Mikhail Kovalchuk: “Kurchatov Institute is preparing a new challenge to civilization”

Mikhail Kovalchuk. © /

Vitaliy Belousov

/ RIA Novosti

Last week the President of NRC “Kurchatov Institute” Mikhail Kovalchuk met with Russian and Belarusian journalists. He spoke about new scientific projects, the development of technologies that resemble natural ones, and the brain drain.

Snoop on nature

The Kurchatov Institute has always implemented breakthrough scientific ideas that changed civilization. For example, the nuclear project ensured the sovereignty of our country and, in fact, to this day, ensures our competitiveness in the most challenging fields of science.

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Now we have a similar project — the creation of technological structures, that resemble natural ones. The idea is very simple. The power of all the computers in the world on par with the brain power of one person. We need to create technologies, systems and devices that will consume energy like natural objects. We have a Department which deals with bioenergy — in particular, exploring the metabolic process of a living organism. So are devices like sensors, which feed through metabolic processes in cells. There is another side. We have a lot of Humanities. Work with linguists, sociologists, psychologists. We recently conducted a study of mummies from the Museum. Pushkin. This is almost never done.

The project that resemble natural ones technology today is a new challenge, which in scale surpasses even the importance of nuclear-space project. Just imagine, you are creating a family of robots: there’s a kind of “womb” from which come the mini-robots; they go and gather information — measure the temperature, acidity of the soil or something photographed, depending on what the task is. Then they transmit this information to the center. If necessary these robots to destroy something, you form them psychology, sociology of the flock or of the herd. If necessary, that they were builders, you are studying and provide them the sociology of ant.


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Once China and India move from bicycles to cars, it seemed the “bottom” of the warehouse, called planet Earth. Whether it happens in 10 years or 50 — second question. But this is an obvious fact. And because of all the talk of our Western colleagues about alternative energy is important, this needs to be addressed. But you must understand that the sale of electric vehicles — pure deception, nothing more than a commercial gimmick. In fact, you sell the same car. After all, all cars that travel on the Ground tomorrow morning to transfer the electricity, it will be necessary to triple the generating capacity. But it’s impossible. But if you still do, you will die from acid rain because it will drown the power of coal. Then there are statements about improving the environment by switching to electric vehicles is a fake. Pay attention to this fact: under the screaming about alternative energy, there are American troops? It was there, where reserves of hydrocarbons. Here is the answer!

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Resource collapse is obvious. And if the development will go in today’s technological paradigm, we will come to resource-free life, but by bloody wars, which in fact has already begun, for access to resources. And we are talking about resources much more important — for example, drinking water. China also supplied drinking water, in my opinion, less than 10%. Irtysh has come to us losing up to 40% water, which is taken by China and Kazakhstan. And if this goes on, over the next decades will have to relocate from Central Asia tens of millions of people.

And Russia is a unique system that has everything. It is completely self-sufficient. We have the largest supply of fertile land, water, forests, natural resources. For several years we harvest, which has not met yet never in the history of the Russian Empire and the USSR. And it is due to genetics, biotechnology, and a host of other things. And now the American grain Union went bankrupt. We are squeezing them everywhere, where before they sold grain, including Egypt. There is a transition to a fundamentally new way that resemble natural ones, which, as our President said, speaking at the United Nations, will return the technosphere, antagonistic to nature, back to natural resursebit. This way will restore the natural metabolism that has been disturbed by our civilization. It is a civilizational challenge on a planetary scale.


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Our contribution in Europe

Today our research centre — one of the largest in the country. It employs 14 thousand people. Easier to say what we don’t do than to list all what you do.

The center, in addition to the Kurchatov Institute includes six other institutions. For example, scientific research Institute “Prometheus” makes all the need for nuclear energy alloys. Plus there are engaged in composite materials, different new materials. Thanks to this Institute, Russia is the only country that has titanium submarines.

A year ago we were attached to the largest genetic center of the country, Gosniigenetika. He since the Soviet Union had an absolutely complete range — antibiotics, vitamins, amino acids, etc. and today has one of Europe’s largest collections of microorganisms.

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Now the Kurchatov Institute has the necessary infrastructure, the installation. For example, the synchrotron — the only post-Soviet such an instrument, launched after the collapse of the USSR. At the moment, created the world’s first 4th generation synchrotron. With the advent of Russia will have the world’s best research infrastructure.

In addition, our Institute on behalf of the leadership of the country represents it in international megaprojects: is the ITER (thermonuclear experimental reactor in France), is CERN (European organization for nuclear research), it’s two projects in Germany.

We have become an integral part of the European scientific landscape. And it is inconceivable without the participation of Russia. For example, in ITER, is to implement the idea of installing a “tokamak” magnetic confinement of plasma — it was invented and first built at the Kurchatov Institute. The same applies to other projects, they also used development of the Soviet and Russian scientists. In a sense, we are the intellectual donors for them.

Secondly, we are suppliers of technological solutions. The same ITER, we set the superconducting cable, which nobody could do. CERN — crystals of lead tungstate, which was discovered the Higgs boson. This is the intellectual, human and technological contributions to the European science on the part of Russia. In addition, we are the largest investors, Fund many international projects.


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The brain drain is already there

Today most European countries, unfortunately, just colonized. The Americans are doing so that in these countries science is not evolving, it is at the level of the laboratory, serves the interests of transnational companies. And as soon as they have something important, Americans just take it for themselves, people, and technology. And then back sell 10 times more expensive. A technological enslavement.

Of course, it is impossible to fall out of common space, close, as does China. We must be part of the world, but to be intellectually stronger than many other, even stronger than the Americans.

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It is clear that a large number of scientists left for the West when they stopped paying. Had nowhere to go. But it pretty quickly stopped and stabilized. Today we have a dynamic equilibrium.

Recently, I spoke at a round table, and next to me sat a girl, a young scientist. As it turned out, she’s from Belarus. After studying, went to Germany, where worked for 10 years. Then moved to America and 2.5-year stint at Harvard. Now she’s a Professor at one of the universities of St. Petersburg. And so she said: “I’m world traveled and can confirm that the best country for science classes — is Russia”.

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