Introduction: A New History of Russian Science

Science in Context 15 (2):177-182 (2002)
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Abstract

Like almost everything in the Soviet Union, the discipline of history of science and technology altered dramatically during the social upheaval of Gorbachev’s perestroika, in some ways that were predictable, and in other ways that were not. One new direction of research that has since grown into a bourgeoning field – the social history of Russian and Soviet science – is represented by the articles in this volume. This short introduction cannot substitute for a real historiographical study, which will probably appear in due course. This is rather a personal memoir about the origin and motivations behind the approach; as incomplete as a participant’s memoir can be, but with some benefits of retrospective hindsight. Ten years ago, at a time of great fluidity in minds and intellectual agendas, many developments were driven primarily by intuition and the sheer momentum of Zeitgeist; now, as things have become somewhat settled, there is time for more reflection.

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