Scientific and Technical Societies of the USSR
Scientific and Technical Societies of the USSR
voluntary mass organizations of engineering and technical personnel, production innovators, and scientists; these organizations serve to improve production and promote scientific and technical progress. The primary organizations of scientific and technical societies are set up at industrial, transportation, and agricultural enterprises, in institutions, and at scientific research and design institutes. Scientific and technical societies had about 4.5 million members in 1970 and about 6 million in 1973, in societies for such industries as machine building, ferrous metallurgy, construction, and petroleum and gas. At many enterprises, the functions of plant production and technical councils have been transferred to primary organizations of scientific and technical societies. Branch and interbranch councils of scientific and technical societies, which are directed by the All-Union Council of Scientific and Technical Societies, have been set up in oblasts, krais, and republics.
Scientific and technical societies arose in Russia in the second half of the 19th century on the initiative of leading scientists and engineers, who joined together to promote the development of Russian science, engineering, and industry. The Russian Technical Society was founded in 1866, followed by societies in various other fields, such as chemistry, physics, metallurgy, and mining. The important discoveries of such scientists as D. I. Mendeleev, D. K. Chernov, A. S. Popov, A. N. Krylov, and K. E. Tsiolkovskii were first published in the Proceedings of conferences, congresses, and scientific societies.
In August 1921, the Soviet government passed a resolution, signed by V. I. Lenin, concerning assistance to scientific societies in working out and extensively elucidating technical and organizational economic problems, in conducting congresses and conferences, and in putting out publications.
Scientific, engineering, and technical societies were formed in 1931. These societies actively participated in the drafting and implementation of the plans for socialist construction and in the solution of the pressing problems of power, metallurgy, chemistry, and machine building; they also organized committees to assist major construction projects, conducted scientific and technical competitions, and reviewed new technology in production. All these societies were reorganized by the 1954 resolution On Scientific Engineering and Technical Societies of the Central Committee of the CPSU into mass scientific and technical societies for branches of industry. The management of these societies was assigned to the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions. Four all-Union congresses of scientific and technical societies have been held—in 1959, 1964, 1968, and 1973.
The scientific and technical societies of the USSR are oriented mainly toward developing the creative initiative and expanding the activities of the scientific, engineering, and technical intelligentsia and of leading production workers and innovators. The problems of automation, remote control, and computer technology, the scientific organization of labor, and production management are important in the work of scientific and technical societies. Public committees on such subjects as production economics and organization, technical aesthetics, and product reliability and quality control have been set up to work out interbranch problems. The proposals of scientific and technical societies are taken into account in state plans for the development of the primary branches of science and technology. In order to broaden the knowledge of and give advanced training to workers, engineers, and technicians, scientific and technical societies conduct seminars and courses on new technology and maintain plant and interplant schools for advanced practical experience, public universities of technical progress, and institutes for production innovators. The works of scientific and technical societies are published in the journal Tekhnika i nauka (Engineering and Science).
A number of Soviet scientific and technical societies are members of world scientific and technical organizations, such as the International Institute of Welding, the International Federation of Foundry Workers, and the International Measurement Confederation. The All-Union Council of Scientific and Technical Societies is a member of the World Federation of Engineering Organizations. (See also.)
REFERENCESNauchno-tekhnicheskie obshchestva SSSR: Istoricheskii ocherk. [Moscow] 1968.
V pomoshch’ aktivu NTO: Sbornik rukovodiashchikh materialov, 3rd ed. [Moscow] 1969.
A. A. PARKHOMENKO