Event Recap: Russian Science & Technology Policy

Irina Dezhina lecture

On November 6, Dr. Irina Dezhina delivered a lecture titled "Russian Science & Technology Policy: Catch Up and Overtake or Overtake Without Catching Up?"

In the early post-Soviet period, the spheres of science and technology in Russia came under intense pressure to reform, seeking parity with the West. Now, Russia's approach of “catch up and overtake” is central to its science and technology policy agenda as it seeks global technological leadership and entry into new markets for high-tech products. 

Yet the deterioration of relations with the West poses a challenge for advancement in science and techology. Dr. Dezhina and discussant, Dr. Harley Balzer, discussed policy trends and predictions, particularly as they relate to external factors such as western sanctions. 

The audio lecture and powerpoint are both available online.


Irina Dezhina is the Head of Research Group on Science and Industrial Policy at Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Moscow. Dr. Dezhina has been a Fulbright Scholar in the MIT Program “Science, Technology, and Society” (1997) and a fellow at the Kennan Institute of the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Studies in Washington, D.C. (1994 and 2013). She has also served as a consultant for the World Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, CRDF, OECD, APEC, EU Framework Program, and other organizations. In June 2016, she was awarded a title Chevalier, The Ordre des Palmes académiques (Order of Academic Palms, France) for her work on Russian science and innovation policy.

Harley Balzer is Professor Emeritus of Government and International Affairs and an Associate Faculty Member of the Department of History at Georgetown University. From 1987 to August 2001, he served as Director of the University’s Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies. In 1993, Dr. Balzer took a partial leave from Georgetown to serve as Executive Director and Chairman of the Board of the International Science Foundation, an organization established by George Soros to disburse $100 million to support basic science in the countries of the former Soviet Union.