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Scientist says Vietnam has redundant scientists
Associate Professor Dr Pham Bich San, Secretary General of the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Association VUSTA shows his new vision about the Vietnamese young scientists in the interview with Tien phong.

Associate Professor Dr Pham Bich San, Secretary General of the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Association VUSTA
You have said that Vietnam has excessive scientists. Why do you think so?

I have been doing social research for the last many years. I can see that people follow scientific research everywhere. Institutes and then research centers have been mushrooming. However, young scientists have been facing big challenges. Can you say for sure how many university graduates can take the jobs as they are trained? There are not many standard scientific bases to receive young scientists. There are some standard bases, but scientists themselves cannot meet the standards.

Some years ago, Intel once looked for qualified officers in Vietnam, but it could find enough. The society needs scientists, but it only needs a certain amount of scientists who have high qualifications, who can make the scientific research works which can be applied in the life. Meanwhile, it cannot feed the remaining. If people still insist in following scientific research, they understand that they would not earn enough money to live. Therefore, I say Vietnam has redundant scientists.

Vietnam’s economy still does not academic experts like the ones we are producing.


We once made a big mistake for a long time that we only focused on academic training. The changes in the viewpoints have only been made recently, when people realized that basic sciences cannot feed them. Scientists themselves also have not been equipped with sufficient knowledge and skills. This explains why Vietnam has the highest number of PhDs in South East Asia, but the number of scientific research works published on famous journals in the world remains modest.

According to the world’s standards, the ideas in natural sciences and technologies do not appear after the age of 30, while the ideas in social sciences after the age of 35. Meanwhile, we still keep “tolerant” when considering the ages of young scientists.

How would the Vietnam’s socio-economy be influenced with such a situation?

Not yet. Why? Vietnam is still a poor country, and the conditions of a poor country does not allow us to spend too much money. For example, 600 billion dong would be disbursed for the advanced mathematics institute. I do not think that this is necessary for laying the foundation for the future. We need to consider how much money we have and ask if we can do that.

Everyone would have such an institute. Vietnam once laid the foundation for the mathematics development 50 years ago. However, very few people, who followed mathematics studies, continue their scientific research way. Those, who continue follow that way, are mostly living and working in foreign countries. And they may return to Vietnam only when they get very old.

Do you think that you are gradually keeping the youth away from scientific research?

The society will make its adjustments if it needs scientists. In the current conditions, it would be better to consent to the natural laws. A country may get into danger if there are two many people who only focus on making scientific research.

What do you think should Vietnam do to attract talents and make scientific research more effective?

I believe that it is necessary to emphasize the role of the market in scientific and technology activities. I have to say that there is only the technology market, not science market. However, the existence of the technology market would help assess the efficiency of scientific research.

Source: Tien phong

(2/9/2012 4:15:13 PM)

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