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Humanitarian sciences in Siberia

2015 year, number 2

ACADEMICIAN A. A. SKOCHINSKY AS AN ORGANIZER OF SCIENCE IN SIBERIA DURING THE GREAT PATRIOTIC WAR

N. A. Kupershtokh
Institute of History of SB RAS, 8 Nikolaev St., Novosibirsk, 630090
Keywords: Academician A. A. Skochinsky, World War II, the USSR Academy of Sciences Commission for the Mobilization of Resources of the Urals, West Siberia and Kazakhstan for the Country Defense Needs, West Siberian Branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences

Abstract

The article considers the role and activities of Academician A. A. Skochinsky (1874-1960) as an organizer of the West-Siberian branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences during the Great Patriotic War. Although projects on creating academic centers in Western Siberia had existed before, none of them was ever implemented due to multiple reasons. Under war conditions the integrated brigades of the USSR Academy of Sciences Commission for the Mobilization of Resources of the Urals, West Siberia and Kazakhstan for the Country Defense Needs began their activities in Siberia. However, they relied not on the branches of the Academy of Sciences, as it was in the Urals and Kazakhstan, but mostly on the committees of scientists from Novosibirsk, Tomsk, Stalinsk. An urgent need for coordinating activities of the Commission’ scientists and local scientific manpower prompted A. A. Skochinsky and his colleagues to suggest that an academic center must be established in Western Siberia as soon as possible. Their proposal coincided with the pre-war aspirations of Siberian scientists and was implemented in a remarkably short time. In March 1943 Academicians A. Skochinsky and L. Shevyakov presented their project of the future Siberian Branch to the Novosibirsk Regional Executive Committee. In October the USSR Council of People’s Commissars issued a decree on organizing the West Siberian Branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences in Novosibirsk. The concept of the West Siberian Branch of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR envisaged not only the needs of wartime, but also prospects for further post-war development of science and the Siberian region in the form of the program of productive forces integrated study. As an organizer and head of the West Siberian Branch Academician A. A. Skochinsky used all his previous experience of scientific and organizational activities. The fact that the Branch rapidly developed during the wartime and the postwar period was undoubtedly to be credited to its first leader. West Siberian Branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences during the fifteen years of its activities became the largest academic center of the country. The branch coordinated studies in a number of scientific fields not only in West Siberia, but also in the USSR Academy of Sciences. The activities of the USSR Academy of Sciences connected with developing the Siberian resource potential during the war laid the foundation for further industrial development of the region as well as creation of regional branches of the USSR Academy of Sciences in the post-war period. The WSB potential promoted the development of the Siberian Branch of the USSR/Russian Academy of Sciences; academic institutions organized on the initiative and with participation of Academician A. Skochinsky remain among the SB RAS members.