Egypt's future depends on democracy, education and research reform: Experts

Cairo, Feb.9 (ANI): Egyptian researchers and scientists have said that the country's future depends on democracy, education and research reform, and have added that there is a pool of talent among the youth in Egypt that is unbelievable and that there is a yearning for the freedom to express themselves.

The researchers say that what is most urgent is the need to halt the Mubarak regime's crackdowns on protesters, and to ensure that the pro-democracy movement prevails.

They have also called for a complete overhaul of Egypt's education and science systems to help address the root causes of the country's social and economic woes.

"The current outdated government simply lacks the mindset and vision to strategically support scientific research and lead an innovation-based economy that can compete globally," says Hassan Azzazy, a chemist at the non-profit, private American University in Cairo.

In an editorial in the International Herald Tribune last week, Ahmed Zewail, an Egyptian-born researcher at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, slammed the regime for presiding over a long deterioration in Egypt's education and research systems.

As is the case in other authoritarian Arab regimes, political patronage and nepotism are rife in senior Egyptian university appointments.

The suppression of human rights, and the poor conditions for science, have also led to a brain drain to the West, and more recently to Gulf states that are investing in research.

According to the Science Citation Index, Egypt produced 5,140 scientific papers in 2010.

Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, published twice that number alone. (ANI)

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