Search


Advanced Search
Nenad Bach - Editor in Chief

Sponsored Ads
 »  Home  »  Science  »  (E) What will you get in return? Nothing. Just the glory.
(E) What will you get in return? Nothing. Just the glory.
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  07/6/2004 | Science | Unrated
(E) What will you get in return? Nothing. Just the glory.

 

Calling scientists back home to Croatia

 

“What will you get in return? Nothing. Just the glory.”


Doreen Carvajal International Herald Tribune Tuesday, July 6, 2004
The world's scientists are like a flock of flamingos that migrates from briny lakes when they dry up and returns only when its lagoons are replenished.
.
But last week, hundreds of scientists gathered in the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie in Paris to try to analyze their own peculiar migratory patterns.
.
A few years ago, gatherings such as these offered ample opportunity to bemoan the flight of bright researchers to enticing jobs across the Atlantic in the United States. Yet now the debate has clearly shifted from worrying about brain drain to brainstorming about practical strategies to “circulate” researchers between nations.
.
Finland, Italy and Poland are subsidizing networking systems to build ties with their expatriate scientists. The European Union also announced the start of an online “mobility portal” along with centers in 33 countries offering expatriate researchers and their families customized assistance to ease the return home.
.
Last fall, Croatia's government handed over the keys to Villa Dalmatia, the opulent former summer residence of Marshal Tito on the Adriatic coast, to create a new biological research institution called the Mediterranean Institute for Life Sciences. The country has already spent E1.7 million, or $2 million, to restore the former Yugoslav leader's house and a cloister-like soldier barracks that will house a new laboratory.
.
All of these projects are tentative first steps to match the temptations of laboratories that gleam with the promise of research and development funding, access to leading technologies and a critical mass of creative research institutions.
.
In Croatia, the task has fallen to Miroslav Radman to raise a E100 million endowment to create a seaside resort of ideas in his hometown of Silt, an ancient Roman city.
.
Radman, 60, is a popular figure in Croatia, but has spent most of his career in France, where he leads a team of 25 scientists at the Necker Institute in Paris involved in research on the human genome project and HIV/$ AIDS.
.
“I'm doing this to create a space where the quality of the workplace and life is the level of the best," said Radman, who wants to develop a freewheeling new institute like Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory in Long Island, which drew many of the world's molecular biology pioneers in the mid-20th century and nurtured a new field.
.
“Some say I'm totally crazy," Radman said. "It's meant to be a place that should become a factory of new projects, of new ideas.”
.
Last week he returned from the United States, where he was wooing wealthy Croatian immigrants to back the project.
.
“I'm trying to tempt them to play the role of Croatian Rockefellers or the Medicis of Florence," he said. The sales pitch isn't flowery: “What will you get in return? Nothing. Just the glory.”
.
It's pretty much the same message that Antonio Giordano is using with Italian expatriates are donating some of their wealth to cancer research.
.
Giordano, 40, is a scientist and a native of Naples, Italy, who is experimenting with his own laboratory to build links between his home and homeland with exchanges between postdoctoral students and researchers. He is a professor of pathology at the University of Siena and the director of the Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine at Temple University.
.
Giordano promotes his adopted home, Philadelphia, with the buoyant enthusiasm of a state governor, right down to offering to search for a cheese steak in Paris.
.
He's still not convinced that enough money and attention have been devoted to research in Europe to persuade scientists to circulate home.
.
As he points out, this is a problem that scientists have lived with for decades.
.
The invention of the first phonograph, for instance, is usually credited to Thomas Edison, but the first to create a workable design was Charles Cros, a Parisian who delivered plans for a paléophone that would use discs to the French Academy of Sciences in 1877.
.
Cros lost the competition and the glory to Edison partly for prosaic reasons. His rich patron withdrew his funding and he couldn't find another Medici to help build his dream.
.
Doreen Carvajal can be reached atdcarvajal@iht.com 

Copyright © 2004 the International Herald Tribune All Rights Reserved
http://www.iht.com/articles/528160.html

 

How would you rate the quality of this article?

Verification:
Enter the security code shown below:
imgRegenerate Image


Add comment
Comments


Article Options
Croatian Constellation



Popular Articles
  1. (E) 100 Years Old Hotel Therapia reopens in Crikvenica
  2. Dr. Andrija Puharich: parapsychologist, medical researcher, and inventor
  3. Europe 2007: Zagreb the Continent's new star
  4. Violi Calvert: Nenad Bach in China to be interviewed by China Radio International
  5. Potres u Zagrebu - Earthquake in Zagreb, Croatia 28 listopad 2006 u 16:15 3.7 on a Richter
No popular articles found.