Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Nobel Win Brings Plea For Funds

Trying to turn his Nobel Prize into political capital, physicist Zhores Alfyorov said Wednesday that he intended to work for increased state spending on Russia’s scientific labs and institutes.

Alfyorov, who shared this year’s prize for physics, is a member of the Communist faction in the State Duma.

The party has demanded the draft 2001 budget be revised to up funds for science and social programs. "When an ordinary deputy says something, that’s one thing, but when a deputy and Nobel Prize winner says it — that’s completely different," Alfyorov said.

He got a rousing welcome from his fellow deputies when he arrived at the Duma. Deputies applauded and Speaker Gennady Seleznyov presented him with a bouquet of red roses, saying "It’s not every day that a Nobel winner walks into the Duma."

Taking the podium, Alfyorov criticized the plan to spend 1.1 billion rubles ($39.5 million) on a new apartment building for Du-ma deputies: "This exceeds all capital investments into all of Russia’s science by more than four times. This house alone would allow us to build scores of new laboratories."

President Vladimir Putin sent his congratulations to Alfyorov. "This is not just your personal triumph," he said. "This is a big, bright victory of Russian science." The Nobel Foundation Zhores I. Alferov