Year of Graduation
International Geophysical Year as Part of the Soviet Science Diplomacy during the Cold War
This research paper is devoted to the study of the science diplomacy and international cooperation between scientists during the IGY – International Geophysical Year, which was a complex and a large scale project in the area of natural sciences and lasted eighteen months from July 1, 1957 to December 31, 1958, when thousands of scientists from 67 countries from around the world joined forces to conduct geophysical research and collect global data in oceanography, meteorology, seismology, etc. International Geophysical Year has contributed significantly to the development of science during the Cold War and was one of the most important attempts to make scientific cooperation and exchange of information more open and ambitious. IGY was part of the scientific and technological race between capitalist and socialist blocs and has been used as an arena for the propaganda of achievements. USA and USSR space programs were created as a part of the IGY, and the most important results were the launch of the first artificial Earth satellite – Sputnik 1 – and the Antarctic Treaty, which was signed on 1 December 1959. IGY showed that it is necessary to strike a balance of national and global interests, and science diplomacy plays an important role in achieving this balance. The purpose of this research was to understand how Soviet scientists maintained relationship with foreign colleagues and to analyze the difficulties they faced at different levels. This study focuses on archival materials from the Russian Academy of Sciences, including letters and reports of soviet scientists; interviews with soviet and american scientists, recorded by the American Institute of Physics in the 1990s; articles from newspapers and scientific journals dedicated to the International Geophysical Year. Sources selected for this study highlight the history of scientific contacts and features of science diplomacy in a difficult period of confrontation.