Branches of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR

Branches of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR


associations of scientific research institutes and other scientific institutions of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (AN SSSR) in various autonomous republics, krais, and oblasts of the RSFSR. The principal tasks of the branches are the conduct of theoretical research in the natural and social sciences, the formulation of recommendations for making use of scientific advances in the national economy and culture, and the study of natural resources and problems of the economy and culture. Each branch is managed by its presidium, whose membership is ratified by the Presidium of the AN SSSR. The chairman of a branch presidium is elected by the General Assembly of the AN SSSR for a term of four years.

The need to organize the scientific institutions of the AN SSSR at various locations was recognized in the early 1930’s. The scientific investigations that had formerly been conducted by expeditionary bodies of the academy could no longer provide for the continued development of industrial and agricultural production in the country. The July 1928 Plenum of the Central Committee of the ACP(B) pointed out the importance of bringing scientific work to bear on solving problems in the national economy.

The decree of the Central Executive Committee of the USSR of Aug. 10, 1931, ratified the academy’s proposals to organize integrated scientific research bases in Khabarovsk, Irkutsk, Novosibirsk, Sverdlovsk, Alma-Ata, Tashkent, and Stalinabad (now Dushanbe). The Ural and Transcaucasian branches, the first to be organized, were established in 1932 and 1933; in 1935 the Transcaucasian branch was reorganized into three separate branches—the Azerbaijan, Armenian, and Georgian branches. The Far Eastern, Kazakh, and Tadzhik scientific research bases were also established in 1932 and 1933, and the Kola and Northern bases and the Turkmen and Uzbek branches were organized between 1934 and 1940. By the end of 1940, more than 1,500 scientific and scientific-technical research workers were employed at the scientific institutions of the academy’s branches and bases, including 12 academicians, 126 doctors of sciences, and 284 candidates of sciences. Among those who participated directly in establishing branches and organizing research work were Academicians V. L. Komarov, A. E. Fersman, I. P. Bardin, K. I. Skriabin, E. N. Pavlovskii, A. E. Arbuzov, N. Ia. Marr, F. Iu. Levinson-Lessing, I. M. Gubkin, and A. A. Skochinskii.

Table 1. Structure of the branches of the AN SSSR
BranchNumber of scientific institutionsResearch staff
 TotalScientific research institutesTotalScientific workersDoctors of sciencesCandidates of sciences
1 Directly subordinate to the Presidium of the Siberian Division of the AN SSSR
Bashkir ...............741,51147526214
Dagestan ...............5381235212137
Kazan ...............441,30350427258
Karelian ...............741,21634716179
Kola ...............862,68676812220
Komi ...............638862888119
Buriat ...............4366226512143
Eastern Siberian ...............8814,0231,04547464
Yakutsk ...............851,90551319217

During the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45, scientists of the academy’s branches conducted research to support the Soviet front and rear. The academy’s integrated scientific institutions already established at various locations continued operations, and new institutions were organized. The Western Siberian, Kirghiz, and Kazan branches were established between 1943 and 1945, and scientific research bases were organized in the Karelian-Finnish, Komi, and Dagestan autonomous republics; the Komi base was reorganized from the former Northern base. In 1945 the branches and bases comprised 43 institutes and 44 independent departments, including an astronomical observatory, two seismic stations, four museums, nine botanical gardens, three preserves, and five other permanent institutions, employing a total of 1,700 scientific and scientific-technical research workers.

In accordance with the decision of the Council of Ministers of the USSR of September 1949, the Kola, Far Eastern, Komi, Karelian-Finnish, Dagestan, Crimean (founded 1947), Moldavian (1946), Sakhalin (1946), and Yakutsk (1947) scientific research bases were converted into branches of the AN SSSR. The Eastern Siberian branch was organized at Irkutsk in 1949, and the Bashkir branch in Ufa in 1951.

Between 1941 and 1961, nine Union-republic academies of sciences were organized from the branches of the AN SSSR—the Georgian, Armenian, Azerbaijan, Kazakh, Uzbek, Kirgiz, Tadzhik, Turkmen, and Moldavian academies—as well as the Siberian Division of the AN SSSR (1957) and the Far East Scientific Center and the Urals Scientific Center of the AN SSSR (1970–71). As of 1976, the AN SSSR had nine branches (see Table 1): the Bashkir, Dagestan, Kola, Karelian, Komi, and Kazan branches (directly subordinate to the Presidium of the AN SSSR) and the Eastern Siberian, Yakutsk, and Buriat branches (part of the Siberian Division).


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