Ministry purge may be a lifeline for embattled Russian Academy of Sciences

first_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Email The new minister, Olga Vasilyeva, is an expert on the history of the Russian Orthodox Church who headed the religious studies department of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration and worked in Putin’s executive office. In public lectures, she has advocated “subordinating personal interests to those of the state” and has hailed Stalin for “uniting the nation” on the eve of World War II. During Stalin’s reign, tens of millions of people died as a result of purges and famines blamed on botched Soviet agricultural policies. Vasilyeva has argued that “the scale of Stalin’s repressions has been exaggerated.” She told Kommersant, a daily newspaper, that her first order of business is to scrutinize the ongoing reforms. MOSCOW—Continuing a summer of upheavals for Russian science, President Vladimir Putin has fired his science minister and replaced him with a historian who is known for her admiration for Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.The surprise move, announced on 19 August, has left many scientists speechless. But some see it as a ray of hope for the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), which is undergoing a painful downsizing that in the coming weeks is expected to see dozens of academy institutes merged and thousands of scientists losing their jobs. The ousted science minister, Dmitry Livanov, was an architect of the reforms who had long pressed for strengthening science in the universities at the academy’s expense. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country That’s music to the ears of RAS President Vladimir Fortov. Speaking with the press on 20 August, he welcomed Vasilyeva’s appointment. “Her experience of work in the presidential executive office and her knowledge of the problems we have been facing will help to build a constructive dialogue between the scientific community and bureaucrats.”Some Livanov foes say he will be missed. “We are going to remember him kindly,” says Boris Shtern, an astrophysicist at the RAS Institute for Nuclear Research here. Livanov “is a man of science, a reasonable and generally progressive person. Now, he has been replaced by a staunch conservative,” Shtern says. “In my opinion, it is better to have an opponent such as Livanov than an ally such as Vasilyeva.” Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*)last_img read more