Press release №2125


  • Russians science is a leader in space exploration and military sphere (30%, each)
  • 72% of Russians would appreciate the desire of their children and grandchildren to become scientists

According to respondents, the Russian science is leading in space and military spheres, while health care needs more attention.

MOSCOW, December 10, 2018. Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) presents the data of a study devoted to Russians’ views on the state of the Russian science and expertise of the Russian scientists.

Russians are divided in their opinions on the expertise of the Russian scientists compared to their foreign counterparts: 36% of respondents say that the Russian researchers are more professional; a further 37% say that they are as good as foreign researchers (44% among respondents with higher education level). Sixteen percent consider that the expertise of the Russian scientists is weaker than that of the foreign colleagues.

The survey suggests that the Russian science is leading in space and military spheres (30%, for each). This is followed by health care by a wide margin (11%), nuclear power and physico-mathematics (7%, for each).  

More than one-third of respondents (36%) consider that health care is Russia’s top priority to support and develop. Every fifth (20%) says that it is essential to develop education; 12% point to agriculture. Others mention space industry (7%), military sphere (6%), automotive industry and production sector (5%, for each).

Most of Russians (72%) would positively perceive the decision of their children to enter upon the path of science; they are mainly Russians aged 35-44 (83%) and less frequently young respondents aged 18-24 (20%). Seven percent of respondents would oppose the idea.

The VCIOM-Sputnik survey was conducted on December 6, 2018. The survey involved 1,600 Russians aged 18 and over. The survey was telephone-based and was carried out using stratified dual-frame random sample based on a complete list of landline and mobile phone numbers operating in Russia. The data were weighted according to selection probability and social and demographic characteristics. The margin of error at a 95% confidence level does not exceed 2.5%. In addition to sampling error, minor changes in question wording and different circumstances arising during the fieldwork can introduce bias into the survey.


In your opinion, is the level of expertise of the Russian scientists higher/lower or at the same level as that of the developed countries? (closed-ended question, one answer % of total respondents)
  Total respondents Elementary (incomplete secondary) education Secondary education (school, vocational school) Specialized secondary education  (technical school) Incomplete higher (not less than three years in a higher education institution), higher  education
Higher 36 47 38 40 32
The same level 37 24 30 34 44
Lower 16 20 18 16 15
Don’t know 11 9 14 10 9


In your opinion, in what spheres does the Russian science hold the leading position? (open-ended question, up to 3 answers, shown are answers of at least 1% of respondents, % of total respondents)
  Total respondents
Space 30
Military 30
Health care 11
Nuclear energy 7
Physico-mathematics 7
Software engineering, IT technologies 4
Nanotechnology, innovative technologies 3
Chemical industry 3
Oil and gas 2
Education 2
Manufacturing industry  2
Agriculture 2
Biology, bioengineering 2
Computer technologies 1
Aircraft construction 1
Sport 1
Extraction of natural resources 1
Robotics industry 1
Construction 1
Ship building 1
Economic sphere 1
Literature 1
Fundamental science 1
None 2
Other 2
Don’t know 41


What spheres of the Russian science should be supported and developed?  (open-ended question, up to 3 answers, shown are answers of at least 1% of respondents, % of total respondents)
  Total respondents
Health care 36
Education 20
Agriculture 12
Space 7
Military 6
Car manufacturing 5
Production sector     5
Software engineering, IT technologies 4
Physico-mathematics 4
Chemistry 4
Economy 4
Biology, bioengineering 3
Social sphere 3
Environment 3
Equipment, electronics 3
Culture 2
Nanotech, innovative technologies 2
Fundamental science 2
Aircraft industry 1
Nuclear energy 1
Robotics industry 1
Sport 1
Oil and gas 1
Extraction of mineral  resources 1
Human sciences  1
Construction, infrastructure 1
All spheres 2
Other 2
Don’t know 33


Do you have children/grandchildren growing up? If yes, how would you perceive their decision to become a scientist/to build a career in science? (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)
  Total respondents  Aged  18-24 Aged  25-34 Aged  35-44 Aged  45-59 Aged  60 and more
Definitely positively 32 8 26 37 36 37
Likely positively 40 12 43 46 41 39
Likely negatively 5 1 7 6 7 3
Definitely negatively 2 1 2 1 2 2
I do not have children/grandchildren 18 77 22 8 11 12
Don’t know 3 1 0 2 3 7


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  Results of our study
  In focus