Science, Creative Work, Necessities
Recently, the Government has submitted the Estonian Science and Technology Strategy “Knowledge-based Estonia” to the Riigikogu. The speech of Prime Minister Mart Laar, and the accompanying speeches of Mart Meri, and the author of this paper, have illuminated several aspects of science and technology in Estonia and the necessities of the state. This paper gives an additional viewpoint concerning several activities and choices in formulating the aims of science and technology for a small country, stressing the needs for the future and possible hindrances.
For a small country, the needs for a concentrated efforts and quality are obvious. The signs of changes are encouraging, still there are many weaknesses. For example, organising research and development for practical needs, and the low level of general funding, with all its consequences and shortages of manpower. The encouraging signs are the readiness of the Government to fix the targets for science and technology, support for young researchers, and the decision for creating a system of centres of excellence in research. The main problem is still the capacity, which concerns the organisational side, its development, and postgraduate studies.
The mission of scientists is to unite creative work with the needs of the country. A recently published volume of overviews, written by young researchers, is an excellent example of the positive prospects for science and technology in Estonia.