are very uneven in different countries. There is no one organization or institution that includes all the countries of former Soviet Union. The scientific cooperation between them is very week and unsystematic, although there is a huge historical heritage for such collaboration. Post Soviet states initiate separate programs and contacts with foreign countries and international scientific organizations. In this respect the investigation of SSH is of mutual interest for western and Post Soviet countries.
First of all, it is crucial to change the attitudes and approaches toward the necessity to develop social sciences and humanities within the countries’ borders. The fact that the United States established institutions to promote SSH decades before similar developments occurred in Europe is plausibly at least one of the reasons for the American advances in the social and humanitarian sciences decades before the Second World War and for the leading position American scientists possess in these fields.
Second, there is a need to rethink the standard forms of transnational collaboration in the social sciences and humanities. Global challenges need to be addressed globally, as the issues of migration, global environmental change, the need to preserve the global cultural heritage demand cross-national cooperation.
We would like to point out that the material and data used in the article are from the internet sources. We apologies if some information is not included or facts are out of date.
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