CORVALLIS - The effect of politics and culture on science, technology and education in powerful nation-states is the focus of a conference March 10-11 at Oregon State University called "Science and Politics: What is to be Learned from the Russian Experience?"

Sponsored by the Horning Endowment for the Humanities, the history department, and the Center for the Humanities at OSU, it is free and open to the public.

The conference has drawn some of the leading experts on Russian science, technology, history and education.

Loren Graham, who has dual faculty appointments with Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will deliver the keynote address on Friday night in OSU's LaSells Stewart Center. His lecture, "Which is More Important to Science, Freedom or Money: Some Sobering Thoughts from the Russian Experience," will begin at 7 p.m. in the Construction and Engineering Auditorium in the center.

The author or editor of eight books, Graham is a foreign member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. One of his books echoes the conference theme, "What Have We Learned about Science and Technology from the Russian Experience?" It was published by Stanford University Press in 1998.

Graham and Daniel Alexandrov, a historian at European University in St. Petersburg, Russia, will provide commentary for six speakers on Saturday, March 11. The morning session, from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday at the Stewart Center, will feature three presentations:

  • "Gender, Sexual Enlightenment and the Politics of Glands in the 1920s," by Frances Bernstein, Drew University;
  • "Plants and Politics: Soviet Plant Breeders Under Lysenko," by Olga Y. Elina, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow;
  • "Sustainable Development Soviet Style: Fish and Forest Resources Under Stalin," by Paul Josephson, University of New Hampshire.

Lectures in the Saturday afternoon session, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., include:


  • "How Does the Social Order Shape Science? Inferences from the History of Soviet Ecology," by Douglas Weiner, University of Arizona;
  • "Polar Bears and Purges: Professional Perils in Soviet Arctic Science During the 1930s," by John McCannon, Long Island University;
  • "Who Gets to Fly? Women Cosmonauts, 1967-2000," by Bettyann Kevles, The Art Center College of Design, Pasadena.

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Ginny Domka, 541-737-3421