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Physics Nobel believes in Italy’s scientific brain drain

Giorgio Parisi shares this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics with US and German scientists.

Italian physicist Giorgio Parisi shares the Nobel Prize at a ceremony on Monday, but behind the celebration there is a startle of brain drain, and many young scientists have left to work abroad for years. increase.


According to Italy’s National Institute of Statistics Istat, about 14,000 Italian researchers left the country between 2009 and 2015. This trend is mainly explained by the lack of investment.

“Italy is not a welcome country for researchers, whether Italian or foreign,” Parisi said. Physical system..

“Research is underfunded and the situation has deteriorated in the last 10 to 15 years.”

Government funding fell from € 9.9 billion ($ 11.2 billion) in 2007 to € 8.3 billion in 2015. This is the latest number available, but in 2019, research spending in the eurozone’s third-largest economy was well below the EU average.

Italy has produced not only Parisi but also top scientists in recent decades. In particular, Carlo Rubbia, a CERN physicist who won the Nobel in 1984, and Rita Levi-Montalcini, a neuroembroider who won in 1986.

However, commentators say that while research budgets have been cut after the 2008 financial crisis, Italy’s infamous bureaucracy has also played a role in sending young talent abroad.

“Unfortunately, there are major obstacles to getting a university job in Italy,” said Eleonora D’Elia, a 35-year-old biologist from Rome who has been teaching at Imperial College London for the past four years.

She quoted “a very complex system based on lack of funds, available jobs, required contacts, and number of published articles.”

Like a vegetable field

The scale of the problem was confirmed by Roberto Antonelli, head of the prestigious Linsean Academy in Rome. He told AFP that “the funding for universities and research facilities in Italy has been significantly reduced.”

This was accompanied by “decrease in the quality of positions available to young people compared to other countries.”

The number of university professors and long-term contracts decreased from 60,882 in 2009 to 48,878 in 2016, a decrease of almost 20 percent.

In London, Delia told AFP that “there is more support in terms of salary and research budget,” but in Italy, she hopes to return with family and friends someday, and she “always fights. I will have to. ” Do you get it”.

The Italian government has pledged to support its research with some of the large post-pandemic recovery funds expected to be received from the European Union between now and 2026.

In October, Research Minister Christina Messa promised to fund 60 projects with € 6 billion.

“Like a vegetable field”

Antonelli welcomed the funding, but warned that “the problem is the continuity of the funding … what will happen after 2026?”

He said the study must be measured as a percentage of GDP. It ranges from the highest like Finland, Japan and South Korea to the lowest among developed countries like Italy that do not invest the same amount of money compared to neighboring countries like Germany.

Italy spent only 1.45 percent GDP (GDP) In a 2019 survey, data from the European agency Eurostat show that the EU average is 2.19%, which is below Germany’s 3.17%.

Parisi also emphasizes the importance of a long-term perspective.

“Research is Vegetable garden“If you think you can water every two weeks, things won’t work,” he said.


Nobel Laureate in Physics says Italian research is underfunded


© 2021 AFP

Quote: The Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded on December 5, 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2021-12-physics-nobel-belies-italy-scientific.html for the Italian Scientific Brain Outflow (2021). I believe in (December 5th)

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Physics Nobel believes in Italy’s scientific brain drain

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