Raivis Zalubovskis, a team leader at the Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis in the capital Riga is looking to leave his Latvian homeland in search of a paying job in science, trying to escape what he calls the ‘catastrophic’ situation in research.
He returned home in 2006, following a PhD in Sweden, to what he then thought was a country with good scientific prospects. ‘I returned because I believed there would be a future in Latvia,’ he says. But recent events have left him – and hundreds of scientists in Latvia – without research funding and looking to either leave the country or research.
Now, he says, his salary is lower than it was during his PhD, and his group survives on savings and occasional outsourcing jobs for industry. ‘It’s not science, it’s industry,’ he says. But, he adds, ‘if we didn’t have these outsourcing projects for industry we would not be able even to pay for electricity and water. In chemistry we can do this, but not everyone can.’