Is this where we’re headed for environmental research in Canada, cutting jobs from Environment Canada and hiring for Corrections Canada?
High-profile carbon project to proceed, but with a proviso.
One of Russia‘s most prominent international science projects has fallen foul of cold-war-era concerns. An expedition to study carbon transport around Siberia’s Yenisey River has been postponed for a year after officials blocked the use of sampling equipment and put some sites off-limits. The episode highlights the tension between Russia’s bureaucracy and its growing ambition to develop wider research collaborations — part of a strategy to revitalize domestic science.
In July, Ernst-Detlef Schulze, a carbon-cycle researcher and founding director of the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena, Germany, and 35 scientists from Germany, the Netherlands, France and Russia, had their bags packed for the journey to Siberia.
Then they received a letter from the Russian Federal Security Service prohibiting them from using any Western equipment on the trip. Schulze, who last year received a 150-million-rouble (US$5-million) grant from the Russian government to do research in Siberia, was aghast. “When I first saw the letter I just couldn’t believe what I read,” he says. “I was so disappointed and furious I went to my own forest and lumbered trees until I was exhausted.”