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SPECTATOR COLLEGE

Exercise: Slovak investment in science lagging

This exercise is linked to the article: Slovak investment in science lagging

This exercise is linked to the article: Slovak investment in science lagging

Intro (2 min)
Warm up. List as many inventions as you can think of in 2 minutes.
- Teacher asks one student to read his/her list and compare with the others. Who listed the most inventions? Correct all mistakes and supply the names of the inventions the students got wrong! (vocabulary building – electronic devices/technologies/processes)

Discussion questions:
1, What is the main scientific organisation in Slovakia?
2, Does Slovakia participate in any research projects?
3, What are the most recent research projects (in the world) that caught your interest?

Key words:
allocate, budget, budget draft, expenditure, funds, intellectual security, guarantee, grant, inevitable, layoff, lobby group, redistribute, spacecraft, subcontractor, synergies, technological gap, underway,

Reading (15min)
Read the article Slovak investment in science lagging

1 Decide whether the following statements are true (T) or false (F).
1, The Slovak Academy of Science will get 18% less money than last year.
2, The percentage of Slovak investment into science in 2012 was 1.25 times lower than the EU average.
3, International rankings did not confirm that SAV was the most successful scientific institution in Slovakia.
4, The cuts in the SAV's budget won't affect the employees in the institution.
5, Scientists from Slovakia might migrate to other countries if the situation does not improve.
6, A chief representative of the UK thinks that public and media awareness can help research and development.
7, Research in Slovakia is funded mainly from the private sector.

2, Choose the best alternative to the words in bold:
It will 1 focus on completing the research and innovation infrastructure, and on 2 supporting the cooperation and 3 synergies between universities, SAV, research 4 institutions and businesses in order to remove the existing technological gap, according to the 5 partner agreement between Slovakia and the EU the government approved in June 2014.

1 target/prioritise 2 sustain/fund 3 cooperation/competition 4 bodies/factories 5 mutual/friendly

Group work (20 min)

1, What is the biggest scientific invention in the world of all time?
2, In your group, everyone think of who is, in your opinion, the greatest scientist of all time? Support your choice with arguments and try to defend your scientist against the arguments of your group peers.
- Practice participating in a discussion and functions – expressing opinion, presenting arguments/counterarguments.
Phrases: In my opinion, In my view, I think, I share the view that...
There is some truth in what you say, but...., I partially agree, however/but..., There
are some gaps in what you are saying..., There is some sense in your words, but....
I prefer..., I’d rather choose..., Your theory/opinion has one big shortcoming...

3, If you were a scientist, where would you prefer to work; in Slovakia or abroad? What does it depend on?
4, Jozef Murgaš, Slovak scientist living in the US, was the first one to pioneer radio communication – a signal “travelled” in the air for a certain distance. Think of all the further invention/devices/technologies that use his radio transmitter. List as many as you can find.
5, Štefan Banič, another Slovak living in the US, improved the parachute which saved many lives in the WWI. Do you think that the scientists in Slovakia are capable of such breakthrough inventions as Murgaš and Banič? Why? Why not?

HOMEWORK:
Read: Slovakia’s part in Rosetta project
Find the specific meaning of the lander, orbiter & subcontractor
from the text.
Find out more about the Philae lander project, particularly about the role of Slovakia!

WRITING TASK 1
Rewrite the sentences in a different way using the expression in the bracket. Preserve the meaning. Replace the words in italics with synonyms.
1 Moreover, the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAV) may see its budget for next year drop by 18 percent, as is indicated by the draft presented by the Finance Ministry in mid-August. (predict)
2 According to the budget draft, it should get €47 million, which is by €10.3 million less than this year. (indicate)
3 “Such a state worsens the intellectual security of the country and will lead to the draining of experts who will not find career guarantees for their professional orientation in science and research in Slovakia”. (result)
4 According to him, financing the research and development should be regular part of economic and business plan of the state. (priority)
5 “It is necessary to realise at the level of the whole society that the research is the only way to get to innovations without which there will be no new technologies,” Mičieta explained. (key)
6 “This will also create a pressure on increasing the quality since the money will go to the best-quality projects,” Králiková said. (allocate)
7 Slovakia will be also able to use EU funds. (benefit from)

ANSWERS:
1 Decide whether the following statements are true (T) or false (F).
1, The Slovak Academy of Science will get by 18% less money than last year. T
2, The percentage of Slovak investment into science in 2012 was 1.25 lower than the EU average. T
3, International rankings did not confirm that SAV was the most successful scientific institution in Slovakia. F
4, The cuts in the SAV's budget won't affect the employees in the institution. F
5, Scientists from Slovakia might migrate to other countries if the situation does not improve. T
6, Chief representative of the UK thinks that public and media awareness can help the research and development. T
7, Research in Slovakia is funded mainly from the private sector. F

2, Choose the best alternative to the words in bold:
It will 1 focus on completing the research and innovation infrastructure, and on 2 supporting the cooperation and 3 synergies between universities, SAV, research 4 institutions and businesses in order to remove the existing technological gap, according to the 5 partner agreement between Slovakia and the EU the government approved in June 2014.
1 target/prioritise 2 sustain/fund 3 competition/ cooperation 4 bodies/factories 5 friendly/ mutual

Some possible answers to WRITING TASK 1
1 Moreover, the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAV) may see its budget for next year drop by 18 percent, as is indicated by the draft presented by the Finance Ministry in mid-August. (predict)
The budget of the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAV) is predicted to fall/decrease/contract by 18 percent next year, the data from the Finance Ministry state/showed.
2 According to the budget draft, it should get €47 million, which is by €10.3 million less than this year. (indicate, fall)
The budget draft indicated 10.3 million fall compared to this year.
3 “Such a state worsens the intellectual security of the country and will lead to the draining of experts who will not find career guarantees for their professional orientation in science and research in Slovakia”. (result)
Such a state results in aggravation/deterioration of the intellectual security of the country and outflow/migration of experts...
4 According to him, financing the research and development should be regular part of economic and business plan of the state. (priority)
He said that financing the research and development is the priority of the business plan of the state.
5 “(T)the research is the only way to get to innovations without which there will be no new technologies,” Mičieta explained. (key)
Mičieta explained that the research is the key to the innovation and new technologies.
6 “This will also create a pressure on increasing the quality since the money will go to the best-quality projects,” Králiková said. (put, allocate)
This will also put pressure on the quality issue because the money will be allocated to the top-class projects.
7 Slovakia will be also able use EU funds. (benefit from)
Slovakia can also benefit from the EU funds.

This exercise is published as part of Spectator College, a programme created by The Slovak Spectator with the support of Petit Academy Foundation and Orange Foundation.

Topic: Spectator College


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