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The Scientific Research Effort of the USSR, 1917–40

  • Robert Lewis
Part of the Studies in Soviet History and Society book series (SSHS)

Abstract

The majority of scientists while not, perhaps, actively hostile to the new Bolshevik government, undoubtedly distrusted it. The Bolsheviks, for their part, were equally distrustful of the scientists, part of the ‘bourgeois intelligentsia’. They were, on the other hand, enthusiastically committed to the development of science and technology to which they attributed an important role in building the new society. Lenin realised that the scientists and technologists had a vital part to play in the future development of the country; speaking in Moscow in April 1918, he said: ‘we need their [the bourgeois specialists’] knowledge, their skills, their labour’.1 His close interest in science was reflected in his oft-reprinted ‘Outlines for a plan for scientific and technical work’ of the same month.2 The Party Programme approved at the Eighth Party Congress (March 1919), which spoke of striving for the further development of the country’s scientific resources and for the establishment of the most fruitful conditions for scientific work, simultaneously mentioned the need to make the greatest use of the scientific and technical specialists ‘in spite of the fact that they, in the majority of cases, are inevitably impregnated with bourgeois attitudes and habits’.3

Keywords

National Income Design Organisation High Educational Establishment Total Government Expenditure Projected Expenditure 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    V. I. Lenin, Polnoe Sobranie Sochinenii (5th edition) Vol. XXXVI (Moscow, 1963) p. 263.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    See, for example, A. V. Kol’tsov, Lenin i Stanovlenie Akademii Nauk Kak Tsentra Sovetskoi Nauki (Leningrad, 1969) pp. 71–7.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    See, for example, Xenia Joukoff Eudin, Helen Dwight and Harold H. Fisher (eds), The Life of a Chemist: Memoirs of Vladimir N. Ipatieff (Stanford, 1946). p. 271, Kol’tsov, Lenin i Stanovlenie… pp. 137–47.Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    See R. W. Davies, ‘Some Soviet Economic Controllers - I’, Soviet Studies XI (1960) pp. 299–300Google Scholar
  5. S. I. Mokshin, Sem’ Shagov po Zemle. Ocherki o Stanovlenii i Razvitii Sovetskoi Nauki. 1917–1924 (Moscow, 1972) pp. 175–224.Google Scholar
  6. 10.
    On 1 January 1918, prices were twenty-one times the 1913 level; on 1 January 1920, 2420 times that level R. W. Davies, The Dëvelopmehtof the Soviet Budgetary System (Cambridge, 1958) p. 31.Google Scholar
  7. 11.
    For total funding of Narkompros, see Sheila Fitzpatrick, The Commissariat of Enlightenment (Cambridge, 1970) p. 291.Google Scholar
  8. 13.
    See, for example, the experiences of A. F. Ioffe, Moya Zhizn’ i Rabota (Moscow-Leningrad, 1933) p. 21Google Scholar
  9. M. S. Sominskii, Abram Fedorovich Ioffe (1880–1960) (Moscow-Leningrad, 1964) pp. 214–20.Google Scholar
  10. 17.
    For the general economic background see Alec Nove, An Economic History of the USSR (London, 1969).Google Scholar
  11. 18.
    See R. W. Davies, ‘Aspects of Soviet Investment Policy in the 1920s’, in C. H. Feinstein (ed.), Socialism, Capitalism and Economic Growth (Cambridge, 1967) pp. 285–305.Google Scholar
  12. 21.
    See N. M. Fedorovskii, ‘F. E. Dzerzhinskii i Nauka’, Nauchnyi Rabotnik (hereafter NR), no. 7 (1928) p. 93, and Chapter 4.Google Scholar
  13. 26.
    N. I. Bukharin, ‘Nauka i SSSR’, NR, no. 11 (1927) p. 13.Google Scholar
  14. 28.
    On central government control of research, see G. I. Fed’kin, Pravovye Voprosy Organizatsii Nauchnoi Raboty v SSSR (Moscow, 1958) pp. 294–305.Google Scholar
  15. 30.
    See M. L. Asterman, ‘Sotsial’no-Kultumoe Stroitel’stvo (Ocherk Perpektivnogo Postroeniya)’, Planovoe Khozyaistvo, no. 12 (1927) p. 127.Google Scholar
  16. 31.
    In 1923/24 industrial wholesale prices were over twice 1913 levels and the average wage in industry roughly fifty per cent higher than in 1913. Eugtne Zaleski, Planning for Economic Growth’ in the Soviet Union 1918–1932 (Chapel Hill, 1971) pp. 390, 396, 398.53. For two examples in Dnepropetrovsk seeGoogle Scholar
  17. J. G. Crowther, Soviet Science (London, 1936) p. 142.Google Scholar
  18. 56.
    For details of the calculation based on the published breakdown see R. A. Lewis, Industrial Research and Development in the USSR 1924–1935 (unpublished PhD thesis: University of Birmingham, 1975) pp. 363–4.Google Scholar
  19. 57.
    A recent article gives a figure of 1.5 million rubles for contract work undertaken by Leningrad University in 1932, but states that the majority was for analytical and computing work, K. Ya. Kondrat’ev and L. A. Shilov, ‘Chto Daet Khozyaistvennyi Dogovor Vuzu i Proizvodstvu’, Vesmik Vysshei Shkoly, no. 5 (1967) p. 48.Google Scholar
  20. 66.
    See Appendix 1 and the appendix by R. W. Davies, G. R. Barker and R. Fakiolas, in C. Freeman and A. Young, The Research and Development Effort in Western Europe, North America and the Soviet Union (Paris, 1965) pp. 116–23.Google Scholar
  21. 71.
    Naum Jasny, The Soviet Economy during the Plan Era (Stanford, 1951) p. 22.Google Scholar
  22. 72.
    Vannevar Bush, Science: The Endless Frontier (Washington, 1945) p. 80;Google Scholar
  23. Soviet National Income was, of course, much smaller - perhaps three to four times - than that of the United States. I. S. Samokhvalov, ‘Chislennost’ i Sostav Nauchnykh Rabotnikov SSSR’, Sotsialisticheskaya Rekonstruktsiya i Nauka (hereafter SRIN), no. 1 (1934) p. 134.Google Scholar
  24. 78.
    See, for example, comments on the auxiliary personnel at the Ukrainian Physical Technical Institute in Lucie Street (ed.), I Married a Russian; Letters from Khar’kov (London, 1944) pp. 95, 98, 109.Google Scholar
  25. 79.
    See, for example, E. A. Chudakov, ‘Problemy Nauchno-Issledovatel’skoi Raboty v Oblasti Mashinostroeniya’, Sovetskaya Nauka, no. 4 (1939) p. 67.Google Scholar
  26. 80.
    G. Kharat’yan, ‘Chislennost’ i Sostav Nauchnykh i Nauchno-Pedagogicheskikh Kadrov v SSSR’, Vestnik Statistiki, no. 4 (1962) p. 64.Google Scholar
  27. 84.
    P. P. Budnikov, Nauchno-Issledovatel’skaya Rabota v Khimicheskikh Vuzov’, Sovetskaya Nauka, no. 5 (1940) pp. 144–5;Google Scholar
  28. V. V. Longinov, ‘Eshche Raz o Reaktivakh’, Zavodskaya Laboratoriya (hereafter ZL), no. 5 (1937) pp. 535–40.Google Scholar
  29. 85.
    See Crowther, Soviet Science pp. 81–3, M. Ruhemann, New Scientist 2 November 1967, pp. 276–7.Google Scholar
  30. 87.
    For the case of aeroplane design see Chapter 9 and A. Sharagin (G. A. Ozerov), Tupolevskaya Sharaga (Frankfurt/M, 1971).Google Scholar

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© Robert Lewis 1979

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