In 1957 ground was broken for Akademgorodok (Science Town) in Novosibirsk, the headquarters of the new-founded Siberian Branch of the national Academy of Sciences (SB), and its first regional branch. Today SB is running a ramified network of science centers all over Siberia - at Tomsk, Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, Yakutsk, Ulan Ude, Kemerovo and Tyumen, not counting in research institutes at Barnaul, Chita and Kyzyl. In this issue of our magazine we have opened a series of stories with updates on SB, one of the largest divisions of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and its record over the past 50 years.
by Acad. Nikolai DOBRETSOV, RAS Vice-President, head of the RAS Siberian Branch
In May 1957 the national government passed a decision on setting up a Siberian Branch (SB) of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR-this country's first academic institution formed by the territorial (regional) principle. Fifty years does not look like a very long stretch of time, but this is a jubilee date-a proper occasion to look back and cast up a balance. An opportune chance, too, in this age of all-out change when present events are opening up a new dimension to our past.
First, a few words about the background situation and events preceding the birth of our Siberian Branch of the Science Academy. In the mid-1950s as much as two-thirds of the research bodies of the USSR Academy of Sciences was concentrated in Moscow and Leningrad. But the intensive development of Siberia launched in those years-exploration of its mineral wealth as well as the development of industries and agriculture in eastern regions-brought our scientific community face to face with a jumble of problems calling for fresh, nontrivial decisions. All that plus the felt need of research decentralization were the main imperatives for the establishment of the Academy's Siberian Branch four thousand kilometers east of the capital city. The initiative original ... Read more