Guide to the Russian

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A Guide to the Russian

Academy of Sciences

Part I


Jack L. Cross


Radio telescope


It is with a deep appreciation and love that I dedicate this  volume  to  my  wife,

Dorothy, without whose support and encouragement I should never have got this

far with this project. "Got this far" is chosen particularly because this is the kind of

work that will never end--as long as the Russian Academy of Sciences lasts, for it

will always be changing in its own inimitable manner. The Academy has become

one of the world's great bureaucracies--a collection of men and women organized

around the seeking of knowledge and an understanding of themselves and  their

world and the universe which surrounds it.

In January 1997, Valentin Koptyug, chairman of the Siberian Department of the

Russian  Academy  of  Sciences,  and  a  Vice  President  of  the  RAS  passed  on

unexpectedly.  I  would  also  like  to  dedicate  this  work  to  the  memory  of  that

scholarly and gentle man.

@ 1995 by Jack L. Cross

All  rights reserved. Materials from this book may be used by scholars  only  if

attribution to source is made either in a footnote or in a bibliography.

Formal permission does not need to be obtained if these criteria are met.

ISBN: 0-961-7785-0-5

2nd edition revised in 1997

1st Edition: 1995

Cross Associates, Austin, Texas

2nd Edition, 1997



There are a number of people whose help and encouragement I must acknowledge in the

creation of this Guide to the Russian Academy of Sciences. I began working on this

study about twelve  years  ago  toward  the  end  of  my  academic  career.  Richard

Thomas headed the Center for Strategic Technology at Texas A&M University then

and it was through him that I met and got to admire and know Iohn Erickson and

Dick Woff. Both of these men are excellent scholars of Russian affairs. It was at

that time that I first encountered the Soviet Academy of Sciences. I was confused

by its scope and organization and my curiosity was awakened by it. During my

researches  of  the  Soviet  Academy--which  at  that  time  included  the  scientific

academies of the 15 republics of the Soviet Union--and about the time that I had

finished  my  first  draft  of  a  much  larger  study--perestroika  and  glasnost  and

Gorbachev appeared, the Berlin wall  came down, and Russia was reborn.

For some three years I watched in dismay as various republics became independent and my

manuscript was coming apart at the seams iust as the Soviet Union was doing. In

desperation I cut back on the work, concentrating only on the reconstituted Russian

Academy itself. Some of my correspondence with various institute directors and

officials in the Presidium led to an invitation to visit Russia to bring my information

on the Siberian Department up to date, and an invitation to attend a conference on

the history of science in the Ukraine followed. I accepted both, and I spent almost

two weeks in Novosibirsk at the invitation of one of the Vice Presidents of the

Academy--Valentin Koptyug,  who was, at that time, also the  Chairman  of  the

Siberian Department. I was able to visit with various persons in the Presidium in

Moscow who grew interested in my efforts. President Iuri Osipov of the Academy

designated me head of a project, along with Valerii Sokolov, Head of the Scientific

Management Department of the Presidium, to develop a guide to the academy. At

that time, we were hopeful about finding some funds from private sources to help

defray the costs incurred in the collection of  materials about the academy, and for

their translation into four languages, and its publication for international sale and

distribution. Proceeds from the sale were to be plowed back into the continuing

updating of the guide in future.

We failed to find any money. Valerii and I have limped along, greatly slowed down, but

we  have  kept  updating  the  materials,  and  while  this  present  volume  lacks

information which both of us would like to have, it represents the best available

material on the academy available to me at the present time. I want to express the

deepest  thanks  to  Professors  Koptyug  and  to  all  those  subordinates  of  his  in

Akademgorodok-Novosibirsk who  provided  me  with  much  vital  information.  I

need also to express my gratitude to the directors of the individual institutes who

responded to my questions about their institutes with results which are uneven from

institute to institute but which provide a clearer picture of the kind and extent of

scientific  research  going  on  in  those  laboratories  and  departments.  I  have

coordinated the material used from that correspondence with each of them and can

vouch for the accuracy of most of the entries.

Western knowledge about  the  engineering  and  hard  sciences  in  the  Soviet  Union  has

always  been  greater  than  that  about  the  humanities  and  the  social  sciences--a

situation that was corrected  with  the  publication  of  the  Scholars'  Guide  to  the

Humanities and Social Sciences (1994). I have included much of that material in

this study. Blair Ruble, a pioneer in this kind of research, has been supportive of

my efforts. It is good to know someone who understands what you are trying to do


and who is not afraid to tell you. I can only express my thanks to him for his


Fred Giessler, Bill Manthorpe, and Iames Westwood have encouraged me along the way

and have often provided me with insights that have proved to be valuable. Perhaps

none of this could  have  been  done  without  the  encouragement  and  support  of

Andrew Marshall: my work on  The Soviet  Higher  Military  Educational  System

(February 1982) 198 pp. and Occasional Paper No. 4, The Academies of Sciences

in the Soviet Union: An Overview of Soviet Research and Development (July 1982)

226 pp. Both were printed by the  Center  for  Strategic  Technology  under  Dick

Thomas at Texas A&M University. The present guide to the Russian Academy is

larger  in  size  and  scope  with  much  of  its  contents  updated.  The  cooperation

received from the Russian Academy itself accounts for this.

I believe that while the Russian Academy of Sciences is suffering greatly during this time

of troubles in Russia, it will survive. It will  keep its unique system of scientific

research  organization  and  the  training  of  its  scientists--Russian  scientists  will

remain institute-based, rather than university-based.  I would expect the quality of

graduate research training to improve in the  freer  economy  of  the  mind  that  is

transpiring before our eyes in Russia. These men and women will be pioneers in

these changes.

In late December of 1992, in the  Rossiyskaia (aya) gazeta (29 December), Iurii Osipov,

President of the Academy, described the difficult situation the Academy was facing

in  the  coming  year:  financing  had  dropped  precipitously  while  inflation  had

wreaked havoc with finances of all the research institutes of the Academy; young

scientists were leaving the system for greener fields abroad in growing numbers,

creating great concern; and the publishing situation for scientific works was in a

disastrous  state.  Yet,  as  he  pointed  out,  the  Academy  was  surviving,  and

cooperation among most of the former Republic Academies was beginning to be

develop under a suggestion from Ye. Paton, President of the Ukrainian Academy of

Sciences, and joint research project development among these academies Osipov

believed to be a responsibility. Additionally, the Academy and its institutes were

experimentally  developing  closer  ties  with  many  of  the  higher  educational

institutions in the country--not however transferring the postgraduate training of its

scientists over to the Universities along the American model. As some of the former

major State Industrial Research Institutes were being reorganized, he felt that some

of these, particularly the former TRsAGI Ministry of Aviation’s institute might well

be absorbed in the Academic Institute System and a Nuclear Energy Institute might

also be created. Meanwhile, he believed that Russian researchers could contribute

greatly in providing ideas and data need for the reorganization of the economy and

the Russian society. He urged a  continuation  of  the  democratization  within  the

Academy saying that “The central figure  must be the scientist, with his right to

scientific research and a scientific result. . .  But  the  Academy  itself  must  seek

solutions for immediate problems. [It must strive] to retain scientific collectives and

capable young people. We must support people who think unusually and freely.”

Osipov closed his article by observing that in an “. . . atmosphere of  scientific

freedom and tolerance, new interesting ideas and programs are the best guarantee

that people who come to science will stay in institutes in spite of difficulties [so]

that we, together with Russia, will survive.”

This guide will give the interested reader a better idea of the scope of scientific

activity in Russia and some notion of how important this system is and may prove

to be for the future survival of Russia itself.


In  closing  this  preface,  I  remind  myself  that  this  guide  is  only  a  small  beginning.

Hopefully, others will pick it up, expand and continue it.

Jack L. Cross

Austin, Texas 1995

Note to the 1997 revised edition:

 In these trying times in Russia, changes are afoot

in the scientific research institutes, in the departments of the academy, and in the

personnel who make up the Russian intelligentsia. Russian scientists and Russian

scientific  research  institutes  are  appearing  in  greater  numbers  on  the  internet.

Internally, computer servers and networks are being developed at a dizzying pace,

and the outreach of those networks to the rest of the world is making it possible to

keep up with those changes that are posted on the internet. This revised edition is

the second of an bi-annual update and it takes advantage of the latest information

posted  by  individuals,  where  useful,  and  by  institutes  and  departments  when

available.  A  much  greater  number  of  e-mail  addresses  for  both  institutes  and

individual scientist is now included in this edition. As greater accuracy is achieved

in the Guide, the location of research institutes and of scientists in the context of

Russian Science may prove to be most useful to all of us. I have tried to make the

spelling  of  Russian  names  and  place  names  machine  searchable  by  offering

alternatives of transliterations. These spellings are primarily for English speaking

readers. I am certain that I have not  succeeded  in  accomplishing  this,  and  any

suggestions  for  improvement  are  welcomed.  Materials  downloaded  from  the

internet are considered by me, as a historian, to be "primary" sources and, like all

primary  sources  must  be  submitted  to  internal  and  external  critical  analysis.

Research of this kind on the net is in its infancy and citation standards remain to be

worked out.

Note: I add here a role and scope statement about the Academy itself which summarizes

and emphasizes the continuing importance of this great institution.

The Russian Academy of Science (RAS)

A Role and Scope Statement:

The Russian Academy of Sciences is the major center of the fundamental scientific research

and is an all-Russia self-governed body.

The  Academy  of  Sciences  is  a  community  of  prominent  scientists-its  members  and

corresponding members, other scholars and specialists working in the Academy's

organizations, thus being the leading center of fundamental research in fields of the

natural and social sciences in the Russian  Federation.  The  Academy's  structure

incorporates a wide network of the research institutes and laboratories involved in

the studies in the basic fields of modern science.  It  employs  the  best  scientific

forces of the country including world renowned scientists and talented youth.

In its activity the Russian Academy of Sciences follows the Federal Law and the Statues

adopted by the RAS general assembly without interference from any state or other

structures. The Academy exercises control over the activity of the scientific research


institutes, their laboratories and other bodies engaged in fundamental research and

in the training of specialists.

The primary objectives of the Russian Academy of Sciences are:

fundamental research in the field of natural and social sciences, engineering and humanities

that facilitates the economical, social and spiritual development of the society;

all possible assistance to the development of science in Russia;

investigations aimed at preservation and development of the national cultures;

realization of national and regional applied science programs;

integration of the academic, university and industrial science of Russia to promote the all-

round development and efficient interaction between science, education and culture,

and to pursue a unified scientific and technical policy in the country;   

participation in elaborating state decisions on the problems of the scientific and technical

progress,  development  and  examination  of  vital  projects,  programs  of  the

economical  and  social  development  of  the  entire  Russia  and  of  its  republics,

administrative  territories  and  regions,  the  programs  of  the  environmental


strengthening and development of the science-intensive branches of the national economy;

providing possibilities for all Russian scientists to reveal their creative potential on the basis

of contest and competition;

selection and support of gifted researchers, advancing young scientists;

enhancing  the  prestige  of  knowledge  and  science,  the  status  and  social  protection  of


The Russian Academy of Sciences coordinates and supervises the fundamental research on

the  major  problems  of  natural  and  social  sciences,  technology  and  humanities

carried out by the scientific establishments and higher education schools of Russia

financed from the state budget.

To accomplish its mission the Russian Academy of Sciences:

determines the basic directions of the fundamental research in the field of natural and social

sciences, technology and humanities;

specifies the directions of the fundamental research in which it is necessary to combine the

efforts of the academic, higher education  and  industrial  scientific  institutions  in

order to quickly gain the principal progress in the field of science, engineering and


organizes provisional joint groups of researchers and allocates the required resources;

participates (along with the higher education institutions of Russia) in the creation of the

scientific  and  educational  complexes  based  on  the  RAS  institutes  and  the

educational establishments;


select and supports (via the system of grants, in particular) high-efficiency scientific groups

and individuals;

announces and carries out competitions on solution of vital state economic problems and,

when necessary, organizes relevant task-oriented groups of researchers;

develops (jointly with the state authorities) the recommendations on the efficient usage of

the scientific and technical achievements in the economical and social development

of Russia;

puts forward for superior state authorities of the country the proposals on the improvement

of the material and social basis and the development of the staff potential of the

academic, higher educational and industrial science of Russia;

participates in the development of the strategy and tactics of the environment protection

policy of Russia;

promotes wider international cooperation of Russian scientists by making agreements with

foreign academies of sciences and other research organizations, sets up international

research centers in Russia, carries out international congresses, conferences  and


calls  scientific  cessions,  conferences  and  meetings  to  discuss  scientific  and  applied

problems, the problems of coordination of the scientific research and design aspects

of works, the prospects of the development of the production forces, culture and

the environmental protection activity in the territory of Russia;

is involved in publishing activity, is the founder of and publishes the academic scientific

journals and the works of the scientific institutions to cover the results of research

carried out by the RAS and other establishments; discusses in the above or special

publications the RAS activity, the problems of the scientific, technical and cultural

development of Russia;

provides for and facilitates the development of the informational support of the research in

Russia via a network of the academic libraries;

assists in the promotion and development of the scientific knowledge;

awards the medals and prizes for the outstanding scientific and technical  achievements,

including those named after prominent scientists.

The fundamental research in Russia is conducted in the academic establishments, higher

educational institutions,  and in some industrial branch institutes.

Throughout its history, since the beginning of the 18th century, the Academy's activity has

been closely connected with the development of education, economy and culture of

Russia and has contributed greatly to the world of science.  It  has  been  always

maintaining the scientific contacts with both the institutions and scholars of other

countries and actively participated in the development of global problems.

This page was last updated on 1 January 1996 by:

Copyright (c) 1996 by InterTec



I want to thank the people at InterTec for their permission to use this "role and scope"



 The Academy of Sciences in Moscow--where the Presidium of the academy meets.

Part I

Brief history of  the  Academy  of  Sciences:  The  forerunner  of  the  Academy  of

Sciences of the USSR, founded by Peter the Great in 1724, opened its doors in

1725 as the Academy  of  Arts  and  Sciences,  and  during  its  early  years  foreign

scientists dominated its activities. In 1803 it was the Imperial Academy of Sciences

and, in 1836, the Imperial St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences. From 1917 to 1925

it was the AN SSSR, and from 1925 until 1991, it was the Academy of Sciences of

the USSR  or the Academy of Sciences of the Soviet Union. It is now the Russian

Academy of Sciences.


The Academy after Lenin:  In the early years the  academy  controlled  few  scientific

research institutes and did not select its own president until 1917. Lenin established

the principal directions of scientific research. The academy became an appendage of

the new government. Soviet scientists investigated the resources of the state, and as

time went by, assisted in the development of the economy and the industrial base of

the new socialist state. In 1925, the Central Executive Committee and the Council of

the Peoples' Commissariat officially recognized the Academy  of  Sciences  of  the

USSR as the nation's supreme scholarly institution. In 1927, a new charter for the

academy declared its activities vital for the development of the national  economy and

the  culture  of  the  country.  Academy  membership  spread  to  persons  outside





Vucinich, Alexander. The Academy of Sciences of the Soviet Union. Stanford, California;

Stanford University Press. Series E: Institutions, No. 3. January 1956. 170 PP.


Early Growth: In 1928, the academy included nine scientific research institutes and in

1934,  it  had  25.  In  1929  the  academy  began  postgraduate  study.  By  1931  it

controlled the planning for all scientific research in the country. In 1933, the Council

of Peoples' Commissariat of the USSR  took control of the academy and in 1934

moved it from Leningrad to Moscow. In 1936, the Communist Academy merged

with the academy of sciences, thus bringing the social sciences into the academy. In

1938, the academy took over the management as well as the planning of all scientific

research in the country and reorganized itself into eight scientific divisions.



Science, a Post-World War II Phenomenon: Change and adaptation characterized

Soviet science. Science developed later in the USSR than in other European and

western societies and along different lines. Of all Russian scientists who ever lived,

a majority live  today.  The  growth  of  Soviet  science  since  1945  is  exceptional.

Almost 80 percent of all scientific research institutes in Russia date their creation

after 1945.

Internal Structure of the academy: Initially, the academy structured itself into four

major  scientific  sections  or  scientific  groupings:  the  physical,  technical  and

mathematical  sciences,  the  chemo-technical  and  biological  sciences,  the  earth

sciences, and the social sciences. These sections provide an organizational structure

for the scientific research institutes under  the 18 subject-matter Departments, the

geographic Departments, the affiliates and scientific centers of the academy. From

the 1950 to 1970, One of the best short historical sketches of the development of the

academy of sciences of the USSR appeared in Pravda on December 9th in 1982. It

was  an  address  by  A.  P.  Aleksandrov,  then  president  of  the  academy  on  the

occasion of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the USSR itself. "Soviet

Science on the March:  Iubilee  Session  of  USSR  Academy  of  Sciences  General

Meeting," Pravda, 9 Dec. 1982, p. 2. Another important brief history of the AN

SSSR  is  the  work  by  Aleksandr  Vucinich.  Although  published  by  the  Hoover

Institute and Library on War, Revolution, and Peace in January 1956, The Academy

of Sciences of the Soviet Union remains a seminal study on that academy. Much has

changed  about  the  academy  in  its  structure,  personnel,  and  particularly  in  its

accomplishments  since  he  wrote,  but  his  work  provides  a  framework  for  any

analysis of the academy since WWII. It is after the period dealt with in his book that

the academy grew into its present form dwarfing the eight Department institute he

described. The greatest numbers of scientific research institutes (SRIs) developed

and the largest numbers of scientists joined them. The Siberian Department, the Far

Eastern  Department,  the  Urals  Department  and  other  "Scientific  Centers"  and

branches also grew during this period.



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