1Dobrov Institute for Scientific and Technological Potential and Science History Studies of the NAS of Ukraine

Nauka naukozn. 2019, 2(104): 130-155

Section: Science and technology history

Language: Ukrainian

Abstract: The establishing of basic sciences (mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, Earth sciences) and their practical applications are shown in the article in the context of socio-political transformations taking place in the USSR and Ukraine in 30s of the past century. It could be possible mainly due to the concentration of R&D in research institutes as core structural units of R&D, which in late 20s were introduced in place of research cathedras, commissions, committees etc., created in early 20s by the soviet authorities of Ukraine as part of the effort to build their own model of higher school and R&D. Research cathedras were designed to concentrate research efforts and resources, create necessary technical facilities for experimental research, make library collections, take organizational measures to exploit the equipment preserved in university labs etc. In the subsequent years they would play the role of scientific centers consolidating professional researchers, creating research environment, engaging young people in R&D and promoting their research carriers. It is true that some R&D performed in the cathedras could either initiate a new research area or lay grounds for organizing research institutes. The principal reason for adopting a new organizational form of the Ukrainian R&D is highlighted: lack of contacts between cathedras and over-extension of limited research capacities. Being isolated, researchers had to waste creative energies and facilities when conducting experiments that had already been known to others as erroneous or failed. Furthermore, the gap between theoretical and experimental science and the relatively weak performance of technical sciences was a consequence of the miserable condition of the experimental facilities, incompleteness of laboratories and small numbers of experimental researchers. Therefore, it became obvious in late 20s that research cathedras had exhausted their potentials, and it was in late 20s that the research institute became a core structural unit of the Ukrainian R&D. The authorities realized that proper funding of R&D and the network of research institutes are the premises for highly effective research in various fields of the basic science. Consequently, it was in 30s that the institutional background for the modern basic science was laid in Ukraine.

Rich information is provided about creation and operation of the network of specialized research institutes in various fields of knowledge, key results produced by them, and the factors giving rise to the Academy organization of basic science in Ukraine.


Keywords: All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, research cathedra, research institute, research, basic sciences.



  1. Pavlenko, Yu.V., Ranyuk, Yu.N., Khramov, Yu.A. (1998). The “case” of the Ukrainian Institute for Physical and Technology, 1935–1938. Kiev: Phoenix, 324[in Russian].
  2. Kulchytskyi S.V., Pavlenko Yu.V., Ruda S.P., Khramov Yu.O. (2000). The history of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine in the socio-political context. 1918–1998. Kyiv: Phoenix [in Ukrainian].
  3. Prystoiko, V., Shapoval, Yu. (1995). The case of “the Union for Liberation of Ukraine”. Kyiv: ІNТЕL [in Ukrainian].
  4. Conquest, R. (1991). The Great Terror. 2 Vols. Trans. from English. Riga: Raksnieks [in Russian].
  5. The National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Chronology. 1918–2018. 2nd ed. Kyiv: Phoenix, 2016 [in Ukrainian].
  6. The compendium of laws and directives of the worker and peasant government of Ukraine for 1921. 2nd ed. Kharkiv: the People’s Commissariat of Justice, 1921. Part 2,44–46 [in Ukrainian].
  7. Establishment of research cathedras. SU of Ukraine, 1921, issue 25, p. 726 [in Russian].
  8. Science in Ukraine, 1922, issue 1, 112–126 [in Russian].
  9. Further expansion of the research cathedras network in Ukraine. Science in Ukraine, 1922, issue 2, p. 137 [in Russian].
  10. Bulletin of the People’s Commissariat of Education of the UkrSSR, 1924, issues 3–7, p. 3 [in Russian].
  11. Research institutions of Ukrnauka [Ukr. Science]. Science in Ukraine, 1926, 1. 81–84 [in Ukrainian].
  12. Records of the session of the Council of the All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, July 15–17, 1930. Bulletin of All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, 1931, 4, 2–4 [in Ukrainian].
  13. Records of the session of the Council of the All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, October 29–30, 1930. Bulletin of All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, 1931, 5. 43–67 [in Ukrainian].
  14. The Central State Archive of Public Associations of Ukraine, form 1, register 20, case 6223 [in Ukrainian].
  15. Research institutions and organizations of the UkrSSR. Kharkiv: the State Planning Commission of the UkrSSR, 1930 [in Ukrainian].
  16. The Central State Archive of Public Associations of Ukraine, form 1, register 16, case 10, sheets 215–216 [in Ukrainian].
  17. The Ukrainian Academy of Sciences in 1934 (A short report to the June session of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences). Kyiv: Publishing house of the All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, 1935 [in Ukrainian].
  18. The statute of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian Socialist Soviet Republic. Bulletin of the Academy of Sciences of the UkrSSR, 1936, 3, 39–50 [in Ukrainian].
  19. The National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Outstanding achievements. 1918–2018. Kyiv: Phoenix, 2018 [in Ukrainian].



Full Text (PDF)