Dr Aleksandar Bogojević on science importance for the Republic of Serbia’s future

30. November 2021.

’The Institute of Physics is an ambitious institution, and I believe we do not lack rationality either,’ said Dr Aleksandar Bogojević,  director of the Institute of Physics, Belgrade (IPB), in an interview for the Biznis Magazine. In a conversation with Marko Andrejević, one of the editors of this specialized businessman-oriented magazine, the Institute director answered the questions on the IPB’s results and our researchers’ efforts, as well as the significance of close cooperation with other institutions, and projects and plans for the future.

’We have the following vision – national institutes are leading scientific institutions which have sufficiently developed that they are in a position to create a wide social relevance,’ says Dr Bogojević, explaining that first-rate science is fostered at the Institute, which has been constantly confirmed both by the results of our researchers and by the Institute’s development of its other roles important for society. ’For example, we are the biggest institution in the field of physical sciences, so it should not come as a surprise that we have been involved in the process of education of people who we are to employ. National institutes have to take on a more comprehensive educational role which will strengthen ties between science and higher education. Similarly, innovation role strengthens ties between science and industry,’ asserts the IPB director.

Reminding that it is the idea which has also led to the Verrocchio project launching, having successfully been presented to decision-makers, in this interview, Bogojević mentions the investment which, as a priority project of the Government of the Republic of Serbia is being built at the Institute of Physics. ’Verrocchio is a place where specialized, post-grad and post-doc interdisciplinary studies are to be realized,’ states Dr Bogojević, detailing what the scientific community stands to gain with its construction. ’We lack places where people of various knowledge can integrate and where they will learn to respect, understand and work together,’ he believes, adding that it is a platform which Serbia has not had so far.

’Presently, the construction and equipping of the Verrocchio centre is headed by the Public Investment Management Office. As a future user, the IPB is extremely satisfied with the cooperation and the amount of information we receive. As far as we know, all administrative-legal challenges have been overcome, and the design is at the end, soon to be followed by construction and equipping works which are to last for a year or so. Certainly, we are far more interested in what comes in the period of its exploitation,’ explained Dr Bogojević.

Speaking about the history and goals of the Institute, Dr Bogojević drew the attention of the readers of the Biznis magazine, to the fact that the goals of our institution were not limited only to science and education, but to applications as well. ’We have noticed that people who are not researchers do not know enough about science, even in the modern world, and, to a certain point, we are to blame and the change has to come within ourselves,’ believes Dr Bogojević, adding that the Institute has been trying to explain the significance and application of science in various segments of society. In his words, it is the knowledge that has the capacity to transform Serbia.

’To be honest, I do not think that the Institute, or our country, should compare themselves with some three-times-our-size entities, with world super-powers,’ he said, adding that nevertheless, it was possible to learn much from comparisons with countries of similar wealth and size as the Republic of Serbia. Switzerland represents such an example, which, although of similar size and population, is extraordinarily successful, having picked a few fields in which she has managed to achieve world quality. According to Dr Bogojević, products to make the Republic of Serbia world-known can be found in its science.

MEDIA COVERAGE: Interview with Dr Aleksandar Bogojević for the Biznis Magazine