Russian Scientists Get No Respect

The average Russian has less regard for scientists than for peasants or politicians. In a new survey on public attitudes toward science, only 6% of 500 polled adults said that scientists enjoy "the highest respect in Russia." That's a far cry from the days of the Cold War, when scientists were hailed as "socialist heroes." Indeed, the survey, by the Center for Science Research and Statistics, a Moscow-based think tank, suggests that the public knows all too well the plight facing many of today's scientists: Scrambling for subsistence income by doing odd jobs outside their labs.