Valuable specialists leave science cities



Russian naukograds (science cities, Russian: наукоград) experience a shortage of personnel. Many young professionals flee cities with large research and production complexes. The reason is lack of infrastructure. This conclusion was made by the participants of the V Forum of cities of high scientific and technological potential. The forum discussed the development of Zelenogorsk (Russian: Зеленогорск) and Snezhinsk (Russian: Снежинск) – closed cities in which Rosatom (Russian state corporation that specializes in nuclear energy) enterprises are located.

Indeed, the infrastructure of many Russian cities leaves much to be desired. And naturally, the cities of Rosatom are no exception. The health, sports and cultural situation is depressing. The only advantage of such cities is a slightly lower crime situation. And it is naturally that many young qualified specialists, after working for several years, move to large cities, where life is more organized than in small closed cities.

In order to change the situation for the better, targeted investments are needed in the development of science cities – only increased attention to them can retain specialists. And it is not churches that need to be built, but new, modern hospitals, cultural and leisure centers, sports facilities and transport infrastructure. However, resource-intensive support of science cities will not radically solve the problem. In a market economy, large cities will still be more attractive for life, especially for citizens who were born and raised there. At the same time, given the low level of education in small towns and the general collapse of infrastructure, recruiting staff for Rosatom cities in such settlements will not bring much benefit. That is why the problem of science cities can be solved only in a comprehensive manner with the improvement of the well-being of citizens in the whole country. The introduction of a real progressive tax could help to resolve the contradiction. However, those in power are not interested in the prospect of increasing the “tax burden” on big business, which means that young specialists will continue to leave small towns.