NEWS

Yiannis Kontoyiannis

«Many Greek scientists who have been abroad for years are faced with the dilemma of whether to come home. Their motives are usually sentimental, the feeling that you have something to offer your country. Usually, the most distinguished find it harder to come back. Christos Papadimitriou, one of the most brilliant mathematicians in the world, came back but was forced to leave again,» said Kontoyiannis, who at the age of 32 chose to come back to Greece after teaching for two years at Brown, one of the oldest American universities. «Academic foundations are like plants. They take time, patience and continual effort to develop a climate of trust, open behavior and complex thought. Just like plants, they can wither. In the US, intellectual life is focused on the universities. «In Greece, the main problem is the universities’ institutional framework. Rectors and professors are elected by the students. At the same time, they operate as civil services. Whoever spends 10 hours a week at the university is paid the same as someone who has a large research team and works 80 hours a week.»