Russian Academy of Sciences

Russian Academy of Sciences
Russian Academy of Sciences
RAN 01.jpg
Russian Academy of Sciences's headquarters
Established 1724
President Yury Sergeevich Osipov
Address Leninsky prospekt 14, Moscow
Modern headquarters in Moscow.

The Russian Academy of Sciences (Russian: Росси́йская акаде́мия нау́к, Rossi'iskaya akade'miya nau'k, shortened to РАН, 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 Government of Russia. 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 eleven 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 (Akademgorodok), 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.
  • Buryat Science Centre
  • Kazan Science Centre
  • Pushchino Science Centre
  • Samara Science Centre
  • Saratov Science Centre
  • Vladikavkaz Science Centre of RAN and Government of Northern Ossetia
  • Dagestan Science Centre
  • Kabardino-Balkarian Science Centre
  • Karelian Science Centre
  • Kola Science Centre
  • Science Centre of RAN in Chernogolovka
  • St. Petersburg Science Centre
  • Ufa Science Centre
  • Southern Science Centre
  • Troitsk Science Centre
  • Perm Science Centre


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.

Russian universities and technical institutes are not under the purview of the RAS (they are subordinated to the Ministry of Education of Russian Federation), but a number of leading universities, such as Moscow State University, St. Petersburg State University, Novosibirsk State University and the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, make use of the staff and facilities of many institutes of RAS (as well as of other research institutions); the MIPT faculty refers to this arrangement as the "Phystech System".

Since 1933, the main scientific journal of the Soviet Academy of Sciences was the Proceedings of the USSR Academy of Sciences (Doklady Akademii Nauk SSSR); after 1992, it became simply Proceedings of the Academy of Sciences (Doklady Akademii Nauk).

The Academy is also increasing its presence in the educational area. In 1990 the Higher Chemical College of the Russian Academy of Sciences was founded, a specialized university intended to provide extensive opportunities for students to choose an academic path.


The Academy gives a number of different prizes, medals and awards among which:[7]



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 February 8 (January 28 old style), 1724.[1][8] It was originally called The Saint Petersburg Academy of Sciences (Russian: Петербургская Академия наук). The name varied over the years, becoming The Imperial Academy of Arts and Sciences (Императорская Академия наук и художеств; 1747–1803), The Imperial Academy of Sciences (Императорская Академия Наук; 1803— 1836), and finally, The Imperial Saint Petersburg Academy of Sciences (Императорская Санкт-Петербургская Академия Наук, from 1836 and until the end of the empire in 1917).

Among the foreign scholars invited to work at the academy were the mathematicians Leonhard Euler, Anders Johan Lexell, 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.

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, expeditions to observe the 1769 transit of Venus from eight locations in Russian Empire, and Peter Simon Pallas's expeditions to Siberia.

The Russian Academy

A separate organization, called the Russian Academy (Академия Российская), was created in 1783 to work on the study of the Russian language. Presided over by Princess Ekaterina Dashkova (who at the same time was the Director of the Imperial Academy of Arts and Sciences, i.e., the country's "main" academy), the Russian Academy was engaged in compiling the six-volume Academic Dictionary of the Russian Language (1789–1794). The Russian Academy was merged into the Imperial Saint Petersburg Academy of Sciences in 1841.

USSR Academy of Sciences

In December 1917, Sergey 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, while 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 for Education 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 Stalinist 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, Nikolai 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, Nikolai 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.[9]

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".[10]

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

At the end of and first year after World War II the Academy consisted of 8 divisions (Physico-Mathematical Science, Chemical Sciences, Geological-Geographical Sciences, Biological Science, Technical Science, History and Philosophy, Economics and Law, Literature and Languages); 3 committees (one for coordinating the scientific work of the Academies of the Republics, one for scientific and technical propaganda, and one for editorial and publications), two commissions (for publishing popular scientific literature, and for museums and archives), a laboratory for scientific photography and cinematography and Academy of Science Press departments external to the divisions; 7 filials (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Tadzhikistan, Turkmenistan, Urals, and West Siberian), and 8 independent of central Academies in Ukraine, Belorussia, Armenia, Georgia, Lithuania, Uzbekistan, Latvia, and Estonia.[11]

The USSR Academy of Sciences helped to establish national Academies of Sciences in all Soviet republics (with the exception of the Russian SFSR and the Ukrainian State), in many cases delegating prominent scientists to live and work in other republics. In case of Ukraine, its academy was formed by local Ukrainian scientists and prior to the occupation of the Ukrainian People's Republic by Bolsheviks. These academies were:

Republic Local Name Established successor
Ukrainian SSR Українська академія наук 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 Академияи Фанҳои РСС Тоҷикистон 1953 Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tajikistan
Armenian SSR Հայկական ՍՍՀ գիտությունների ակադեմիա 1943 National Academy of Sciences of Armenia
Turkmen SSR Түркменистан ССР Ылымлар Академиясы 1951 Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan
Estonian SSR Eesti NSV Teaduste Akadeemia 1946 Estonian Academy of Sciences

Post-Soviet period

After the dissolution 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.

near the academy building there the central monument of Yuri Gagarin in the square by his name.

Presidents of the Saint Petersburg, USSR, and Russian Academies of Sciences

The following persons occupied the position of the Academy's President (or, sometimes, Director):[12][13]

Nobel Prize laureates affiliated with the Academy

  • Ivan Petrovich Pavlov, medicine, 1904
  • Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov, medicine, 1908
  • Ivan Alekseyevich Bunin, literature, 1933
  • Nikolay Nikolayevich Semyonov, chemistry, 1956
  • Igor Yevgenyevich Tamm, physics, 1958
  • Ilya Mikhailovich Frank, physics, 1958
  • Pavel Alekseyevich Cherenkov, physics, 1958
  • Lev Davidovich Landau, physics, 1962
  • Nikolay Gennadiyevich Basov, physics, 1964
  • Aleksandr Mikhailovich Prokhorov, physics, 1964
  • Mikhail Aleksandrovich Sholokhov, literature, 1965
  • Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn, literature, 1970
  • Leonid Vitaliyevich Kantorovich, economics, 1975
  • Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov, peace, 1975
  • Pyotr Leonidovich Kapitsa, physics, 1978
  • Zhores Ivanovich Alferov, physics, 2000
  • Alexei Alexeyevich Abrikosov, physics, 2003
  • Vitaly Lazarevich Ginzburg, physics, 2003
  • Andre Geim, physics, 2010

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

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