Im Vordergrund ein Mikrofon, im Hintergrund ein abstraktes Kunstwerk

Science Talk on North Macedonia: Missing funding, missing scientists

In our “Science Talk” series, science journalists from across Europe give their personal view on the state of science in their country.

Cover photo credit: Unsplash/Michal Czyz

Goran Lefkov, what are the most important fields of science in North Macedonia at the moment?
The most important field in Science in North Macedonia, for now, is pandemic research. North Macedonia has bad or not at all data about the Covid situation. How many people have passed Covid? How many people have antibodies? This is necessary to have proper information what kind of measures should be implemented.

Portrait Goran Lefkov
Credits: Goran Lefkov

“The most important field in Science in North Macedonia, for now, is pandemic research.”

Goran Lefkov, investigative and science journalist

Are there things that are unique or more prominent in North Macedonia research than in other countries?
To be honest we have a really small scientific research sector here, so it is hard to say what is different or unique for the Macedonian model compared to others. Some years in the past, we had several research projects on Ohrid Lake, the oldest lake in Europe, and one of the three oldest lakes in the world, but big undertakings like this do not happen so often.

What are the current challenges science in North Macedonia is facing?
Biggest challenge here is lack of funding for researchers and science in general, especially in natural sciences. We have a lot of students that have some kind of Masters or PhD in social science, but in natural science those are really rare. The funds for science here are really low. Just 0.35% of our gross domestic product is going into science, that is around ten times less than in the EU, where 2% of GDP is going into science.

“Biggest challenge here is lack of funding for researchers andand science in general, especially in natural sciences.”

Goran Lefkov

In your view, what are the prospects for young people in science in North Macedonia?
We need to increase funding for research. Without that we will loose young scientist as we do today.

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