Turkevich, John
April 1966
Foreign Affairs;Apr1966, Vol. 44 Issue 3, p489
The article presents an assessment of the status of Soviet science. Soviet science has been in the public eye for the last two decades. The dramatic confrontation of Marxist theory and genetics epitomized the dangers of Communism as a thought-controlling system. The rapid development of atomic weapons by the Soviets underlined the effectiveness of the Russian scientific task force. The flights of Sputniks, Luniks, Laikas, cosmonauts showed the world that the party leadership had made an imaginative commitment to daring scientific ventures and that Soviet technology was discharging this commitment. On the basis of comparison of curricula and statistics, and as the result of superficial visits to select Soviet schools, a cry was raised that the United States was losing the "battle of the classroom." The average American became convinced that Soviet science and education were the best in the world. The Soviet challenge of a human flight to the moon was accepted by launching a multi-billion-dollar space program. Mathematics has been an area of particular excellence in Soviet science. Deeply rooted in the glorious pre-revolutionary tradition, it has produced important results and raised the level of performance of related sciences and engineering. All branches of pure mathematics are pursued.


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