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Lack of transparency in research discourages scientists

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A young scientist on social media said that the fruit of his research team’s labor had been ruined by “evildoers”. Other sympathetic scientists agreed, saying that it is difficult to follow a scientific research career in Vietnam,  The young researcher said some people broke into a lab at the HCMC Nuclear Center and poured water into a machine which was under operation to measure specimens.

He said his team still could not estimate how much money and time of their own had been spent on their achievements. “We have spent 15 years so far on the idea and it’s implementation,” he said. When asked if he intends to give up or move to another lab, the young researcher said it is the only lab in Vietnam which conducts nuclear research. 

“What we hope for now is that the police can find and arrest them. After that, we will seek support from agencies or spend our own money to repair the equipment and continue our research,” he said in Nguoi Lao Dong News.

Even in poor conditions, young scientists in Vietnam are still able to produce internationally recognized research. However, they are discouraged by the lack of transparency in the scientific research environment. 

One scientist noted that young scientists now have a lot of good ideas. However, ‘playing dirty’ and ‘stealing scientific research achievements’ continue in Vietnam’s research environment.

“I know a lot of researchers who had to give up their research or had to give up labs to the state when troubles occurred,” he said.

Tran Van Hieu from the HCMC University of Natural Sciences, who was awarded the title of associate professor at the age of 35, said the biggest obstacle for researchers is a limited budget.  Most young scientists who return to Vietnam from overseas study are concerned about the lack of machines and equipment.

If they cannot join large research teams, they won’t be able to implement their ideas, so they cannot find funding for their research. As a vicious circle, they don’t have the right to access machines and equipment. Hieu said he likes the policy on attracting scientists being applied in Quang Ngai province.

Scientists who come to the province are given hundreds of millions of dong to conduct small research works first, and larger projects later.  Nguyen Kim Phi Phung from the HCMC National University said the state prioritizes research projects planned by local departments and agencies, while basic research is not given much importance and receives less funding. 

Mai Chi

Source: VietNamNet

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