Science in Russia

Russia’s contribution to world science

Science in Russia began to develop actively in the beginning of the 18th century. Since that time, Russia gave the world a number of scientists who made important scientific discoveries that changed the life of mankind in many ways.

Russian Science

Science in the Russian Empire

Science, as a social institution, appeared in Russia during the reign of Peter the Great, when several expeditions were sent to Siberia and America, including Vitus Bering and Vasily Tatishchev, the first Russian historiographer. In 1724, the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences was opened, where many famous scientists of Europe were invited.

Among them was Gerhard Miller, the second Russian historian, the author of the Norman hypothesis of the origin of Rus, and the famous mathematician Leonard Euler. Academician Mikhail Lomonosov made a great contribution to the development of Russian science. In 1755, he founded the Moscow University. Subsequently, universities appeared in Dorpat (1802), Vilno (1803), Kazan and Kharkov (1804), St. Petersburg (1819).

By the end of the 19th century, universities were opened in Warsaw, Kiev, Odessa, and Tomsk. In the Russian Empire there were schools of outstanding mathematicians: N.I. Lobachevsky, P.L. Chebyshev - A.A. Markov, M.V. Ostrogradsky, physicists: A.G. Stoletov and A.S. Popov, chemists: A.M. Butlerov - V.V. Markovnikov, N.N. Zinin, F.F. Beilstein, physicians: S.P. Botkin and N.I. Pirogov, historians: N.M. Karamzin, S.M. Solovyov, V.O. Klyuchevsky.

In 1869, D.I. Mendeleev discovered one of the fundamental laws of nature - the periodic law of chemical elements. In 1904, I.P. Pavlov was awarded the Nobel Prize for work in the field of physiology of digestion, in 1908 - I.I. Mechnikov - for researching the mechanisms of immunity. Some researchers characterize the beginning of the 20th century as the “golden age” of Russian science and technology.

Science in the USSR

The Soviet period is characterized by the centralized management of science. The development of science began not only in Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev, but also in Novosibirsk, Sverdlovsk, Khabarovsk. Two systems, practically isolated from one another, were created: military and civil.

The greatest successes Soviet science achieved in the field of natural sciences. For the studies performed in this period, Nobel Prizes were awarded to physicists: I.E. Tamm, I.M. Frank, P.A. Cherenkov, L.D. Landau, N.G. Basov, A.M. Prokhorov, P.L. Kapitsa, Zh.I. Alferov, A.A. Abrikosov, and V.L. Ginzburg, as well as the chemist N.N. Semenov and the mathematician L.V. Kantorovich, who received the prize in economics in 1975.

Thanks to the work of I.V. Kurchatov, A.D. Sakharov, S.P. Korolev, and other scientists, nuclear weapons and cosmonautics were created in the USSR. At the same time, the development of biology was hampered by the campaign against genetics launched by T.D. Lysenko in the mid-1930s, a number of other scientific disciplines also suffered significantly.

Science in present Russia

Today, there are about 3.5 thousand organizations engaged in scientific research and development in Russia. About 70% of these organizations belong to the state. In 1995-2005, Russian scientists published 286,000 scientific articles, which in the world were quoted 971,500 times. In 2005, Russia occupied the 8th place in the world in terms of the number of published scientific works and the 18th place - by the frequency of their citation.

In Russia there are thousands of scientists with a large amount of international citation (tens and hundreds of references to their works). Physicists, biologists and chemists dominate among them, while economists and representatives of social sciences are practically nonexistent.

In 2010, Russian scientists from the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna for the first time in history successfully synthesized the 117th element of the periodic table.

The share of Russia in the total number of applications for granting patents is, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization, about 2.0% of the total number of applications filed in the world. At the same time, 12% of scientists of the whole world live in Russia, which indicates the low efficiency of their work.

By the end of 2014, the countries closest to Russia’s scientific productivity (the number of articles in scientific journals and their citations) are Brazil, Iran, Poland, and Turkey. Thus, Russia can not be called a major scientific power of today’s world.

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