This is my conspect. It is not a transcription (unless I make a quote). It is a summary of some material as I understood it. If you find any part of it interesting — get the source material and corroborate to be 100% sure.
YT: How Well Is Pseudo-Science Institutionalised in Ruᛋᛋia? (an interview with Alexander Panchin[UA])
Q2. How Pseudo-Science and Conspiracy Theories Fit into the Ruᛋᛋian Politics?
The conspiracy theories distributed at a state level may be genuinely held by some Russian officials, although the examples of the opposite are also known: e.g. the soviet boosting of the theory of the laboratory origin of AIDS.
The modern talk about ‘ethnic’ and ‘genetic’ weapons pushed by Mikhail Kovalchuk seems to be more ideologically conditioned than genuine, since the front-man of these ideas is regarded as an expert by the Russian elites.
Q3. Are There People in the Ruᛋᛋian Elites that Believe some Conspiracy Theories?
Speaker's experience: the ban of the GMO was a political decision, many people in the legislative bodies who specified the details of the ban were not even hiding it from the Parliament members and the persons involved.
Conspiracy theories may be a means of career advancement and virtue-signalling among the politically active bureaucracy members.
Q4. How Pseudo-Science Affects the Public Opinion in Ruᛋᛋia?
Conspiracy theories are sometimes instrumental to the propaganda, but the main recipients of these ideas are already thinking in a similar direction, so the conspiracy theories only allow them to affirm their already existent beliefs.
Q5. Did the War Boost the Tendency to Believe in Conspiracy Theories?
The tendency to easier acceptance of the conspiracy theories (and seeing patterns where they are missing) has been found correlating with living in the conditions of substantial existential instability and increased existential risks. It seems to be a coping mechanism that aims at making the world more understandable. Cf. interest to occultism and conspiracy theories in 1990s.
This ‘animism in the second intent’ is much easier a venue of thinking than the scientific analysis of the world.
Also, the existential instability creates a market for the occultists and conspiracy theorists.
Q6. Is the Ruᛋᛋian Ruling Class Afraid of Scientits?
Many of the scientists have oppositional views by the virtue of higher level of cognitive discipline and higher familiarity with the foreign languages.
Look at Andrei Zayakin and the Dissernet project, which has been very detrimental to the fake reputation of the Russian ruling class members. Dissernet have found a lot of plagiarism in the dissertation theses of many high-ranking officials, and the oppositional views of the project founder allowed the government to attack the Dissernet via their administrative resource and informal connections.
The system has created the conditions that allow it to bully anyone – be it a scientist or not – and these conditions are used by those who benefit from the particular act of repression against a particular person.
— Alexander Panchin
So it is not about the government being afraid of the scientific community, it is about the personal grudges held against particular scientists that participate in the civic life.
Q7. Were There Many Scientists Who Have Returned after They Fled Ruᛋᛋia at the Beginning of the War?
Frankly speaking, I knew very few examples of someone's returning, since… what's the point? I think that many want to go back.
— Alexander Panchin
The problem for Russia: everyone with demanded skills have left, and the longer those who have left stay abroad, the less is the probability of their return.
Among my colleagues, a lot of people went abroad to do science, since in these conditions it is very hard to do science, for this is an international enterprise. Scientific ethos implies that people from various countries unite so to solve an intellectual problem. Science does not recognise nationality or international borders.
— Alexander Panchin
Q8. How the Isolation of Ruᛋᛋia Will Affect the Development of the Ruᛋᛋian science?
On the institutional level, science implies existence of scientific schools: a local traditions, usually within the mainstream, united by some theoretical affinity of its members and a system of apprenticeship. If all the top gods leave a country, it loses not only these specialists, but also their apprentices, and the apprentices of their apprentices and so on, which leads to a long-term negative trend.
So, the escape of the scientists is running counter the voiced goals of the Russian scientific community.
For example, the scientists attracted by the Mega-grants were not numerous even before the war, and their numbers have dwindled.
Q9. Will the Pseudo-Scientific Ideas Be Disseminated More Frequently on the State Level?
Recent precedent in the field – Alexander Kudryavtsev, one of the major Russian geneticists, made quite absurd proclamations about the human genetics and longevity being affected by the ‘original sin’.
The ongoing issue with the Russian Academy of Sciences – the presence of homeopaths and other ‘alternative medicine’ supporters, which leads to huge consequences to the country's healthcare system.
This intellectual degradation is likely to continue, since the existing counter-measures against the pseudo-scientific infiltration into the state and state-funded scientific institutions are not enough.
Q10. What Should Happen so that the Scientists Begin Return to Ruᛋᛋia en masse?
I think that the war is not the only reason. It very much depends whether there will be some real indication of the government being ready to reform itself.
— Alexander Panchin
The rules of the social game must be set firmly so science can thrive, for the scientific research is a long-term endeavour.