ARMENIAN ASTRONOMERS DREAMING OF ASTRONOMY TO BE ESTEEMED HIGHER IN HOMELAND
"Azg" has provided enough information about the JENAM international science conference in Yerevan. On august 27 members of the conference's organization board Hayk Haroutiunian, head of the Biurakan Observatory and Areg Mikaelian, an eminent scientist, held a press conference. Avoiding repetition of what was said in earlier publications about the science conference, we would only add that both Hayk Haroutiunian and Areg Mikaelian emphasized the importance of the conference for the prestige of the Armenian science, development of astronomy in Armenia and perspectives of cooperation with foreign states as Italy and Great Britain.
As Mr. Haroutiunian and Mikaelian told, on the opening ceremony of the conference the Trade and Economy Development Minister of Armenia Nerses Yeritsian was speaking of commercialization of science. Hayk Haroutiunian noted that it is a rather complicated and long process, although science can also have additional products, which may serve for getting financing. One of such spheres for Armenia is research of cosmic anthropogenic litter and establishing a regional education center in Biurakan observatory.
Another problem was also spoken about. Armenia is a member of the European Astronomy Union, and two of its neighbors were driven out of the organization because of low level of astronomy development and ignoring member fee payments. Due to the traditions of Armenian astronomy and paying the member fees in early 90's, Armenia is still preserving its place. Now Armenia lacks that 2,5 necessary for the next payment. The Union wondered how can it be when Armenia registers two-digit economy growth over the recent years. "One can suggest the following: either we lie that we cannot pay, or if we do not lie, the Government lies," noticed the astronomers.
The Biurakan Observatory director said that unless the Government takes care of astronomy, Armenia will soon lose its specialists. "Young astronomers go abroad and get huge wages," he said. Armenian astronomy and Armenian scientists are demanded at major observatories around the world, and the Government must take all necessary measures to preserve this situation