The general assembly in Moscow of the Russian Academy of Sciences today (May 29) elected plasma physicist Vladimir Fortov as new president of Russia’s largest basic research organization.
Fortov, director of the academy’s Joint Institute for High Temperatures in Moscow, succeeds mathematician Yuri Osipov, 76, who has led the academy since 1991.
Russian scientists, plagued by low salaries and scarce grant money, hope that Fortov, 67 will refurbish the increasingly unproductive academy. The former deputy prime minister and former science minister in the Russian government is considered reform-friendly. In the run-up to the elections, he promised a set of measures to run the academy more efficiently and rejuvenate its aging workforce.
The academy employs some 45,000 scientists at 436 research institutes across Russia.