Only the strong survive

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Science  08 Apr 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6282, pp. 134-138
DOI: 10.1126/science.352.6282.134

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has signaled that a day of reckoning has arrived for Russian science. Presiding over a meeting of the Presidential Council for Science and Education in the Kremlin on 21 January, Putin noted that 150 institutes in Russia account for a vast majority of the nation's scientific output. In the coming months, scores of weaker institutes are expected to be axed or merged. Russia's science leaders say that scientists who lose their jobs—the number will be in the thousands, sources say—will not simply be tossed out on the street. Some would go into early retirement, whereas others may receive severance pay or retraining. At the same time, the government is showering riches on a few research centers with sterling track records or more political clout.