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Where Have All The Scientists Gone?

There are 86,000 Egyptian scientists operating around the world, AKA anywhere else but here, as reports indicate they are the most challenged among the world.

A report released by HRDO centre has stated that Egypt faces critical challenges regarding the findings and quality of scientific research in the country, mostly due to administrative corruption, and a lack of scientific libraries and accurate references. Information and statistics are also difficult to access and a shortage of funding is becoming a barrier and a threat to scientific progress, which is comprehensible considering a Wiki Corruption initiative found 3.5 billion EGP of state funds were lost this year and in the month of June alone due to financial corruption. Embezzlement reached 816,364 EGP while financial and administrative corruption and manipulation reached a total of 517 million EGP.

The greater crisis is in the emigration of Egyptian scientists, who ironically put Egypt at first rank in the largest amount of scientists surfacing from one nation. A collection of information and statistics provided by The International General Union of Egyptians, the United Nations statistics centre, reports from Islamic community presidents abroad, hyperlinks of scientists portfolios and some research centers in Europe and The United States revealed an astonishing total of 86,000 Egyptian scientists operating around the world, and anywhere else but here. As well as there being 9,750,000 Egyptian expats with 1,883 of them specializing in rare nuclear studies, there are also 3,000 Egyptian scientists specialising in all fields in the United States, 42 Egyptian university president-scientists and a one Egyptian minister of scientific research in Canada. A board of 16 members at the German Energy Council also includes three Egyptians.

So why are Egyptian scientists evading the country? Why are there hardly any reputable, advanced or valuable researchers and experts in Egypt? HRDO report claims it’s mostly because all decision making regarding scientific research and development is left to state officials rather than scientific representatives, in a classic show of bureaucracy by our beloved Egyptian government, that along with the aforementioned administrative corruption tampering with the national identity and reputation of science in Egypt. Female scientists are also finding it difficult to carry on with their studies and field research specifically, because of the patriarchal system our nation abides to, accordingly exclude female scientists from funding opportunities or even invitations to scientific conferences that could help boost the quality of their research.

These exceptional shortcomings and blatant crimes against science play a significant role in crippling our country’s economic power and potential for innovation. The government is urged to facilitate the opportunities and funding required for both male and female, grant any support necessary for scientists of all ages and genders to carry on their duties, and perhaps apply article 23 in the 2015 Egyptian constitution, which states spending on scientific research will be raised by 1% of the country’s gross domestic product. Missions must be sent abroad to benefit from international research and abilities and gain the experience necessary to offer our nation a valid and credited capacity for economic and social progress.