25 No. 1
January - February 2003
the Cold War thawed, the Soviet Union was an integral part
of IUPAC. Today, the Russian Academy of Sciences helps to
advance IUPAC ideas and principles throughout Russias
chemistry community. CI asked a Russian member, Petr
Fedotov, to briefly review the history of the Academy, its
National Committee of Russian Chemists, and examples of recent
For over 70 years Russia and
the Soviet Union have participated in IUPAC activities. The
relationship formally began in 1931 when the Academy of Sciences
of the Soviet Union became a National Adhering Organization
President of IUPAC from 19931995
Since that time, three Russian
academicians have served as president of IUPAC: V. N. Kondratiev,
19671969; V. A. Koptyug, 19871989; and K. I. Zamaraev,
19931995. In addition, Russian titular and associate
members have actively worked in all IUPAC divisions. For example,
V. A. Kabanov was president of the Macromolecular Division
from 19791981, K. I. Zamaraev was president of the Physical
Chemistry Division from 19871989, and I. P. Beletskaya
was president of the Organic Chemistry Division from 19911993.
For many years F. A. Kuznetsov has been actively participating
in the activities of CHEMRAWN (Chemical Research Applied to
World Needs) Committee and at present O. M. Nefedov is an
elected member of the IUPAC Bureau, Executive Committee of
IUPAC Bureau, and Evaluation Committee.
It would be useful to describe
the history of the Russian Academy of Sciences itself. It
was founded in 1724 in St. Petersburg according to Peter the
Greats order and by the decree of the Governing Senate.
In 1889, the Academy was one of the constitutors of the International
Union of Academies, the prototype of the International Research
Council (19191931), which later became ICSU, the International
Council of Scientific Unions (19311998) and is now the
International Council for Science. The Academy was continuously
developed in the Russian Federation after 1917 and in the
Soviet Union after 1924. The Soviet government in its decree
of 1925 recognized the Academy as "highest all-Union scientific
institution," gave it a new name (the USSR Academy of Sciences),
and integrated it into the Academies of Soviet Republics.
In 1991, in connection with the disintegration of the Soviet
Union, the Academy changed its status and received the initial
name of the Russian Academy of Sciences. At present the Academy
incorporates 366 research institutions all over Russia engaged
in the study of basic fields of modern science. These research
institutions and laboratories accumulate the best scientific
potential, world-famous scholars, and gifted youth. Nine Professional
Divisions of the Academy (including the Division of Chemistry
and Material Sciences) feature the scientific and organizational
centers that unify the Academy members occupied in one and
the same of adjacent fields of science, as well as the associates
of Institutes and other scientific and auxiliary bodies of
the Academy. Three Regional Branches (Siberian, Ural, and
Far East Branches), embracing a number of Regional Scientific
Centers, are also incorporated in the Russian Academy of Sciences.
The National Committee of
Russian Chemists (O. M. Nefedov, chairman; B. F. Myasoedov,
vice chairman) is responsible for relations between IUPAC
and the Russian Academy of Sciences. However, the National
Committee incorporates leading chemists not only from the
Academy, but from industry and universities as well, which
helps to advance IUPAC ideas in all of Russias chemistry
communities. The National Committee is working on the IUPAC
Affiliate Program in Russia, which favors a national infrastructure
for IUPAC and assists in sounding out national opinion on
IUPAC matters. Such an infrastructure also may be useful for
setting up IUPAC congresses or sponsored symposia.
The National Committee has
helped organize a series of IUPAC-sponsored conferences in
Russian scientific centers, including the "International Memorial
K. I. Zamaraev Conference on Physical Methods for Catalytic
Research at the Molecular Level," 1999, Novosibirsk, and "Horizons
for Organic and Metalloorganic Chemistry", 1999, Moscow. The
committee, with financial support from the German Chemical
Society, also promoted the participation of young Russian
scientists in the 37th IUPAC Congress in Berlin in 1999. Of
special note is an international conference on Chemical Research
Applied to World Needs, entitled "Chemistry and Sustainable
Development Toward Clean Environment, Zero Waste, and
Highest Energy Efficiency" (CHEMRAWN VIII), which was organized
by V. A. Koptyug and O. M. Nefedov and held in September 1992
in Moscow. V. A. Koptyug also contributed to a broadened participation
of Soviet and Russian scientists (e.g., from the Siberian
Branch of the Academy) in the activities of IUPAC divisions
Also in the 90s, the Academy
participated in the preparation of the IUPAC book series "Chemistry
for the 21st Century." K. I. Zamaraev was the first chairman
of the Editorial Advisory Board, whereas I. P. Beletskaya
was a Board member. Members of the National Committee also
encourage the submission of scientific and educational projects
to IUPAC. Furthermore, B. F. Myasoedov, I. P. Beletskaya,
and S. D. Varfolomeev were representatives of the Russian
NAO at the recent "Chemical Weapons Workshop" (Norway,
July 2002see p. 17 for a report on this IUPAC project).
Great national forums on chemistry
(Mendeleev Congresses) are organized in Russia every four
to five years. The first congress after the disintegration
on the Soviet Union (XV Mendeleev Congress on General and
Applied Chemistry) was held in Byelorussia (Minsk, May 1993)
under the active support of the Academy of Sciences of Byelorussia.
Mendeleev Federation of Chemical Societies of Commonwealth
of Independent States (CIS) was founded at that congress.
Professor J. Jortner (IUPAC president from 19981999)
and Dr. A. Hayes (IUPAC president from 20002001) were
participants in the XVI Mendeleev Congress in 1998. The next
Mendeleev Congress, which is IUPAC sponsored, will be held
in Kazan in September 2003 (see announcement p. 28). Professor
P. Steyn (IUPAC president), Professor L. Sydnes (IUPAC vice
president), and Professor H. Ohtaki (member of the IUPAC Bureau
and its Executive Committee), as well as a number of Nobel
Prize winners have already decided to participate. A roundtable
discussion on the "State and Development of Chemical Science
in the Former Soviet Union Countries" is being planned with
the participation of presidents of chemical societies from
CIS, Baltia, and leading countries of Europe, Asia, and America.
It should be noted that the
Russian Academy is now placing particular emphasis on cooperation
with scientific institutions of the CIS and Baltia. The Academy
is also pursuing participation in the activities of the International
Association of Academies of Sciences (IAAS), thereby combining
efforts of the National Academies of the Republics of Azerbaijan,
Armenia, Byelorussia, Vietnam, Georgia, Kirghizia, Moldavia,
Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine.
B.E Paton, president of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences,
is the president of IAAS, and also a full member of the Russian
Academy of Sciences. IAAS organizes annual meetings for presidents
of National Academies. As the result of an initiative of IAAS,
the heads of government of CIS member states signed an agreement
to cooperate on scientific and technological projects.
Traditionally, the USSR Academy
of Sciences was the publisher of All-Union scientific chemical
journals. All these journals are now published in Russia.
Nevertheless, research papers of scientists from the CIS and
Baltia are widely printed in Russia. Furthermore, new journals
that encourage international scientific cooperation are appearing.
A journal named Mendeleev Communications was founded
in 1991 by the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society
of Chemistry. Preliminary accounts of new work in chemistry
from Russia and elsewhere are printed in this journal.
Before 1991 (disintegration
of the Soviet Union), the practical realization of most important
scientific ideas occurred within programs receiving All-Union
financial support. At present, science in republics of the
former Soviet Union experience financial, personnel, material,
and technical difficulties. Nevertheless, Russia continues
to exhibit the most activity in the scientific-technical sphere.
Hence, Russia should direct more effort to integrating and
coordinating the scientific communities and organizations
of "Post-Soviet" areas in order to support common objectives.
All of what is mentioned above
is very important, considering that among republics of the
former Soviet Union, only Russia has full membership in IUPAC.
In such a way, the National Committee of Russian Chemists
has a unique opportunity to promote the dissemination of IUPAC
ideas and principles within all "Post-Soviet" areas. Additionally,
the National Committee may involve leading chemists from these
republics in IUPAC activities.
Fedotov <[email protected]>
is the scientific secretary of the National Committee of Russian
Chemists of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
last modified 30 December 2002.
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