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tv   [untitled]    August 18, 2011 9:31pm-10:01pm EDT

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at least fifteen palestinian rebels have been killed in egypt and gaza as israel carries out a major assault in retaliation for a string of attacks in the south of the country egypt also claims that the israeli air force is responsible for the deaths of two of its officers while it was hunting down insurgents in the border region. next hour interview show spotlight off talks to cochairman of the skolkovo foundation council roger kornberg about the project dubbed russia's silicon valley which is forging ahead at full speed hungry for the full story we've got. the biggest issues get a human voice face to face with the news makers. paolo again they're welcome to spotlight on r.t.
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prime al green of the and my guest in the studio today is roger kornberg. the much discussed project of the city dubbed the russian silicon valley is powering at full speed its leaders have held the first scientific council meeting and also met the russian president how have they outlined the development of the futuristic city and what are the next steps the cochairman of the scientific council roger kornberg is here to enlighten us. the name skolkovo innovation city has entered the vocabulary of the russian elite and the foreign media the recent visit of california governor arnold schwarzenegger has brought significant investment to russia's own silicon valley days later some of the world's biggest names in science talk by nobel prize winner roger kornberg came to moscow to outline the first concrete steps in the city's creation mr pawnbrokers one of the most respected by
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chemists he comes from a family of another nobel prize winner arthur kornberg roger think skolkovo will boost scientific progress and take russia to the poor front of innovative development and he promises to do his best to make this happen. politically thank you very much for being with us tonight. first of all russians russians living abroad like the nobel prize winner andrei game i recently talked to him are often less optimistic about skulk about then americans like yourself what makes you to mystically the adventurist spirits of americans they make them believe that it's going to happen i can tell you the following first of all there is no alternative. russia needs such a project if it is to make best use of its talent and. succeed as
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a developed country in the future russia has great resources but these are expendable they are being expended now they make the country wealthy at the present time but that will not last forever it needs to leverage its. human resources to assure the best possible future it needs to leverage those resources for the benefit of the country and to avoid their loss. otherwise as has happened so often in the past this talent will migrate abroad there are many other countries that have in mind the goals of the scope of a project they are fast implementing them if russia wants to retain its capacity to compete and it must do this now science in the u.s. has also always been internationally very cosmopolitan you have the chance to work with russian scientists before oh i have some of my closest colleagues and most admired amongst them are russian they are working in america for the most part for
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the very reasons that i have mentioned they are probably not inclined to return to russia because they're so well established where they are now nevertheless many of them have contacted me and said they would be glad to offer whatever they can to ensure he's going to have every bit of both even russians both russian citizens and american citizens these people are by now our own arrogance that is most of the of the ones that i'm thinking of that i don't know well one of your best friends among russian scientists is mr althea of why did you agree to co-chair the skolkovo council because you're friends with author of what did you have any other reasons why the i was asked by george al for of who i much admire and respect he told me that he thought it would be helpful to the to. his undertaking and. i wished to do what i could to support him. that
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said then such a project takes on a life of its own it becomes a challenge and i can see many other good reasons why i should try and help it succeed like what first and foremost so that russia will be. more successful as a country and a better force for good in the world as a matter of fact is it is a job for you are you paid for that or indeed you are indeed offered payment which i must tell you is not beyond what i receive from anyone else to provide such a consulting service i'm offered by many more than i have the time to do and i've chosen to do this i'm at a comparable level of remuneration because of the reasons that i told you skulk about has already been dubbed the russian silicon valley everybody calls it the russian silicon valley well do you think they will try to will you try to follow the american example to go in the american first steps or is it an entirely
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different thing. it would be a mistake to copy really what was been done abroad the goals may be similar which in this case as there would be to establish a robust than a vibrant and a productive high tech industry there are two reasons why it would be a mistake to attempt a direct copy of that the circumstances are different and what works in one place will never be the best design or plan for what may work another and the other reason is that the technology of the future will be different from the technology of the past based on discoveries that have not yet been made and so again far the best way is to. to evaluate the circumstances and then to try and make the best possible decision how to proceed based on the current circumstances well let's take a look at the latest developments concerning of the creation of russia as a variation of the silicon valley and the reported by spotlight and they demean the
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bat. while the school in the vacation center reason not yet build it is already much more than just the territory redesignated on the map it's currently taking shape in the minds of designers from five countries france great britain the west and sweden who won the bid to create a concept for the russian innovation center it might eventually to now to be something as who touristic as the building of the business school which already exists in skolkovo and was designed by british based architect david a gyre who says he was inspired by a russian pioneer of geometric abstract art because in your mileage the construction of the center will take three to five years and around seven billion us dollars of investment meanwhile you don't have to be in skolkovo to be part of it the project but disciplines will be able to work outside the technology park until two thousand and fourteen and all this time into tax breaks attributed to in
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the vacation sent to members by russian law americans have shown enthusiasm venture investors from the u.s. and some top silicon valley executives flocked to the russian capital guided by the california governor arnold schwarzenegger the former action heroes visit contributed greatly to promote in russia's efforts in the high tech sphere as for some practical results of guests from the u.s. pledged investments amount into round and new and used doors with eighty giants google and intel announced in their readiness to set up the design of the board to reason skolkovo. world what we just saw was the actual skulk around because there's a big big beautiful building is actually a business school so somewhere in the vicinity nothing is built yet but can you tell us you haven't been there i know but do you have the slightest idea when will that start functioning when when it would start function on
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a regular basis in this little. project i do not know the answer to that question but i think it depends very much upon several factors first the final decision of the government to invest in the project i'm not aware that that final decision has been taken secondly the development of a an appropriate plan which should involve a contribution from the council of which i am a member and then finally the actual implementation all of these things i believe are yet to be done or decided well can you name a single high tech industry that should become a could become the cornerstone of our all of this of this revolution made maybe nano which is which is like a great obsession in the kremlin today in the to the russian to russians got a nobel prize this year for for nanotechnology do you think this may be the drive of the locomotive of the of this scientific revolution i think that's possible but i would add that perhaps the greatest opportunity the future lies in the biological
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round i think that biotech will ultimately become the leading or the driving force in technology in innovation in the world the reason is that it is agreed by all if the twentieth century was the age of physics and it culminated in the high tech industry that we have today. the twenty first century is without a doubt the age of biology and in particular of human biology and the important benefits from that are yet to be seen but all would agree on avoidably very great let's talk a bit more about about the international nature of science when you're talking about this call for project are you discussing are you even interested in the percentage of russian and non russian brains that will be there or remain here in the county don't care i mean certainly the objective is to identify the best talent . and to enable it to succeed regardless of the nationality just as an american
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regardless of nationality or indeed in other places indeed it would be a great benefit to the country if a significant amount of talent came from abroad bringing with them. knowledge ideas a different point of view that could augment what is homegrown. well you are a celebrity you're one of the best in the world you're a story like like like a guest star like in any movie there is the guest star can you name a couple of other people of of your rank in science that already have official invitation is or or with which the russians are talking to i didn't know somebody else who can join you look we have a council of very capable people which includes mostly leaders in. this general sort of activity in russia as and appropriately so but then to the
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council. it has been possible to bring a leader from biotech in america dr phillip frost who is perhaps the most successful entrepreneur in that industry in the world it has been possible to bring dr richard lerner who is the president of scripts in research institute which is also doubtless the most successful of its kind with vast experience in building enterprises that combine academic and commercial activity so i think we have. any example of those people and others the best that we could hope for in the way of advice to god just as though you do have enough celebrities that i think these people are better than able than i to offer useful advice on the project here but even you i have read it in the press that that russian press that last summer even you have some troubles getting the russian visa that is. that was a mistake even
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a mistake i never i never i don't know where that came from mistaken the press the mistake when they were the bees that mistaken the private press out i never i had and they may have thought that i had already applied for a visit to suppression of this visit and i had not done so quite the reverse is true when the date for this meeting was finally set and with my complex travel schedule i had to find a window of time in which to join the meeting then and only at that time i applied for a visa it was far too late to obtain through normal channels with and the. russians involved in the administration of this project could make it possible for me to obtain the visa on the shortest possible notice so so so far as i never were a crabby kid on the contrary in a crash into russian drugs yet no not at all this is yet to come for you so i am told i have not seen it says roger kornberg chairman of the scientific and technical council spotlight will be back shortly after we take
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a small break so stay way you will continue this interview in less than a minute. i'm sure is that so much i can tell you that you will be the muslim world to me changed everything twenty years ago communist party hardliners attempted to derail me help out of a child's efforts to reform the soviet union. or go. well . bringing you the latest in science and technology from the realms. we've got the future covered.
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welcome back to spotlight i am al green arbonne just to remind you that my guest in the studio today is an outstanding american biochemist professor our structural biology of stanford university two thousand and six nobel prize winner and finally cochairman of skull coast scientific and technical counsel roger kornberg roger welcome back to the show well we started talking about russian bureaucracy that you have faced terribly impressed by the cations thankfully not in real life yet but people who have less words in their business cards may face those problems and these russian bureaucracy is a thing that's very frightening for foreigners. the russian parliament has passed a law which facilitates visa procedures for qualified for workers in russia
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earning more than sixty six thousand or more a year do you think this is enough i don't mean the sixty six thousand but lifting their critic. barriers to attract more and more scientists to russia i would think the answer is yes because scientists will go wherever a combination of factors prevails first of all an interesting opportunity in scientists will be attracted by a challenge and they will want to do the most fascinating living thing they may possibly undertake and then certainly adequate support if both are provided and i understand that may be true then russia should have i think encountered no problem but i don't think so the scientists are not like many other people business but for example are ready to stand in endless lines to get visas and papers and stamps and all that thing because like. creative people don't like that they then they like things happen like this that if if if that's if that were to become
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a way of life i think it would be a problem if i had to apply for a visa on a weekly basis indeed it would be an issue otherwise let's see if people in russia believe in modernization of their country spotlights card to has tried to find out . i there today i'll try to find out if people in this country believe that russia can be modernized without invoking the forward ideas the next year it's simply relying on its own talent to potential new corneas hope that the years of course it can i think we should restore the saw that it was and everything will get back to normal course of business school but yes of course it can however our government is lacking one small thing for that and desire for modernization for now i see only statements and promises there is no particular clear cut program i don't think that our government has any idea what they really want there is also this shady enterprise skolkovo i'm
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a university professor myself and i have been teaching for thirty years so i can tell you that in order to rebuild such a huge science and advocation systems that we used to have in our country there have to be very clear and understandable plans in order to modernize our country we should avoid destroying what is left from our science and education also stop turning high schools into korea colleges and the most important step turning science into management suits you have to know still more that no i think we should try to attract more foreign experts because there is something we can learn from them and vice versa so the exchange of experience and knowledge will only have a positive outcome for both sides. for sure so yes i think it's kind of that we have enough of our own resources and talents within the country people just need a little more freedom and directions should also try to rely on our younger generation . i've got such a here she's going to question thought guest. devoted to what does russia need to
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do in order to attract foreign scientists to work in our country that was. so i think the answer is to create opportunity opportunity opportunity so that all of it's not only money that started early cutting red tape but it's. it's the springboards that people be looking for here and so there may be people abroad in various places with ideas and they believe passionately in pursuing and there may be an opportunity for their implementation they will go wherever it is possible when you came here and when you when you. got together i mean your council the scientific council what was the first discussion about what was the main subject what was the main burning question if there was one who was to decide what is the role of the council the challenge first of all is to decide how the council will relate to the
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project as a whole that in turn requires understanding what form the project may take none of that is yet decided the challenge before us is to devise a plan that works there are just there is justifiable skepticism as there would be of anything of a new and as yet undefined nature and it is our responsibility to take all the the critical comment that has been made to heart and take advantage in order to formulate a successful plan you don't sound skeptical along. i think because i have lived my life engaged in such high risk activity that is the nature of science of course it's frightening and of course one can get it wrong and in fact i've often gotten it wrong. but getting it right even once or occasionally is the reward in a case like this i think that we have
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a good chance of getting it right we must drop this economy and i've talked to a couple of americans who came here to moscow last week as part of a delegation of u.s. venture capitalists and they will lead by i don't short snag or the the california governor himself they visit us call and they have a they met the president so do you think that now investments are guaranteed or on the contrary you know in vestment of that nature is very slow to materialize and i don't think that that needs to be a limitation at this stage what matters is to develop a appropriate plan and then to pursue it and be persistent and eventually the investment will follow so so when people people like mike the guys from this delegation come in and then they will walk around and drive this fancy cars and stuff it's oh it's all smiles and then nothing really behind it is that true or it
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may materialize i don't know how does that work in my limited experience i know you know that money but still the venture the venture community is interested in opportunity but very limited in those that it will eventually pursue they would come to explore the possibilities they might decide to invest in the in the odds are always against it but the determination of the founders of the project and their capacity to design an appropriate plan will be decisive in the end. i know you're not of money you're a scientist but but you did make a couple of projects happening in our life so so you know how for if that's the reason i'm asking so what i want to know is what makes you. so sure that you sound like an optimist here what makes you believe that skolkovo is going to happen that it's not going to become another but tom can village you know nice
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nice on the surface but not really impressive inside there is no guarantee but you believe it is it is what i what i think is that we have that it is possible to succeed it is possible to accomplish what all would agree was. worthwhile and to deliver value for money in terms of investment but you won't know it until you see it and you've got it it's up to us to do it and the proof will be . whatever is the outcome. now we have two stars one here one on the screen here we've got our own charts nagger on the screen and we've got and we've got roger kornberg here in the studio so. how do you feel about it is it you to make these guys pay their money or is it those guys that are here to pay for people like you to come to work and skulk of who is it's
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a chicken and egg question but still i think we have different motives. i think it is true that when the venture community comes to business school their purpose is to make money and to multiply the value of any investment my interest is of course entirely different it's to see such an undertaking be productive in terms of technology to see it succeed in the at the levels of both discovery and the translation of discovery into meaningful so practical terms. but according to you of course have your own criteria when you talk to young scientists were you look through millions of projects that they they share with you is there such a criteria for the council you skulk of and what's the criteria that has not been finally set down in words but i would insist and i'm sure others would agree there
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should be only one criteria and that is the quality of ideas person it's what you may or may consider it quality you you said biological status is no mathematics and no one says physics in the first place one can't really judge mathematics against biology or vice versa but within the realm broad realm of biology for example it is possible to convene a group that will review a proposal vote and then go with the majority decision there's no better way to do it another thing that i think would be nice for your council to have and this is the veto power like if the authorities rushing over to wherever. one some project that they really are very much want it and you see that it's that it's not really promising can you veto it can't can your side of the council veto a price and now. that aspect of governance has not been established but i think
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it's appropriate i think what you've said is entirely reasonable i think aside the scientific council should have the last word i think it should work the same way scientific councils work in america there was a review process in the room the decisions of that review were then forwarded to a final council that passes on them in the end almost always almost invariably they approve the decision made at a lower level but i think what you are suggesting would be very well placed in such a process thank you sir thank you very much it was a great privilege having you on the show my thanks and just to remind you that my guest in the studio today was roger carbury cochairman of skull co scientific and technical accounts and that's it for now from all of us here if you want to have your say on spotlight someone in mind who you think i should intervene next time to drop me a line at al green our past are you and let's keep the show interactive we'll be back with more first hand comments on was going on and outside russia until then
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stay on r.t. and take care thank you.
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british courts are cracking down on rioters with stiff sentences but human rights groups of jews judges overreacted by handing down overly severe penalties to young men who said they were just joking with a facebook message calling on locals to loot their home town were given four years in jail for incitement. as syria's president assad promises a halt to all domestic military operations european leaders and the us issue strong statements calling on him to step down to the un to send a humanitarian mission into the country to assess the full extent of the government's crackdown on protesters. is rolling in a strike in gaza and the tally a simple. in the health of the country join me here in a few moments for more. asian markets open with a.


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