Russian Academy of Sciences

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Modern headquarters in Moscow.

The Russian Academy of Sciences (Russian: Росси́йская акаде́мия нау́к, Rossi'iskaya akade'miya nau'k, shortened to PAH, RAN) consists of the national academy of Russia and a network of scientific research institutes from across the Russian Federation as well as auxiliary scientific and social units like libraries, publishers and hospitals.

Headquartered in Moscow, the Academy is incorporated as a civil, self-governed, non-commercial organization[1] chartered by the Russian Government. It combines members of RAS (see below) and scientists employed by institutions.


There are three types of membership in the RAS: full members (academicians), corresponding members and foreign members. Academicians and corresponding members must be citizens of the Russian Federation when elected; however, some academicians and corresponding members had been elected before the collapse of the USSR and now are citizens of other countries. Members of RAS are elected based on their scientific contributions and election to membership is considered very prestigious.[2] As of 2005-2007 there are just under 500 full members of the academy and a similar number of corresponding members.


The RAS consists of nine specialized scientific branches, three territorial branches and 14 regional scientific centres. The Academy has numerous councils, committees and commissions, organized for different purposes.[3]

Territorial branches

Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences (SB RAS)
The Siberian Branch was established in 1957, with Mikhail Lavrentyev as founding chairman. Research centres are in Novosibirsk, Tomsk, Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, Yakutsk, Ulan-Ude, Kemerovo, Tyumen and Omsk. As of 2005, the Branch employed over 33,000 employees, 58 of whom were members of the Academy.[4]
Ural Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences (URAN)
The Ural Branch was established in 1932, with Aleksandr Fersman as its founding chairman. Research centres are in Yekaterinburg, Perm, Cheliabinsk, Izhevsk, Orenburg, Ufa and Syktyvkar. As of 2007, the Branch employed 3,600 scientists, 590 of whom were full professors, 31 full members and 58 corresponding members of the Academy.
Far East Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences (FEB RAS)
The Far East Branch includes the Primorsky Scientific Center in Vladivostok, the Amur Scientific Center in Blagoveschensk, the Khabarovsk Scientific Center, the Sakhalin Scientific Center in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, the Kamchatka Scientific Center in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and the North-Eastern Scientific Center in Magadan.[5][6]

Regional centres

Academy of Sciences headquarters in Saint Petersburg on Universitetskaya Embankment.


The Russian Academy of Sciences consists of a large number of research institutions, including:

Member institutions are linked by a dedicated Russian Space Science Internet (RSSI). The RSSI, starting with just 3 members, now has 3100 members, including 57 of the largest research institutions.

Moscow University, St.Petersburg University, or Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, etc. do not belong to RAS (they belongs to Ministry of Education of Russian Federation), but the leading universities use many institutes of RAS (as well as many others institutions) as educational centers ("Phystech System").


The Academy gives a number of different prizes, medals, and awards:



Original headquarters of the Imperial Academy of Sciences - the Kunstkammer in Saint Petersburg.

The Academy was founded in Saint Petersburg by Peter the Great, inspired and advised by Gottfried Leibniz, and implemented in the Senate decree of January 28, 1724.[1] It was called Saint Petersburg Academy of Sciences between 1724 and 1917. Those invited to work there included mathematicians Leonhard Euler, Christian Goldbach, Georg Bernhard Bilfinger, Nicholas and Daniel Bernoulli, botanist Johann Georg Gmelin, embryologists Caspar Friedrich Wolff, astronomer and geographer Joseph-Nicolas Delisle, physicist Georg Wolfgang Kraft, and historian Gerhard Friedrich Müller.

Under the leadership of Princess Ekaterina Dashkova (1783-96), the Academy was engaged on compiling the huge Academic Dictionary of the Russian Language. Expeditions to explore remote parts of the country had Academy scientists as their leaders or most active participants. These included Vitus Bering's Second Kamchatka Expedition of 1733–43, and Peter Simon Pallas's expeditions to Siberia.

USSR Academy of Sciences

In December 1917, Sergei Fedorovich Oldenburg, a leading ethnographer and political activist in the Kadet party met with Lenin to discuss the future of the Academy. They agreed that the expertise of the Academy would be applied to addressing questions of state construction, in return the Soviet regime would give the Academy financial and political support. By early 1918 it was agreed that the Academy would report to the Department of the Mobilisation of Scientific Forces of the People's Commissariat of Enlightening which replaced the Provisional Government's Ministry of Education.

In 1925 the Soviet government recognized the Russian Academy of Sciences as the "highest all-Union scientific institution" and renamed it the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. However starting in 1928 the Politburo started to interfere in the affairs of the Academy. By the summer of 1929, Yuri Petrovich Figatner headed a special government commission to investigate the academy and purge it of "counter-revolutionaries" turning it into a Marxist-Leninist organization. Figatner's commission originally included Sergey Oldenburg, but he was sacked for "obstructing the reconstruction of the Academy of Sciences. By the end of 1929 its had sacked 128 members of staff out of 960 with a further 520 supernumeraries from 830 also being dismissed. In the following year over 100 people (mainly scholars and humanists, including many historians) were charged in what is called the Academics' Case. Former Academicians such as G.S. Gabaev, A.A. Arnoldi, N.P. Antsiferov, had already been exiled or imprisoned, but were also put on trial. On 8 August 1931 the Collegium of Joint State Political Administration Board condemned 29 people, including S.V. Bakhrushin, V.N. Beneshevich, D.N. Egorov, Y.V. Gautier, N.V. Izmaylov, N.P. Likhachev, M.K. Lyubavsky, A.M. Mervart, Sergey Platonov, S.V. Rozhdestvensky, Yevgeny Tarle. In 1931 the Joint State Political Administration Board imposed another wave of punishments on research officers of various establishments of the Academy of Sciences, Russian Museum, Central Archives and others. This included A.A. Byalynitsky-Birulya, A.A. Dostoevsky, B.M. Engelgardt, N.S. Platonova, M.D. Priselkov, A.A. Putilov, S.V. Sigrist, F.F. Skribanovich, S.I. Tkhorzhevsky and A.I. Zaozersky). Some former Guards officers, who worked for the Academy of Sciences such as A.A. Kovanko and Y. A. Verzhbitsky, were executed by shooting. N.V. Raevsky, P.V. Wittenburg and D.N. Khalturin who had organized various expeditions, the priests A.V. Mitrotsky, M.V. Mitrotsky, and M.M. Girs (the church group), Professor E.B. Furman, Pastor A.F. Frishfeld (the German group) and F.I. Vityazev-Sedenko, S.S. Baranov-Galperson and E.G. Baranov-Galperson (the publishers group) were also punished.[8]

Smaller commissions investigated institutions, thus the Commission for the Reorganisation of KIPS and the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography subjected these organisations to "socialist criticism".[9]

In 1934 the Academy headquarters moved from Leningrad (formerly Saint Petersburg) to the Russian capital, Moscow, together with a number of academic institutes.

During the Cold War the Academy acted as the KGB's strategic think tank.[10][11]

The USSR Academy of Sciences helped to establish national Academies of Sciences in all Soviet republics (with the exception of the Russian SFSR), in many cases delegating prominent scientists to live and work in other republics. These academies were:

Republic Local Name Established sucessor
Ukrainian SSR Академія наук Української РСР 1918 National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
Byelorussian SSR Акадэмія Навукаў Беларускай ССР 1929 National Academy of Sciences of Belarus
Uzbek SSR Ўзбекистон ССР Фанлар академияси 1943 Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan
Kazakh SSR Қазақ ССР Ғылым Академиясы 1946 National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Georgian SSR საქართველოს სსრ მეცნიერებათა აკადემია 1941 Georgian Academy of Sciences
Azerbaijan SSR Азәрбајҹан ССР Елмләр Академијасы 1935 National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan
Lithuanian SSR Lietuvos TSR Mokslų akademija 1941 Lithuanian Academy of Sciences
Moldavian SSR Академия де Штиинце а РСС Молдовенешть 1946 Academy of Sciences of Moldova
Latvian SSR Latvijas PSR Zinātņu akadēmija 1946 Latvian Academy of Sciences
Kirghiz SSR Кыргыз ССР Илимдер академиясы 1954 National Academy of Sciences of the Kyrgyz Republic
Tajik SSR 1953 Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tajikistan
Armenian SSR 1943 National Academy of Sciences of Armenia
Turkmen SSR 1951 Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan
Estonian SSR Eesti NSV Teaduste Akadeemia 1946 Estonian Academy of Sciences

Post-Soviet period

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, by decree of the President of Russia of December 2, 1991, the institute once again became the Russian Academy of Sciences,[1] inheriting all facilities of the USSR Academy of Sciences in the territory of Russia.

See also


External links

Coordinates: 55°42′38.86″N 37°34′40.13″E / 55.7107944°N 37.5778139°E / 55.7107944; 37.5778139