Student Scientific and Scholarly Societies

Student Scientific and Scholarly Societies

 

in the USSR, voluntary student associations set up at higher educational institutions to involve students in scientific research, to give students a broader experience in research work, and to raise the quality of the training and education of future specialists.

One of the first student scientific and scholarly societies in Russia was the scientific and literary society founded at the University of St. Petersburg in 1882; in the ensuing years its membership included the prominent scholars and scientists V. I. Vernadskii, K. D. Glinka, M. A. D’iakonov, N. M. Knipovich, A. S. Lappo-Danilevskii, F. Iu. Levinson-Lessing, A. M. Liapunov, and S. F. Ol’denburg, the writers V. V. Veresaev and A. S. Serafimovich, and the revolutionaries A. I. Ul’ianov and M. T. Elizarov. A student aeronautics study group established in 1909 by Professor N. E. Zhukovskii at the Moscow Higher Technical School counted among its active members A. N. Tupolev, A. A. Arkh-angel’skii, B. S. Stechkin, V. Ia. Klimov, and B. N. Iur’ev.

The 1930’s saw the development in the USSR of students’ self-supporting “practical planning brigades” and of scientific study groups associated with academic subdepartments. In the 1940’s various brigades and groups of this type were consolidated into student scientific and scholarly societies and design offices; these groups became involved in the research activity of subdepartments and special problem laboratories and were instrumental in the application of research results on the national economic level.

The student societies and design offices were active at 200 higher educational institutions in 1950 and at all the higher educational institutions of the USSR by the late 1960’s. The 1970’s saw the rise of new forms of students’ research activity, such as student research institutes, scientific centers, student design teams, and scientific expeditions; students’ scientific work is now an integral part of the educational process at the higher schools. All-Union, republic, krai, oblast, and higher-school councils on students’ scientific work have been set up to coordinate and promote such activities.

Approximately 1.3 million students participated in various forms of research in 1974, under the guidance of close to 185,000 professors and instructors: Between 1970 and 1972, students contributed to 3,500 inventions and to the implementation of 49,000 production projects. Beginning in 1958, the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Specialized Education of the USSR and the Central Committee of the Komsomol have sponsored all-Union competitions for the best student work in the natural and technical sciences and in the humanities; since 1966 the competitions have included social science subjects as well as the history of the Komsomol and of the international youth movement. The winners receive medals from the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, from branch academies, and from the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Specialized Education of the USSR; they earn diplomas and certificates from the Central Committee of the Komsomol.

The 1973–74 all-Union olympiad on students’ role in scientific and technological progress involved approximately 900,000 students from 742 higher educational institutions. More than 1,000 students contributed to the Central Exhibition of Creative Scientific and Technical Work of the Youth of the USSR, held in Moscow in 1974; of the 347 student projects shown, 128 were awarded medals of the Exhibition of the Achievements of the National Economy of the USSR. The Lenin Komsomol Prize was awarded in 1971 to the student scientific and technical society of the N. E. Bauman Moscow Higher Technical School, and in 1974 to the student scientific research institute at the Ufa Institute of Petroleum. Students’ scientific projects have been exhibited in the People’s Republic of Bulgaria, the Hungarian People’s Republic, the German Democratic Republic, India, Canada, the United States, and the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic.

B. D. NAMESTNIKOV and P. A. NEFEDOV

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