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Even before the war with Ukraine, about 150 young Russian scientists became Fulbright scholarsand got the opportunity to study at American universities. In March of this year, the IIE and Cultural Vistas organizations sponsoring the program were declared undesirable in Russia. T-invariant looked into what awaits fellows in their home countries and what alternatives young scientists see for themselves.
Academicians turned to Vladimir Putin with a proposal to head a new body of the Russian Academy of Sciences - the Board of Trustees. But not everyone was able to vote for this decision. FSO employees blacklisted more than twenty scientists and did not allow them to attend the General Meeting of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Censorship has actually returned to Russian book publishing, and the state’s special attention today is connected with LGBT issues. Some books are withdrawn from sale, others are removed from the school curriculum, and others are published with pages painted over. In an interview with T-invariant, cultural historian, candidate of philological sciences Mikhail Edelshtein explained what these measures are connected with, how the current situation differs from military censorship of the last century, and what role “offended graphomaniacs” play in all this.
In Novosibirsk, they are considering the criminal case of corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Oleg Kabov, which was initiated by the FSB. This is the first case in Russia when a scientist is being tried for his allegedly unsatisfactory work, and scientific and technical expertise forms the basic part of the charge. The very fact that you can go to prison for poorly conducted research is a new page both in the history of Russian science and in the history of domestic jurisprudence. Kabov's case is a challenge to the entire scientific community. It will show whether science in Russia can defend its right to exist.
February 24, 2022 is a date that divided the lives of millions of people into before and after. Millions of Ukrainians became refugees, hundreds of thousands of Russians were forced to leave the country, thousands of people became political prisoners. Schools and universities have been invaded by Z-ideology. This gave rise to a new Russian reality, which more than 75 sociologists, historians, demographers and economists studying Russian society tried to comprehend.
The FSB completed investigative actions in the case of corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Sergei Abramov a year later: the materials were transferred to the court, which must set a date for the hearing. According to T-invariant, Abramov’s case involves seven donations of 1,000 rubles each. The scientist himself has repeatedly denied his guilt, including denying that he made these translations.
The eighth essay in the “Creators” series is dedicated to Stepan Timoshenko, one of the founders of modern applied mechanics. In the “Creators” project T-invariant in collaboration with RASA (Russian-American Science Association) continues to publish a series of biographical essays about people from the Russian Empire who made significant contributions to world science and technology.
University Transparency Laboratory (Lupa), with the help of the free online community Dissernet, analyzed the activities of expert councils of the upper house of the Russian parliament. It turned out that 10% of experts advising senators on the laws they pass have violations of academic ethics.
How does war become routine, heroic and ordinary? Do you need to look at photographs of hostages every day? Where is the line between adapting to war and rejecting conflict? These questions were discussed by the participants in the discussion “Normalization of Evil” - urban geographer Aleksey Novikov, visiting researcher at Ariel University Viktor Vakhshtain and communication specialist Grigory Ogibin.
Over the course of two years, several thousand scientists left Russia, sometimes entire teams were evacuated. Some of them managed not only to survive, but to be reborn in a new reality. In February 2024, the Agency for Control and Quality Assurance of Higher Education of Montenegro decided on state accreditation of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences (FLASH), which was created by former employees of the Moscow Higher School of Social and Economic Sciences. Teodora Shanin. And this is not the only example of how fugitive Russians are reassembling academic projects.
In 2023, the FSB began subjecting dissenters to punitive psychiatry. Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Sergei Abramov left the psychiatric hospital after the examination and became familiar with the updated version of the charges. T-invariant spoke with the scientist about his life with the “extremist” label, his political views and the reasons for the security forces’ attack on the Russian supercomputer industry.
The sixth essay in the “Creators” series is dedicated to Tamara Dembo, an outstanding psychologist whose work on the study of “anger as a dynamic problem” and the rehabilitation of people with disabilities remains scientifically relevant to this day. The “Creators” project, created by T-invariant together with RASA (Russian-American Science Association), talks about people from the Russian Empire who made significant contributions to world science and technology.
New detainees in the case of Siberian scientists from the Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (ITPM) named after. Christianovich of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, accused of treason, was scientist Vladislav Galkin from Tomsk. The human rights organization First Department is confident that the repressive campaign is growing and the next victim of the FSB could be absolutely any scientist who has worked on this topic as part of international collaborations.
In Togliatti, in the local special economic zone (SEZ), they can build another plant for the assembly of Iranian combat drones. There is no official information about this and in words the plans are purely peaceful. The EFKO group of companies, the founder of enterprises producing drones in Tolyatti, pretends that it has nothing to do with the plant. T-invariant looks at how this big business moved from projects with GM and Volkswagen to assembling deadly machines for the war in Ukraine.
The fifth essay in the “Creators” series is dedicated to Vladimir (Waldemar) Haffkine, the creator of the first effective vaccines against cholera and plague. At the end of the 19th century, Haffkine carried out the first mass vaccination in India. His laboratories have developed and produced tens of millions of doses of cholera and plague vaccines. In the “Creators” project, T-inavariant, together with RASA (Russian-American Science Association), continues to publish a series of biographical essays about people from the Russian Empire who made a significant contribution to world science and technology,
The Russian Federation's leading specialist in supercomputer systems was first checked by the FSB “for treason”, then kept under house arrest for six months on suspicion of “financing an extremist organization”. After fruitless attempts to plant according to the proven Soviet tradition, the “fool” is used. Sergei Abramov, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, founder of a number of innovative companies, is planned to be sent to a psychiatric hospital for three weeks on November 30 for “conducting an inpatient examination.”Because the outpatient motivation of the scientist who organizes the supercomputer forum in Pereslavl-Zalessky, even while under investigation, the FSB could not understand even after eight months.
T-invariant publish open letter by Alexander Kabanov, Mescal S. Ferguson Distinguished Professor, Director, Center for Nanotechnology in Drug Delivery Chapel Hill, UNC. He writes: "The terrorist attack on Israel on October 7, 2023, shocked me deeply. I was also disappointed by the statement issued by the UNC Chapel Hill Faculty, Graduate Students, and Staff Regarding Justice in Palestine, which said, among other things, “…We believe that an understanding of such loss must be situated within the historical and political context of ongoing colonial oppression.” On November 3, 2023, I sent a brief note to about 40 UNC faculty members who had signed this statement by then..."
In Chicago, at the annual conference of the Russian-speaking American Scientific Association (RASA), sociologists who have recently been living in the United States chose for their presentations topics that can now hardly be discussed publicly while in Russia. Sergey Erofeev (Rutgers University)presented a brief overview of the most interesting presentations for T-invariant.
In Ivanovo, under strange circumstances, Olga Nazarenko, associate professor of the department of pharmacology of the Ivanovo State Medical Academy and political activist, died from numerous injuries. The lawyer was unable to get an investigation into the causes of her death and gain access to a medical report on the causes of death, so she is going conduct your own investigation. T-invariant spoke with the lawyer of the deceased and some other local activists who knew Olga personally and mourn her death.
In Chicago, at Northwestern University, an annual conference was held, organized by the Russian-American Association of Scientists - Russian American Science Association (RASA). Mutual support, academic solidarity, political context and political division in the scientific community - in report by Denis Cheredov.
The Special Economic Zone (SEZ) "Alabuga", which has already hit the pages of all the world's media this year with a series of high-profile scandals, this time swung at the solar system and acted as a collective Ostap Bender for all the money - namely 491 trillion rubles . Leading Russian astrophysicists responded by recalling the gravitsappa on the Yubileiny satellite (a loud anti-scientific failure of Roscosmos from 2008).
Behind the names in the “Chronicle of the Persecution of Scientists”, which is jointly conducted by T-invariant and CISRUS, there are specific people forced to fight for their civil and academic freedoms. We decided to tell in detail who and why decides to go against government pressure in science and education. The first material focuses on the history of Novokolledzh, one of the largest colleges in Russia.How did the institution begin to work, despite the refusal of accreditation and the resignation of the director, candidate of historical sciences Sergei Chernyshov? Why do the new director Yuri Lobanov and Sergei Chernyshov himself not give up their professional and civic positions? Yulia Chernaya spoke with the former and current leaders of Novocollege - Sergei Chernyshov and Yuri Lobanov.