President of Russia Vladimir Putin: My dear friends!
Today is a special day for our country – the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) is celebrating an anniversary. It is 300 years old. No doubt, this is an event of not only national but also global importance and scale. This is why UNESCO deservedly put it on its list of commemorative dates.
It is also symbolic that we are celebrating Russian Science Day on the academy’s anniversary. Congratulations to all of you. This holiday unites the entire research community in our country.
I would like to congratulate all citizens of our country and, of course, academicians, corresponding members, academy staff, and all national scientists on this RAS anniversary. And, I will also congratulate our foreign colleagues who continue to cooperate with us despite the restrictions, bans and barriers that are imposed by people that obviously do not have an academic mindset. These people do not understand that it is impossible to erect a barrier, an impenetrable Iron Curtain like once existed. But even during the times of the Iron Curtain it was impossible to stop communication between scientists. Let’s recall the development of the nuclear project. Let’s recall outstanding physicists, Enrico Fermi, Niels Bohr and others. Even at that time, it was impossible to ban communication, while today it is simply absurd. Nevertheless, such attempts continue. At the same time, productive scientific cooperation between your colleagues and Russian scientists does continue. I will emphasise that we will always be open to partnership in the interests of humanity.
I would like to hope that the Academy, at this new historical phase, will faithfully serve Russia and our people like before, preserving its history and traditions. I hope that the Academy will always move forward, be at the cutting edge of progress, and ensure our national, scientific, technological and value-oriented sovereignty.
As you know, the Academy was established at a turning point, when our country became a great power. Peter the Great, the founder and inspirer of the Academy, understood the tremendous role of science in enlightenment, education and the strengthening of the state’s military might and economic potential.
Throughout its history, the Academy has been known for its fundamental science, and I’d like to emphasise that its role in the life of the country has been absolutely fundamental as well. The contribution made by the Academy’s members, researchers, discoverers and trailblazers in Russia emerging as a country-civilisation is truly invaluable.
According to the great scientist, Academician Vladimir Vernadsky, the independent scientific work of Russian society started with studying our native Fatherland, and developing our endless lands.
Natural, ethnographic and archaeological collections gathered by many generations of scientists, and the results of their research, are genuine Russian assets. They serve to preserve our identity and historical truth and represent our great multiethnic people, our culture and literature, the distinctive traditions of the peoples of Russia, which have lived side by side for centuries in our country.
Let me repeat that we must have a careful, attentive attitude towards our academic heritage. It should be open to society, and serve the cause of the education and upbringing of the younger generations. We must, and certainly will, turn to it when drafting our long-term economic, social and demographic plans.
Let me recall in this context that it was the Academic Commission on Studying Natural Productive Forces that was the first to deal with the strategic planning of national development. In this sense, it is truly symbolic that the Academy is increasingly involved in drafting our large infrastructure projects, including global logistics corridors and new transport routes.
The power of scientific foresight, as well as the versatility and boundless expanse of scientific research has always distinguished the work of the Academy of Sciences; its representatives have achieved outstanding success not only in the humanities, but also in the natural disciplines, and have founded the strongest schools of mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, physiology, and medicine.
Our scientists’ innovations, discoveries, and scientific boldness made a huge contribution to the Victory over Nazism. And in the second half of the 20th century, it was the Academy’s achievements that made it possible to create a nuclear missile shield and ensure the country’s primacy in the research and exploration of outer space.
The selfless and heroic work of Soviet scientists made our Fatherland one of the greatest scientific powers in the world. This foundation still serves us today; it helps us maintain continuity, which means moving towards new frontiers and setting the most ambitious goals.
Today, we are working on the development agenda and building up our potential in very challenging circumstances, which clearly applies to the Academy of Sciences as well, whose responsibility for the outcomes of its work has increased many times over.
Your discoveries and scientific breakthroughs will make resolving problems possible at a whole new level and across a variety of areas, including security, public health, manufacturing, infrastructure, environmental protection, and energy. Importantly, the point is not to try to catch up with others or to copy them. In science, just like in all other areas, we must be proactive and be among the leaders. Considering the legacy left to us by our predecessors, we can certainly make it happen.
By the way, I am sure you are aware of the fact that our foreign “partners” as we used to say, would not even think about imposing sanctions or restrictions on us in the spheres where we enjoy sizable and unmatched competences, being fully aware that it makes no sense. So, to reiterate, we need to be strong, self-reliant and competitive in all key areas of progress. We need to be self-reliant in terms of meeting our own core needs; competitive in order to shape the global development agenda and to hold strong positions on the international markets today and in the future.
We should strive to, quite literally, step into the next technology frontier and to build up our unparalleled competencies in order to create equitable international scientific and technological alliances. We must possess the entire spectrum of technologies and means of production in vital areas.
These principles will be enshrined in the revised Strategy for Scientific and Technological Development, which was discussed today at the meeting of the Council for Science and Education. The Academy plays a central part in seeing it to completion.
At a recent meeting with President of the Russian Academy of Sciences Academician Gennady Krasnikov, we reviewed in detail the Academy’s future activities and ways to expand its mandate to meet the demands of the time. We re-affirmed the need to do our best to preserve longstanding historical traditions, such as its status of the country’s top research institution, self-governance, independence, and the elective nature of its leadership, academicians, and corresponding members. In addition, an array of key decisions was reviewed, and we can discuss some of them today.
Primarily, it is important to fully integrate the Academy of Sciences into the process of making key governmental and strategic decisions. Following this logic, I have already signed an Executive Order on the inclusion of the President of the Russian Academy of Sciences in the Security Council of the Russian Federation. And I assume that this will not be a formal act.
It is also obvious that all significant initiatives, including our national projects and infrastructure, sectoral and regional development plans, should undergo deep, unbiased scientific expert review by the Academy, while scientific and technological programmes, above all in such key areas as outer space, microelectronics, quantum technology, biotech, and genetics, should be implemented under the leadership of the Russian Academy of Sciences. I would also add that textbooks for universities and schools should be subject to mandatory academic assessment.
The Russian Academy of Sciences should also take over the management of dissertation councils, expert review of their decisions and analysis of theses submitted for defence. I agree that the Academy should directly participate in shaping new approaches to the awarding of academic degrees and titles, in the certification of scientific and teaching staff.
In this regard, it is logical and expedient that the further development of the Supreme Commission for Academic Degrees and Titles and the planning of its activities should be carried out under the auspices of the Academy of Sciences, and the commission should be headed by one of its vice-presidents.
It is also necessary to strengthen the role of the Academy in the development and coordination of fundamental research, significantly enhance the scientific and methodological guidance by the Academy of our country’s research centres and universities. They must be up to the high standards of our time, the standards of the 21st century, and the speed of technological changes that are taking place in the world.
Here I would like to make a special mention of scientific institutions that have the distinguished qualifier “Academic” in their names. They are historically linked to the Academy; they are united by common achievements and scientific triumphs. And it is the Academy of Sciences – regardless of whom academic institutions officially report to – that should determine the directions of their activities, and directly participate in resolving funding issues and selecting candidates to lead them. What’s more, all of this should be carried out according to procedures that are uniform, understandable, and transparent for the scientific community.
Let me stress that when these research organisations are restructured or the body they report to is changed, they must maintain their major objectives and missions. The loss or ineffective use of their research infrastructure are unacceptable as are any decisions, especially ones bypassing the Academy, designating as separate entities the pilot production facilities and treatment facilities necessary for training, experiments and tests.
Obviously, all the regional centres and branches of the Russian Academy of Sciences – in Siberia, the Urals, the Far East, in the north and the south of the country, in Donbass and Novorossiya regions as well as the re-established branch in St Petersburg – must operate in a coordinated manner in pursuit of common goals.
Further. I fully agree that as the main scientific and expert centre of the country, the Russian Academy of Sciences is called upon to form a unified base of scientific publications and research, to provide conditions for the search, exchange and dissemination of scientific information, to promote the results of domestic scientists, to popularise science both in Russia and abroad.
In this regard, I believe it is right to include the Russian Centre for Scientific Information, which contains a huge array of research publications and other data needed by scientists, in the structure of the RAS. The same goes for Nauka publishing house, which is practically the same age as the Academy, dating back to 1727.
To emphasise: the Academy is called upon to become a real intellectual headquarters for the development of domestic science, to solve the most important problems for the country’s progress. That said, state support for the RAS, as well as science in general, should also increase.
This year, the federal budget spending to fund the Academy of Sciences increased by almost one third compared to last year – up to almost six billion rubles. Monthly payments to academicians and corresponding members have also been increased by 50 percent. I believe that this is not enough. I propose another solution here, namely to double the size of such payments compared to 2023. Right here in this auditorium, I can give you the figures. An academician will receive 200,000 rubles a month, a corresponding member – 100,000 rubles.
I would like to note that the total amount of government spending on civilian research and development will exceed 1.5 trillion rubles in the next three years. Today, at the Council for Science and Education, I emphasised the need to increase funding for domestic science, considering the additional plans. We agreed at the council meeting that the Government will look into this issue and report back as soon as possible.
On the other hand, outstanding Soviet geneticist Nikolai Vavilov once said: “The role and place of science in a country is determined not only by the amount of state funding or the number of research institutions; above all, it depends on the breadth of the scientists’ outlook and their high scientific calibre.” However, that calibre must also be supported by financial resources. We will definitely work on this.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the representatives of the Russian Academy of Sciences and our research teams for their outstanding achievements in promising fields such as microelectronics, artificial intelligence, new materials, and other important areas of research, and for effectively addressing various aspects of Russia’s defence and security.
I wish everyone and all your research teams every success and further impressive scientific achievements. May the results of your work and research be in high demand, finding application in the economy and the social sphere. May they be utilised by our companies and manufacturers, serving the nation and advancing the well-being of Russian families, leading our country forward and helping us grow.
The key to the present and future achievements of the Academy of Sciences lies in the perseverance of research and the continuity of traditions. Throughout its history, the Academy of Sciences has fostered outstanding national scientific schools. Mentors and research advisors have not only imparted advanced knowledge to young researchers, but also instilled a sense of responsibility to science and to their country. Each generation of scientists did not only continue the work of their predecessors, but always pushed forward, discovering the unknown, achieving breakthroughs, and, in turn, paved the way for their successors.
It is a tradition to present awards to young scientists who are just starting their professional careers on Russian Science Day, February 8, which is the day when the Academy of Sciences was founded. But I believe that the anniversary of the Russian Academy of Sciences is a perfect opportunity to also celebrate distinguished and merited scientists who have impressive scientific achievements to their names, not limited to the younger generation of scientists. It is with great pleasure and pride that I would like to announce the names of our colleagues to be presented with high awards.
Full Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Yury Osipov, will receive the Hero of Labour of the Russian Federation title. He has devoted his entire life to serving science and oversaw applied research projects aimed at enhancing our national defence capabilities. For more than 20 years, he headed the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Outstanding researchers and doctors, Full Members of the Academy Leila Adamyan and Alexander Konovalov, will also receive prestigious state decorations. As clinical practitioners, they have developed and introduced bold, cutting-edge treatments, elevating healthcare to a higher standard. In doing so, they are making a tangible contribution to strengthening our national healthcare system.
Full Member of the Academy Valery Kozlov is a prominent researcher. He has also achieved a great deal in fulfilling his administrative duties for promoting research, making a meaningful contribution to advancing mathematics, mechanics and mathematical physics in Russia.
Gennady Mesyats and Alexander Skrinsky are both remarkable physicists. It is thanks to their work that our country retains its status among the world’s leading research powerhouses and has advanced mega-science research infrastructure.
I have the pleasure to announce the winners of the prize in science and innovation for young scientists. It is thanks to their discoveries, their energy and their zeal and devotion, in a positive sense, as well as their daring attitude, that research in our country is reaching new heights.
Georgy Gogayev made a meaningful contribution to enhancing our national security and defence capability, as well as strengthening our technological potential on the cutting edge of research. Importantly, these are the very disciplines that we need the most today.
By developing mathematical models for neural networks, Susanna Gordleyeva opened the path to creating a new kind of artificial intelligence technology and understanding the way the human brain works.
Sergei Pavlushin’s research has been instrumental for agriculture and the forestry sector. This scientist has made a meaningful contribution to improving the biological protection of our forests in the context of climate change.
Olga Yakubovich devised and implemented innovative geological exploration methods. Russia already uses them when searching for deposits of strategic metals.
Once again, I would like to congratulate all our colleagues on the 300th anniversary of the Russian Academy of Sciences and wish you every success in promoting progress and serving our Fatherland and the people of Russia.
I now have the pleasure to pass the floor to the President of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Mr Krasnikov, please.
President of the Russian Academy of Sciences Gennady Krasnikov: Mr President!
Members of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Dear guests.
Today is a very important day for all of us: we are celebrating the 300th anniversary of the Russian Academy of Sciences. This is a truly historic date for the Academy.
Created by Peter the Great, the Russian Academy of Sciences has covered, along with the Russian state, a great and glorious path during these three hundred years. It has always brought together leading researchers and genuine truth seekers, who helped this country develop, explored its natural resources, and who made breakthrough discoveries and created scientific schools.
Our predecessors created traditions of importance for the scientific community, including the open and public discussion of scientific results and freedom in the scientific debate.
Despite trying historical turning-points, we at the Academy of Sciences have preserved continuity and carried respect for our great teachers and for our followers through generations.
Russian scientists have laid a firm foundation for the development of mathematics, physics, chemistry, information science, geology, biology, and many other trends in scientific thought. They have made a great contribution to the understanding of history and man’s role in the world. They have also helped to preserve our rich historical and cultural heritage. Lacking their fundamental works and outstanding scientific achievements, medicine and agriculture would have developed differently, and of course, the modern world, which is based on advanced technologies, would not be what it is now.
Our predecessors are not just great scientists. Many of them were true statesmen. At difficult moments and in happy years, they remained true to science and made their contribution to achieving national objectives.
During the last century, when we faced challenges on a global scale, the Academy of Sciences helped to find fitting solutions. With no exaggeration, the country’s best minds were addressing goals in the defence area. We owe them the creation of a powerful military-industrial complex, which has strengthened national sovereignty and guaranteed this country’s security for years to come. Our scientists have tamed the atom, creating the nuclear power industry and an atomic fleet. They launched space exploration and put the Soviet Union among the leaders of world science.
Today, our country, and therefore domestic science, is facing truly ambitious, epoch-making goals. Of course, this imposes enormous responsibility on us, and every scientist is aware of it. To answer with a befitting response to the challenges of today and tomorrow, the Russian Academy of Sciences needs to fully realise its potential. Importantly, the leadership of our country shares this view.
Mr President, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to you for your invariable attention to the issues of scientific and technological development and understanding of the potentialities of the Russian Academy of Sciences. After all, today the RAS does not just consist of 1,900 members, including 28 Heroes of the Soviet Union and Russia, 13 full holders of the Order for Services to the Fatherland and 378 State Prize winners. The academic community also includes teams of research institutes throughout the country, which are working under our scientific and methodological guidance. Overall, the Russian Academy of Sciences drafts themes for research at 746 research institutes and 388 universities.
Of course, I would like to thank you separately for the decisions you announced. In this truly historical moment for the country, they enhance the academy’s prestige and create fresh opportunities for effective participation in the public decision-making process. This will allow scientists to correctly prioritise research, rationally use resources and create a uniform, integral scientific landscape in which RAS will play a key role. Your initiatives as regards the academy emphasise the high, responsible mission entrusted to us and remind society and the entire world about it. Today, the academic community, all of us feel this with particular strength.
I am confident that with your continuing support, the Russian Academy of Sciences will fulfil its assignments today and tomorrow and will write new, bright pages in the history of global science and our Fatherland.
Happy holiday to you, happy 300th anniversary to the Russian Academy of Sciences!
Academician Yury Osipov: I am honoured to be receiving this award on this historic day which marks the 300th anniversary of our academy.
As a reminder, it is the world’s fourth oldest academy. It was accurately noted earlier that the history of the Academy is inseparably linked with the history of Russia and its people, and has always been and remains a mainstay in many of the country’s critical endeavours.
Thank you very much for this honour.
Academician Leyla Adamyan: Mr President of the Russian Federation, Mr Putin,
This is the fourth time I am receiving an award from you.
I am overcome with emotions and feelings of gratitude and a feeling of, I would say, it being a genuine and deserved award for the entire academy and the entire ministry, for our science, which is the world’s most humane. For our healthcare, which is the world’s best patient-oriented healthcare system with a human face. For our Healthcare Ministry and every doctor. Our doctors are heroes. Our country is great.
I have been working for 52 years at the same institution, Russia’s best medical institution, the mother and child centre.
On behalf of my colleagues, doctors, and nurses who have saved the lives of so many children, my patients and happy families… I am proud that I can say to our people, my colleagues, and you personally that I proudly carry the banner of Russian medicine.
One more thing. Your personal contribution to our healthcare system and the development and implementation of innovative technologies is enormous. It is truly enormous and beyond reproach. For us, medicine transcends mother and child; it is the medicine of the future, the medicine of embryos, cells, egg cell, and sperm.
Importantly, I am receiving this award on a symbolic date which is the 300th anniversary of the academy, the world’s most authoritative academy whose researchers have made so many of the world’s fundamental and unique breakthroughs. Everyone is aware of that. Thank you for that.
I am looking forward to your contribution to the future in the coming years. And I am here to convey my heartfelt thanks to you for believing in Russian medicine, Russian science. This year marks the 300th anniversary of the academy and is also the Year of the Family.
The Year of the Family! What could be better, more important, sacred, and significant? Today, we are celebrating our academy. I am very honoured to receive this order.
Mr President, I very much hope that God will give us great victories and great achievements. I wish you good health and happiness.
Thank you very much.
Academician Valery Kozlov: Mr President, colleagues, dear friends,
Of course, I am very happy to receive such a high government award from the hands of our President on the 300th anniversary of the Russian Academy of Sciences. I am grateful to you, Mr President, for your high appreciation of my work and the work of all my colleagues in the Department of Mathematical Sciences.
This high order belongs to the treasury of awards for our alma mater – the RAS Steklov Mathematical Institute. It is primarily famous for its outstanding mathematical achievements and performance during its history of almost one hundred years.
We primarily deal with fundamental mathematics at the institute and, of course, feel responsible for the level and condition of this very important branch of knowledge in our country.
We also strive to develop competences in applied areas that are crucial for the development of modern technology. Here is an example: two new laboratories were recently established at our institute. One researches the mathematical aspects of quantum technology and has already begun serious work on quantum cryptography; the other studies the challenges of artificial intelligence.
Mr President, in your speech you emphasised the importance of preserving continuity in the work of our Academy of Sciences. I believe this is a very good approach. Looking back and recalling the history of mathematics at the academy, I think it is also possible to say that one of the main goals for us, my fellow mathematicians is to preserve and develop the traditions laid by our great predecessors.
On this wonderful day, I would like to wish a happy holiday to all our colleagues, all those who have devoted their lives to scientific research. I wish all of you good health, happiness, wellbeing and, of course, new and impressive achievements for the benefit of our science, for the benefit of our Fatherland!
Full Member of the Academy of Sciences Gennady Mesyats: Mr President, colleagues,
I would like to extend my best wishes all the best to everyone on the 300th anniversary of our Academy, and to express my gratitude to the country’s leaders and President Putin personally for the high recognition bestowed upon us on this occasion.
I would like to say a few words, very briefly, about physics and the projects undertaken at the institute where I work, the Lebedev Institute. The paradox is that, while the Academy of Sciences is 300 years old, the Institute of Physics was founded 310 years ago. In 1714, when the Kunstkamera was being established on the orders of Peter the Great, a laboratory of instruments was created, which later evolved into a physical laboratory, and then a physics room. Further on, in 1934, the Institute of Physics and Mathematics was created, incorporating two institutions: the Vladimir Steklov Institute of Mathematics and the Pyotr Lebedev Institute of Physics, both of which were relocated to Moscow. What Dr Kozlov said just now suggests that at that time, this was indeed a single root from which everything originated.
It must be said that the creation of this institute was very important for the country. The Institute has been involved in remarkable projects, which I would like to name. Vladimir Veksler’s projects were focused on the creation of the first Soviet accelerators, which laid the foundation for accelerator physics. Nikolai Basov and Alexander Prokhorov ushered in the laser era with their pioneering work in thermonuclear fusion, and Igor Tamm and Andrei Sakharov developed the tokamak theory. Vitaly Ginzburg contributed to the understanding of the high-temperature superconductivity phenomenon, which propelled space exploration. The Institute’s members have made a significant contribution to the nuclear project.
The names of our employees such as Tamm, Sakharov, Ginzburg, Fock and others are inextricably linked with the creation of the Soviet nuclear shield, which enabled our state to develop and defend its interests. In different periods, seven of the Institute’s members were awarded Nobel Prizes.
Despite the current challenging situation, we must acknowledge a number of major achievements made in recent years with the support of the state and your personal support, Mr President, because you have helped us a great deal.
The Lebedev Institute has successfully established the Centre for High-Temperature Superconductivity, a large scientific research centre fitted out with cutting-edge equipment. The research centre was established following your decision, because you called Vitaly Ginzburg on his birthday and asked: What do you need? He said, we need a superconductivity centre, and we will do everything to ensure superconductivity at room temperature.
Although Vitaly Ginzburg has passed away, that conversation did take place and we knew about it, so we took advantage of that situation, and your support played a crucial role, as did that of the Ministry of Economic Development, which provided the funding. Today, it is a truly outstanding superconductivity research centre, which is actively working, conducting research at the leading edge.
The Lebedev Institute has also created a unique proton accelerator based on the ideas that were originally developed by Veksler. New methods of treating oncological diseases have been implemented and are used by our doctors. The work is actively underway in collaboration with leading medical centres and the Kurchatov Institute. Hundreds of patients are being treated.
The Institute’s development of the first full-size magnetic resonance imaging scanner has been transferred to Rosatom, where it will be implemented.
After successfully completing the RadioAstron space mission – an outstanding achievement in which the largest Earth-space radio telescope was created, – the Institute is now working on the creation of the Millimetron space observatory project, which aims to become a worthy competitor to the NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope.
As part of the quantum calculations roadmap, the Lebedev Institute has created what I believe to be the most powerful quantum computer in Russia. The work was carried out in the laboratory of corresponding member Nikolai Kolachevsky, our director. I think it is fair to say that he is a brilliant young scientist who does excellent work and keeps the Institute in very good shape. I was also actively involved, serving as director for almost 12 years, but it is a rare case when a departing director praises the new one who has arrived.
Work is underway on scientific instrument making, with samples of laser equipment, microelectronics and sensors being created to ensure Russia’s technological sovereignty.
I think it is very important to draw the attention of young scientists and students to performing these tasks. The Institute has very good connections: it has established its own departments at Moscow State University, the Institute of Physics and Technology, and MEPhI, which are the driving force for the development of the Institute.
The Science and University programme has given a large boost to attracting new employees. Several new labs headed by young scientists have been created and many cutting-edge tools have been purchased, for which I would like to thank you, Mr President.
In conclusion, the consolidation in the scientific, technological and social spheres is now more important than ever for our society and its successful development. We are making every effort to cooperate constructively and use our full potential.
I would like to mention that this autumn marks the 90th anniversary of the Lebedev Physical Institute, which was established in 1934, as I said earlier. Mr President, on behalf of our team I invite you to join us in celebrating this anniversary. You will see the progress made at the Institute and how it has been modernised. Thank you very much for your constant support, as well as the support from the Ministry and other organisations.
Thank you very much for everything you do for science.
Vladimir Putin: Friends,
I congratulate the awardees and all those who have come here, all Russian scientists, on today’s event, the 300th anniversary of the Academy of Sciences.
To conclude this part of today’s ceremony, I would like to say the following. Without the achievements of Russian scientists throughout history – before the time of Peter the Great, after the creation of the Academy of Sciences, and, of course, in recent history, before and after the Great Patriotic War, and today – it is uncertain how history and the fate of the Russian state would have unfolded. This is something all of us must clearly understand.
Let’s be honest: at a certain juncture, there was a popular notion that we do not need sovereign science. Why are scientists sitting in their laboratories, soldering, twisting or burning something? The game is over. The world is open, and you can get anything you need freely. The money should be used for other purposes. But if we want Russia to be true to itself, to develop, to have a future, and to stand strong, we must support both fundamental science, which is essential for a country’s future, and applied research. And we will certainly do so.
Congratulations on the 300th anniversary of the Academy of Sciences.