According to a study by Mail.ru Group and NUST MISiS, 86% of Internet users are interested in science news. Almost 80% say they follow the achievements of Russian scientists. Nevertheless, only 29% know about the existence of such a holiday as the Day of Russian Science.
Search Mail.ru analyzed the number of requests for the achievements of Russian scientists over the past year. The top 5 by the number of search queries included:
Sergey Gnuskov / NUST “MISiS”
Left – Comet C / 2019 Q4 (Borisov) in the center of the picture, visible her small tail Gennady Borisov
Vyacheslav Prokofiev / TASS
Denis Maximov / AFP / Scanpix / LETA
Hi-tech Mail.ru portal conducted a survey among users and found out which of these events the Russians consider the most important and useful for humanity.
The key achievement of Russian science in 2019, users called the creation of a prototype of the first quantum computer. Voted for him 45% interviewed. In second place is the launch of the Spectr-RG observatory (29%). The top three finalists also included the production of artificial meat – they voted for him 14% study participants. Only 9% respondents recognized the discovery of an interstellar comet and everything 3% voted for a unique historical find – the discovery in Smolensk under the dance floor of the remains of General Guden.
The attention of users to work on a quantum computer caused an ambiguous reaction in the scientific community:
“It is difficult to say why people who are not related to science are showing such great interest in a quantum computer. Moreover, it will most likely never replace the devices we are used to, as it is designed to solve special problems that modern supercomputers cannot do: calculations for the synthesis of new materials and compounds, quantum chemistry and information security, optimization of the schedule and operation of complex systems such as rail and air transport, energy networks, transportation of raw materials through pipelines, the financial sector ”– commented Alexey Ustinov, Head of the Laboratory “Superconducting Metamaterials” NITU MISiS.
Another representative of the scientific community, Chairman of the Russian Science Foundation’s Expert Council, Alexander Klimenko, on the contrary, considers the interest in quantum technologies in the modern world to be quite logical: “The creation of a computer and communication lines based on quantum effects can be compared in scale with the transition from analog to digital technology. Even the amateur imagines that this gave a person, and the expectations of a new revolution foster interest in her. In addition, recently there have been regularly published news that a company from the “big five” IT giants has created or plans to create the “most powerful quantum computer”, which, of course, attracts the attention of the public “.
Also, according to Klimenko, the increased interest of users in discoveries in the space sphere is quite justified: “Such attention to space topics can be explained by the exceptional popularity of the theme of space from the time of the launch of the first Earth satellite and the flight of Yuri Gagarin, the influence of various modern TV series and films with a“ near-cosmic ”plot -“ Time of the First ”,“ Star Wars ”, as well as great interest to the possible existence of life on other planets. “
The scientific community also believes that in addition to these topics, climate issues and technology research could also have a significant impact on society in 2019: “Among the topics that were to be on the list, global climate change and the associated increase in natural disasters, the creation of new weapons, artificial intelligence and its relationship with humans,” – notes Klimenko.