Science in Russia and the Soviet Union: A Short History

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Cambridge University Press, 1993 - Science - 321 pages
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By the 1980s the Soviet scientific establishment had become the largest in the world, but very little of its history was known in the West. What has been needed for many years in order to fill that gap in our knowledge is a history of Russian and Soviet science written for the educated person who would like to read one book on the subject. This book has been written for that reader. The main theme of the book is the shaping of science and scientific institutions in Russia and the Soviet Union by social, economic, and political factors. Russian society and culture have been strikingly different from the society and culture of Western Europe, where modern science was born, and those differences have influenced not only the organizational and economic framework of Russian and Soviet science, but also the scientific theories themselves. The intellectual pathways of many areas of Russian and Soviet science are dissimilar from those in Western Europe and the United States. The history of Russian and Soviet science is a story of remarkable achievements and frustrating failures. That history is presented here in a comprehensive form, and explained in terms of its social and political context. Major sections include the tsarist period, the impact of the Russian Revolution, the relationship between science and Soviet society, and the strengths and weaknesses of individual scientific disciplines. The book also discusses the changes brought to science in Russia and other republics by the collapse of communism in the late 198Os and early 199Os.
 

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Contents

Illustrations
xi
Introduction
1
The tsarist period
9
Science in nineteenthcentury Russia
32
Russian intellectuals and Darwinism
56
Russian science and a Marxist revolution
79
The role of dialectical materialism The authentic phase
99
Stalinist ideology and the Lysenko affair
121
Knowledge and power in Russian and Soviet society
156
The organizational features of Soviet science
173
Conclusions
197
Appendix The strengths and weaknesses of Russian and Soviet science
207
The biological sciences medicine and technology
235
Notes
261
Bibliographic essay
293
Index
307

Science and Soviet society
137

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About the author (1993)

Loren R. Graham is professor emeritus of the history of science at MIT. He was awarded his Ph.D. in history at Columbia and is the author of The Soviet Academy of Sciences and the Communist Party, 1927-1932.

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