A. Nesmeianov, New Scientific Center in the East. June 8, 1957
As one phase of its program to accelerate the development of Siberia, the Soviet government in 1957 established the Siberian Division of the USSR Academy of Sciences. This program has included the construction of a “Science City” in the vicinity of Novosibirsk. The new science center is of strategic, as well as of economic and educational significance. Below is an interview with Academician A. N. Nesmeyanov, President of the USSR Academy of Sciences.
Original Source: Pravda, 8 June 1957, p. 3
… The Communist Party and the Soviet government show great concern for the development of the productive forces in the eastern part of our country and are taking energetic measures to put the inexhaustible resources of this remarkable region to work serving the people. Science has an enormous role to play in the development of the economy and culture of the eastern regions. An initiative of Academicians M. A. Lavrentiev and S. A. Khristianovich has acquired great importance in this connection. They and their colleagues expressed a wish to move to permanent posts in Siberia and to found a mighty science center there. This initiative evoked a widespread response in Soviet society. Many of our scientists declared themselves ready to follow this patriotic example.
On June 7th a meeting of the Presidium of the USSR Academy of Sciences was held at which the Chief Academic Secretary of the Presidium, A. V. Topchiev, reported that the government had approved the proposal of Academicians M. A. Lavrentiev and S A Khristianovich the founding of a mighty science center in Siberia. He read the decision of the USSR Council of Ministers on this question. The chairman of the organizational committee of the Siberian Division of the USSR Academy of Sciences reported on the work that is to precede the establishment of the new scientific center in Siberia and acquainted the gathering with the plan of development. The Presidium prepared to carry out the government decisions to establish a Siberian Division of the USSR Academy of Sciences and outlined several measures connected with this.
In an interview with a Pravda correspondent A. N. Nesmeianov, President of the USSR Academy of Sciences, said:
“The organization of the Siberian Division of the USSR Academy of Sciences is all the more important because it coincides with the country’s current reorganization of the management of industry and construction and with the extension of the role of local organizations in the development of socialist industry.
“Included in the Siberian Division will be the scientific institutions of the West Siberian branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences. The East Siberian, Yakut and Far Eastern branches of the Academy and the Coordinated Research Institute and Physics Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences in Krasnoyarsk will also be subordinated to this division. The staffs of these research institutions have made an important contribution to the development of science and their work has made possible many successes in many fields of knowledge. The creation of the Siberian Division opens up still broader avenues of scientific work. Unification of the creative powers of local scientists and scientists who will take up permanent posts there beginning in 1957 will mutually enrich their scientific work, raise the level of research and relate research more closely to production.
“The principal task of the Siberian Division is to use all means to develop theoretical and experimental research in the physical, technical and natural sciences and in economics, research that is oriented toward the solution of highly important scientific problems and toward solutions that will make possible a more successful development of the productive capacity of Siberia and the Far Eastern Region.
“The government has ruled that the Siberian Division will be subordinated to the USSR Academy of Sciences and to the Russian Republic Council of Ministers. An organizational committee including many well-known scientists has been set up to perform duties preparatory to the organization of the division.
“A scientific settlement is to be built on the banks of the Ob river near Novosibirsk to house the Siberian Division of the USSR Academy of Sciences. It is to consist of buildings for the scientific institutions and comfortable housing for the personnel. A total of 700 hectares has been allotted to the scientific settlement.
“Party and Soviet organizations of Novosibirsk Province and scientists working in the eastern part of the country are cooperating actively in the organization of the new scientific center. The Novosibirsk City Soviet Executive Committee has already set aside a large number of comfortable apartments for the staff of the new division.
“The Presidium of the USSR Academy of Sciences has accepted the proposal of the organizational committee of the Siberian Division concerning the establishment of several new institutes in the scientific settlement. To supplement the Chemical and Metallurgical Institute, the Transport and Power Institute and other institutes of the West Siberian branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences already existing in Novosibirsk, the following institutes will be founded: a Mathematics Institute with a computation center, a Mechanics Institute, a Hydrodynamics Institute, a Physics Institute, an Automation Institute, a Geology and Geophysics Institute, a Thermodynamics Institute, an Institute of Experimental Biology and Medicine, a Cytology and Genetics Institute and an Economics and Statistics Institute.
“Besides these, the Presidium of the USSR Academy of Sciences will consider adding to the institutes of its East Siberian branch at Irkutsk and also to the number of institutions concerned with chemistry.
“The problem of the transfer of several institutes, departments, laboratories and individual groups of scientists from other cities to the Siberian Division must be decided very soon. Measures must also be worked out to provide help for the newly organized institutes. Plans for building modern laboratories in the institutes are being considered.
“Academician M. A. Lavrentiev has been appointed chairman of the Siberian Division of the USSR Academy of Sciences. The Vice-Chairmen for Scientific Questions are Academician S. A. Khristianovich and Prof. T. F. Gorbachev. The Vice-Chairman for Organizational Questions is S. Kh. Dadayan…
“The USSR Academy of Sciences will use the experience acquired by the Siberian Division for the further developing of science in parts distant from the center of our country. There is no doubt that our higher educational institutions will also be able to benefit by this experience.”
Source: Current Digest of the Soviet Press, Vol. IX, No. 23, 17 (July 1957), p. 30.