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Fri, 10/21/2022 - 15:00

Sputnik Holds Video Bridge on ASEAN-Russia Scientific Cooperation

The International News Agency and Radio Sputnik hosted a round table in the format of a video bridge on “The Science Space of Russia-ASEAN: New Challenges and Opportunities.” Sputnik has hosted a video conference looking at greater scientific cooperation between Russia and nations belonging to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The participants of Sputnik’s video bridge discussed the prospects for the development of scientific and educational dialogue, as well as the importance of scientific communication in promoting Russian-Asian innovation cooperation. The discussion included the president of the Internet Publishers’ Association, CEO of Vernsky Company, member of the Human Rights Council and Environmental Council of St. Petersburg, Ivan Zassoursky; Acting Director of the ASEAN Center at MGIMO of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ekaterina Koldunova; founder and CEO of Myanmar’s Thayninga Institute for Strategic Studies Naing Swe Oo; head of the Department of Communication Studies at Indonesia’s President University Raudy Gathmyr; and Carlos Tabunda, dean of international relations at the Philippines’ New Era University. Vassily Pushkov, Sputnik's director for international cooperation, was the discussion’s moderator. For his part, Zassoursky outlined the problem of scientific communication, particularly in the area of climate change control, and called for a focus on developing open science: "Until we have a common scientific space, until we build our common noosphere, where we can consider issues rationally and openly, unfortunately, any discussion will be politicized in one way or another". Naing Swee Oo focused on the agreements already reached between Russia and Myanmar, including through ASEAN, and emphasized that joint projects in science and technology can help solve the global problems facing humanity: “We need to encourage interdisciplinary thinking, we need academic freedom and integrity, and we need curiosity in the scientific field. It is important to promote international scientific cooperation because it allows scientists to join forces, which ultimately leads to discoveries and technological breakthroughs.” Likewise, Gathmyr suggested that more attention should be paid to academic mobility and that new opportunities for expert dialogue should be sought despite the unstable political and economic situation in the world: “We should develop and strengthen joint research activities, as well as consider long-term student exchanges. Such in-depth cooperation in the field of education is extremely important for us.” Koldunova further noted the problem of the information gap between Russia and ASEAN countries, despite the high developmental level in modern communication technologies: “The role of science journalism is now more important than ever, its task is to accurately and carefully inform the general public of our countries about what achievements are there, areas in which our countries are making progress, and to create a permanent information field that can be addressed and on which to rely.” For his part, Tabunda particularly emphasized that joint efforts between Russia and ASEAN countries should be aimed not only at developing scientific exchanges but also at promoting interest in science among young people. “Each research program that is funded by a university, a private company, or a private foundation should always contain another component, a research publicity component. And this should be a conscious effort on the part of organizations to open themselves up to the public, to inform it. Besides, by doing so we generate more interest in science among young people. The focus should be on the younger generation.” In October 2021, ASEAN adopted Russia’s proposal that 2022 be the Russian Year of Scientific and Technical Cooperation (ARYSTC). Its purpose is to expand scientific, technological and innovative cooperation between the Russian Federation and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, including in scientific exchange. Read more: