An article about SPhTI was published in a high-ranking journal
24.10.2017

Alexander Sorokin, TSU associate professor, with Professor Paul Josephson (Colby College, USA) has published an article about the birth and development of the Siberian Physical and Technical Institute in the journal British Journal for History of Science. This journal on the history of science is one of the leading and recognized journals in the academic community.

The article “Physics is Sent to the Provinces: the Scientific Community of Siberian Physicists and Soviet Government, 1917-1940” is based on archival materials. Historians described how scientists substantiated the need to create an institute, how the distribution of scientific knowledge between Moscow, Leningrad, and the provinces took place, and how Stalin's power influenced the development of physics in Siberia.

- The phenomenon of SPhTI’s history is relevant and significant, because not only Moscow physicists headed by Abram Fedorovich Ioffe were interested in its creation, but also local physicists headed by Vladimir Dmitrievich Kuznetsov, says Alexander Sorokin. - At the same time, the very issue of the creation of the SPhTI split the academic community into supporters and opponents who feared that the creation of a new research institute would lead to an outflow of leading specialists from universities and, accordingly, weaken them.

The article is published in the journal of the University of Cambridge, which is considered one of the leaders in the history of science. It is in Q1 of the subject "History" (Hirsch index 23, 72nd place out of 1022 journals reflected in the Scimago Journal Rank) and Q2 on "History and Philosophy of Science". Work with the editorial board of the journal lasted a year and a half.

- The editorial board of the journal was less interested in an empirical description of events, - the scientist shares his experience. - The problem of the creation and activities of the SPhTI was to be considered using diverse contexts: industrialization policies, center-periphery relations in science, the interaction between physicists and authorities, the phenomenon of the Cultural Revolution in Russia and Siberia, and others.

According to the historian, the reviews contained not only remarks but also specific proposals, authors, and titles of publications that could be used.

The article combines the dissertation research of Paul Josephson and Alexander Sorokin.

Paul Josephson’s Ph.D. was devoted to the history of Soviet physics in the 1920-30s. In his thesis, special attention was paid to the personality of A.F. Ioffe, who spoke with the idea of organizing a network of research institutes of the physical profile in industrial regions of the country - in the Urals, Siberia, and Ukraine.

The thesis of Alexander Sorokin is devoted to the history of the creation and activity of the Siberian Physical and Technical Institute in the 1920-1991s, as the first research institute in physics and mathematics in the east of the country.