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THE FIRST LITHUANIAN BOOK AND ITS CULTURAL CONTEXT parison

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					LITHUANIAN SCIENCE IN TRANSITION:
      STATISTICAL ANALYSIS

                                     VYGINTAS GONTIS


     Institute of Theoretical Physics and Astronomy, Vilnius.

            decade starting from 1990                     essential changes in Baltic
T HE LASTand it is reasonable to call it wasa markedofbytransition. Social economical
  countries                              as period
changes are so deep and quick that even quantitative estimation of these changes be-
comes a real challenge for scholars and practitioners. Everyone has acknowledged that
statistical information collected describes the period, when law, social and economical
environment, legal status of institution, methodology of statistics and many other things
were changing rapidly. The transformation of academic community and scientific activity
in the region and Lithuania especially was very directly influenced by the global geopo-
litical changes as well. Having in mind the complexity of the processes involved and
possible high level of uncertainty we are taking attempt to present statistical analysis of
transformations in Lithuanian R&D sector. This is stimulated by the real need to increase
correspondence of science policy-making decisions with actual dynamics of processes in
scientific community. Countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), experiencing very
rapid social and economical transformation faces difficulties to secure appropriate public
funding for science and higher education. Simple comparison of available quantitative
indicators shows trends to considerable collapse of science potential in CEE. At the same
time countries of the region in their EU accession process and rapid restructuring of sci-
entific systems lose their own ties in the region. The need to share the experience making
reforms of science and higher education, adjusting the scientific infrastructure to the na-
tional and regional needs provides additional arguments for us in this study. We present
various Lithuanian Science Indicators Key Figures available in the period from 1990 to
2000. The Lithuanian Department of Statistics is the main information source for us [1].
Information from other sources and definitions involved were adopted when needed [2,
3].
      Lithuania, as well as any country in transition suffered dramatic changes during the
period of conversion from the planning to the market economy. As it is obvious from the
dynamics of prices in their levelling with world prices [4], Gross National Product
(GNP) grew up to 10 times in hard currency (USD), but considerably declined measured
in stable, for example year 2000 prices, see Fig. 1 (Data: Statistics Lithuania and The
Bank of Lithuania [2, 3]). Significant structural changes in the country’s economy and
drastic shrinking of the markets in the East were prevailing in the transition of 1991-
1997. Despite the decline in GNP (2000 year prices) the quality of Lithuanian products
and services, exports to the West and general international competitiveness of National
economy increased considerably in this period. How should we estimate changes in R&D
sector? Let us start our analysis of science transformation in this period from the number
of R&D Staff, which provides reasonable indication of the scientific potential in the
country. In Fig. 2 we present change of number of scientists (persons engaged in research
                                    REVUE BALTIQUE                                               25
               Fig. 1. GNP per capita in 1991-2000, USD

                               C u rre n t P ric e s    2 0 0 0 Ye a r P ric e s

   4500
   4000
   3500
   3000
   2500
   2000
   1500
   1000
    500
       0
           1991    1992    1993     1994      1995      1996      1997      1998   1999   2000


                          Fig. 1. GNP per capita in 1991-2000, USD.


                               Fig. 2. R&D staff
                                  R e s e a rc h e rs    S c ie n tis ts

     25000


     20000


     15000


     10000


      5000


           0
               1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000


                                         Fig. 2. R&D staff.


activity having scientific degree or academic titles) and researchers (scientists + techni-
cians and equivalent staff involved in research) in Lithuania from 1990 to 2000. Lithua-
nian S&T suffered an abrupt decline in 1990-1994, when major social economical
changes took place. This decrease has occurred mainly due to the elimination of the so-
called branch institutes of the former times, as well as the withdrawal of the assisting
personnel from the science field. The decline of number of scientists and researchers in
this period is in close correlation with decline in number of R&D institutions (Fig. 3) as
26                    LITHUANIAN SCIENCE IN TRANSITION
                    Fig. 3. Number of R&D institutions

      2000                                                                            147

                                                                        104

      1998                                                                    115

                                                                                120

      1996                                                                      121

                                                            86

      1994                                             78

                                                 67

      1992                                            75

                                                                        102

      1990                                                              102




                            Fig. 3. Number of R&D institutions.
                    Fig. 4. R&D staff – full- time equivalent
                                R e s e a rc h e rs   S c ie n tis ts

     16000

     14000

     12000

     10000

      8000

      6000

      4000

      2000

         0
             1990        1992             1994              1996              1998    2000


                           Fig. 4. R&D staff – full-time equivalent.

well as some recovery of researchers later, when new type institutions were established.
The number of researchers is much more flexible than number of scientists and more
sensitive to the changes in the labour market. Stable decline of scientists is alarming for
S&T policy makers. In the Fig. 4 we provide R&D staff numbers calculated to the full-
time equivalent (FTE = head count – 2/3 research and education staff in higher education
sector), as only 1/3 of financing and work time are devoted to the research in higher edu-
cation sector. The Governmental and business sectors experience major collapse in com-
parison with higher education sector – Fig. 5. Scarcity of the budget financing and
                                          REVUE BALTIQUE                                                   27
                           Fig. 5. Researchers by sectors
                                  Hig h E d u c .     G o v e rn .   B u s in e s s

     8000
     7000
     6000
     5000
     4000
     3000
     2000
     1000
           0
               1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000


                        Fig.full-time) by ten
     Fig. 6. Researchers (full-time) persectors.thousand labour
                          ( 5. Researchers
                   force in selected countries

               EU                                                        50

      S we e d e n                                                                               70

        F in la n d                                                                        65

      D e n m a rk                                                     48

        E s to n ia                                        35

         P o la n d                                  29

       Hu n g a ry                              26

      L ith u a n ia                                 30

          L a tv ia                      19

                       0     10         20          30          40     50             60        70    80



          Fig. 6. Researchers (full-time) per ten thousand labour force in selected countries.


insufficient attention to the science education are among main reasons of decline in gov-
ernmental sector. Very small business sector, only 3.3 % of total number of researchers
in 2000 clearly reflects the situation of very low science commercialization level. On the
other hand, there are obvious problems with data collection from business sector and
partially accounted experimental development. To restricted bases of R&D statistics
makes Lithuanian data from business sector hardly comparable with international indica-
tors [5]. Acceptance of international methodology has to improve the situation in the
nearest future. Considerable increase of R&D institutions in the last period Fig 3, proba-
bly reflects already improving Lithuanian statistics. We can point out that the research
28                            LITHUANIAN SCIENCE IN TRANSITION
     Fig. 7. Number of scientists by age and sex in 1992

                  1600
                  1400
                  1200
                  1000
                   800
                   600
                   400
                   200
                          0
                                   <3 0      3 0 -3 9    4 0 -4 9    5 0 -5 9     >6 0
                                  ye a rs    ye a rs     ye a rs     ye a rs     ye a rs

             M a le s               50        697        1007        1409            858
             F e m a le s           93        340         598         615            226


                          Fig. 7. Number of scientists by age and sex in 1992.


     Fig. 8. Number of scientists by Age and sex in 2000

                    1200

                    1000

                        800

                        600

                        400

                        200

                              0
                                    <3 0     3 0 -3 9    4 0 -4 9   5 0 -5 9     >6 0
                                   ye a rs   ye a rs     ye a rs    ye a rs     ye a rs

               M a le s              61        451        906       1055        1038
               F e m a le s          32        341        606        576         267



                              Fig. 8. Number of scientists by age and sex in 2000.

and higher education system in the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education and Science
consists of the 75 following bodies: 15 state and 4 private university type higher educa-
tion schools with 100 thousand students (2000-2001); 4 state and 3 non state colleges; 29
state research institutes and more then 20 smaller state research establishments. Depart-
ment of Statistics accounted other 72 R&D institutions in 2000. The total number of re-
searchers in Lithuania is comparable with other countries of Central and Eastern Europe
see Fig. 6, where the full-time equivalent numbers of researchers in selected countries is
provided, Statistics Yearbooks of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, OECD in figures [6].
Fig. 11. R&D financing in 2000 year prices, Mill. Lt,
                      REVUE BALTIQUE                                                                    29
                     scientific degrees conferred
   Fig. 9. Number of1USD=4Lt.
                                                      Budge
                                           T o ta l Dr. Hab il. t
                                           Dr.

   53 0 0
    00
   450
    250
   400
   350
    200
   300
    50
   21 5 0
   200
   11 0 0
    50
   100
     50
    50
      00
             1996        2 7
            1 9 9 1 1 9 91 9 91 9 9 3 1 9 9 8
                                      1994          19 1           000
                                                1 9 9 5 9 9 9 9 6 21 9 9 7   1 92 0 0 11 9 9 9
                                                                                98               2000

                       Fig. personnel by field of science in
             Fig. 10. R&D 9. Number of scientific degrees confered. 2000, %
                Fig. 11. R&D financing in 2000 year prices, Mili. Lt, 1 USD = 4 Lt.




                                         Medical Sci.
                                            10 %                      Hum anities
                          Natural Sci.
                                                                        22 %
                               8%
                      Agricultural
                          Sci.
                          6%

                      Physical Sci.                                          Social Sci.
                         15 %                                                  19 %

                                            Technological
                                                Sci.
                                                20 %



                       Fig. 10. R&D personnel by field of science in 2000, %.


      The dynamics of age-distribution among scientists is much more threatening; see
Fig. 7 and Fig 8, where we present the distribution of scientists by age and sex in 1992
and 2000 correspondingly. There isn't any hope for positive changes in the nearest future
as only 1.7 % of scientists are under 30 years old and only 16 % are under 40 years old.
The aging problem is the real challenge for Lithuanian science policy makers. The aging
isn't so threatening for females, though total number of females is rather low – 34 % of
all scientists. Unfortunately, the information on internal and external brain drain is hard-
ly available in our country. Accurate forecast of age-distribution would be problematic.
In any case, it is obvious, that Lithuania must increase the number of young scientists. In
order to satisfy the minimal regeneration needs it is necessary that 300-400 young scien-
30
     Fig. 12. Science financing and research quality in Central
                  LITHUANIAN SCIENCE IN TRANSITION
                                  Science”,v.283,1999
            and Eastern Europe, “Science”,v.283,1999
        L ith u a n ia

             L a tv ia

         B u lg a ria

          E s to n ia

        R u m a n ia

           P o la n d                                                           C ita tio n
         H u n g a ry                                                           G E R D /G NP

         S lo v a k ia

     C ze c h R e p .

         S lo v e n ia

     E U a v e ra g e

                 US


                         0   1      2       3        4       5       6



             Fig. 12. Science financing and research quality in Central and Eastern Europe,
                                        “Science”, V. 283, 1999.
tists become researchers for R&D. The number of scientific degrees conferred is slightly
growing see Fig. 9, and has to be supported financially in the nearest future. Some
changes in the distribution of R&D personnel by field of science have also taken place
during the last 10 years. Fig. 10 provides information on the situation as of 2000.
      In the Fig. 11 we present information about Lithuanian Gross National Expenditure
on R&D (GERD) in 1991-2000. In this period Lithuania experienced very rapid econom-
ical changes, which make financial estimates rather complicated. Major changes are:
hyperinflation in 1991-1992, the national currency Litas (Lt) introduced in 1993, Litas
pegged to US dollar at ration 4 Lt = 1 USD in 1995. The most damaging influence to the
Lithuanian science structure is related with the crash of Soviet Union in 1989-1991 and
cut off of all previous contracts with the Eastern partners. Unfortunately, it is very com-
plicated to recover the financial impact of these changes. We do expect that the total fi-
nancing of Lithuanian science decreased nearly twice from 1989 to 1991.
                   Fig. 13. Number of international publications
                  (reviewed by Science Citation Index) in Baltic
                                REVUE BALTIQUE                                              31

                                   Countries
            600

            500

            400

            300

            200

            100

              0
                   1993     1994      1995     1996      1997        1998   1999

                                    Estonia    Latv ia   Lithuania


          Fig. 13. Number of international publications (reviewed by Science Citation
                                  Index) in Baltic Countries.

      To eliminate the inflation in Fig. 11 we presented GERD in 2000 year prices.
Monthly consumer price index was used for recalculation, source: Statistics Lithuania.
      Lithuania has one of the lowest ratio GERD/GNP in comparison with European
countries see Fig. 12 [7]. Low investments of firms in R&D and insufficient public sci-
ence funding are the main reason of this. According to 2000 statistics, public R&D ex-
penditure was 0.37 % of GNP and other only 0.26 %. Firms should invest much more to
the product development and production technology development and related technology
transfer. Even Lithuanian Government share in GERD is rather low in comparison with
other countries. EU experts recommend increasing governmental R&D financing first,
expecting synergy with business sector contribution [8].
      Despite many negative trends in the development of Lithuanian science in transition
the research output and quality has experienced signs of improvement. Let us chose the
number of publications registered in Science Citation Index (SCI) system as criteria for
comparative measure of science efficiency. In Fig. 13 we present the number of SCI pub-
lications in Baltic Countries (Source: Science Citation Index [6] ) from 1993 to 1999.
Estonia and Lithuania experienced significant growth of publications from 250 to 500.
Numbers like 400 publications may seem very low compared to the output of Western
Countries. However, everyone has to have in mind that for very long period there were
big restrictions in Baltic Countries to publish in international journals and there still exist
the language barrier. On the other hand, everyone has to acknowledge that there are over
100 local scientific journals in Lithuanian, where researchers publish over 2500 articles
per year. If we tried to calculate the actual cost of one publication we would get very low
estimate in comparison with other countries. The average citation index of Lithuanian
international publications, see Fig. 12 should be estimated as very high in comparison
with other countries, especially having in mind very low science financing. Finally we
32                    LITHUANIAN SCIENCE IN TRANSITION

can conclude that since 1990 Lithuanian scientific community has been reduced consid-
erably. One might have expected the output of the scientific activity to shrink as a result
of transformation process, low science funding and rapid attrition of the scientific com-
munity. However, the scientific community is till productive with growing desire of more
intensive international co-operation.

    1. Research Activity, Statistics Lithuania, Statistical Bulletin, Vilnius, 1991-2001
    2. State Higher Education and Research Institutions in Lithuania, Lithuanian Infor-
mation Institute, Vilnius, 1994.
    3. Monthly Bulletin, The Bank of Lithuania, Vilnius, 1993-2001.
    4. V. Gontis, The Baltic Paradox, “Lithuania in the World”, 1996, Nr. 3, p. 26-27.
    5. Main Definitions and Conventions for the Measurement of Research and Experi-
mental Development (RD), Summary of the Frascati Manual, 1993. OECD, Paris,
1994.
    6. I. Dagytė, J. Kristapsons, H. Martinson, Baltic RD System in Transition,
Södertöns högskola, 2000.
    7. Science Financing and Research Quality in Central and Eastern Europe, “Sci-
ence”, V. 283, 1999.
    8. STE Hannu Hernesniemi, Financing Perspective for Lithuanian Science and
Technology policy, Etlatiedo Ltd. 9.8.2000.

				
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