Soviet Union Information Bureau


THE dignity and authority of the scientist has immensely increased in the Soviet State as compared with his position as a court dependent under the old régime. During the years of civil strife and starvation following the October Revolution the scientific worker suffered deplorable hardships. With the economic recovery he has found his place. Under the new integration of society research and discovery have advanced rapidly. The scientist is regarded as the pioneer of material achievement. His laboratory holds the secrets of progress. The governmental appropriations for scientific work to-day are far beyond the subsidies given in the days of Tsarism. Notable work is being done in many fields, especially in the domain of applied science. Through the aid of the scientists the Soviet Union has inaugurated the manufacture of such complicated machines as airplanes and tractors, and large turbines, things never before produced in Russia. Better use of fuels, improved processes of manufacture and the use of newlyrevealed natural resources are constantly being opened as the result of scientific study.

ACADEMY OF SCIENCES.- The activity of the Academy consists principally in studying the natural productive forces of the country, in geographical and ethnographical investigations principally within the country, in the organization of exploratory expeditions, in the development of laboratories and in the organization of the system of museums and scientific exhibitions, which are linked with the Soviet system of education. The Academy is connected with 1,700 local geographic ethnographic societies. During the first decade after the Revolution, ending November, 1927, it organized 300 exploratory exhibitions.

The forty-two active members of the Academy are at the head of sixty scientific institutions and participate in the work of eighty others. They occupy thirty chairs in various universities. The number of academicians is shortly to be increased to eighty-five.

The annual publications of the Academy have averaged some 10,500,000 words of recent years. The Government has appropriated funds for a further expansion of the Academy's publishing activities.

The expansion of the work of the Academy is strikingly revealed by its physical growth. The modest quarters in Leningrad, which served in the pre-Revolutionary days, have been replaced by a whole settlement of buildings and museums. The physiological laboratory of the old days has become the Physiological Institute under the direction of Academician I. P. Pavlov. Along with this a whole list of institutes have blossomed forth. These include the Physio-Mathematical Institute (physics, mathematics, seismics), the Platinum Institute, the Institute of PhysioChemical Analysis, the Dokutchayev Soil Institute, named after the father of Russian soil science, which maintains a splendid soil museum; the Japhetic Institute, which conducts linguistic work along new lines, the Biological Laboratory.

The Academy has established many important commissions, among them a commission known as KEPS, for the study of the natural productive forces of the country; another for the study of the racial composition of the country, which is making cultural reports of great value in regard to the various nationalities and has produced valuable ethnographic maps; a committee, called KISAR, for the study of the federated and autonomous republics, which has made 280 expeditionary surveys, in the course of which groups of young people in the various republics receive a practical initiation in scientific exploration and research.

The preparation of dictionaries is the special province of the Department of Humanistic Sciences of the Academy. In addition to a dictionary of the Russian language, during the past decade the Academy has published dictionaries of Yakut, Persian, Ossetian, Middle Iranian, Protoasiatic and Finnish. The Academy has helped construct alphabets and systems of orthography for remote, primitive peoples that had none, and has taken a prominent part in the movement to Latinize the alphabets in the languages of a number of Eastern peoples in the U.S.S.R. It also prepared the reform of the Russian alphabet, inaugurated in the early days of the Soviet State.

The Academy is preparing four Soviet encyclopedias, general, technical, medical and legal.

Among the humanistic studies of the Academy orientology has a special place. The Asiatic Museum, over a century old, is a center of oriental research. The studies include the Caucasus, Central Asia, Mongolia, India and the Far East, and embrace not only the language and culture, but the natural and historical aspects of oriental development. The organizations participating in these studies include the Japhetic Institute, the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, the KEPS, the Turcological Institute and the Institute of Buddhist Culture.

The older museums of the Academy, including the Geo logical, Mineralogical, Anthropological and Ethnographic Museums, and Pushkin House, which is now the Museum ol the new Russian Literature, have all been greatly extended and enriched of recent years and have attained great scientifl and educational significance.

The Academy is also in large measure the custodian of th historical, cultural and artistic treasures of the country. Thesi are carefully preserved and are also open to the widest popula study. The library of the Academy in Leningrad, with it 4,500,000 volumes, is one of the largest in the world. Th' Academy's catalogues and scientific publications are increasingly extensive. The Academy celebrated its two hundredth anniversary in 1925.

GEOLOGICAL COMMITTEE.- The Geological Committee was organized in 1882. Since 1920 its work has expanded rapidly. Before the war its budget amounted to $480,000. In 1926 it was $3,200,000. Its staff of permanent employees had increased from 153 in 1913 to 964 in 1926. In 1924 the number of its prospecting parties was 93, in 1926 it was 136, in 1927 over 200.

In addition to its work of geological surveying, the Committee has undertaken to make a complete inventory of the available mineral resources of the country. Of late it has organized a special branch to take charge of its vast collection of specimens from every part of the country, and for the creation of a museum of regional and applied geology, with provisions for research work.

In the search for new deposits the main purpose is to find new sources of copper, polymetallic ores, oil and certain nonmetallic substances which formerly had to be imported, namely potash, bauxite, asbestos, sulphur, mica. Its discovery of great deposits of potash in the Solikamsk district of the West Ural region in 1926 is of great economic significance. The headquarters of the Committee is at Leningrad, and it has branches in eight cities.

SCIENTIFIC TECHNICAL INSTITUTES.- The following institutes working in applied science, all organized since the Revolution, have done much work to improve productive processes during recent years:

Karpov Chemical Institute of Moscow, especially work on peat and coal tar products, and questions of factory technique.
State Institute of Applied Chemistry in Leningrad, especially work on methods of improving technological processes and quality of output.
Moscow Institute of Pure Technical Reagents, has elaborated methods for obtaining 240 reagents and preparations formerly obtained from Germany.
Scientific Chemico-Pharmaceutical Institute, producing complicated medical preparations never before produced in Russia.
State Experimental Electro-Technical Institute of Moscow, especially working out improved types of motors.
Leningrad Experimental Electro-Technical Laboratory, investigates various practical problems of the electro-technical industry.
Nizhni-Novgorod Radio Laboratory, engaged in improving radio technique.
Central Aero-Hydro-Dynamic Institute of Professor Zhukovsky, develops wind motors and conducts research in hydraulics and aeronautics.
Scientific Auto-Motor Institute, develops light motors for automobiles, tractors and airplanes.
Institute of Applied Mineralogy and Metallurgy, has done much work for the utilization of metals.

For the purpose of better utilization of materials and improved processes in production, a number of special scientific institutions have been founded in the various branches of industry. These include:

State Ceramic Research Institute.
Textile Research Institute.
Silicate Experimental Institute.
Central Institute of the Tobacco Industry.
Central Institute of the Sugar Industry.
Experimental Station and Scientific Research Institute of the Leather Industry.
Experimental Station of the State Paper Industry.
Institute of the Fishing Industry.
State Scientific Research Institute of the Oil Industry.
Institute of the Peat Industry.
Leningrad Institute of Oil-Driven Motors.
Thermo-technical Institute.