Physics Department Seminar University of Alaska Fairbanks

J O U R N A L    C L U B

Scientific Cooperation during the Cold War: a Personal Account
Juan G. Roederer
Physics Dept/GI UAF




Between 1958 and 1991 I visited the Soviet Union twenty times for periods of 1-6 weeks each. All visits were for scientific reasons, most were as organizer or chairman of international projects in magnetospheric physics, global change or Arctic research, a few were to participate in scientific conferences. After the fall of the Soviet empire in 1991, I visited several times as a sort of consultant in matters concerning the rebuilding of a national research system, in part under a grant from the MacArthur Foundation. Having spent the aggregate time of over one year in the Soviet Union (including Soviet Bloc countries such as the GDR, Czechoslovakia, Poland, etc., as well as Cuba), always as a guest of the Soviet (or local) Academy of Sciences with some freedoms that neither tourists nor business people or diplomats enjoyed, gave me an unparalleled opportunity to visit places often closed to foreigners, to talk to and witness the private lives of scientists and political officials, and to monitor the changes of the system between the Khrushchev and the post-Gorbachev eras. I will give a brief account of my personal experience and discuss the problems encountered in organizing cooperative research programs, with some funny and some not-so-funny anecdotes---all thoroughly documented with allowed and (at that time) not-allowed photographs.


Friday, 23 March 2012

Note: in GI Elvey Auditorium, Elvey Building

3:45 PM