Public Lecture at Scripps Explores History of Soviet Oceanography


The history of Russian oceanography during the Cold War will be the topic of a public presentation on the campus of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.

On Feb. 7 at 3 p.m., Daniel Alexandrov will present, "Soviet Oceanography: From Local Fisheries to Cold War Oceans." The presentation will be held in Scripps's Sumner Auditorium, 8602 La Jolla Shores Dr., in La Jolla (one-half block south of Naga Way). The presentation is free and the public is invited (street parking only).

Alexandrov is being recognized with Scripps Oceanography's William E. and Mary B. Ritter Memorial Fellowship. The fellowship, which includes research funds and an honorarium, is awarded to a recognized scholar of marine science history and allows the recipient to spend time on the Scripps campus to interact with students and ocean scientists and to give a public presentation. The Ritter Fellowship was created through an endowment from Robert Cody, nephew of the institution's founding director, William Ritter, and the fellowship is named for Ritter and his wife, Mary. This is the 10th time the Ritter Fellowship has been
awarded since 1990.

Alexandrov is a professor of sociology in the Higher School of Economics - St. Petersburg and in the European University at St. Petersburg. His research focuses on the sociology of science and education, the history of science and environmental history. Among other projects, he is currently involved in research on the sociology of international collaboration.

Alexandrov's presentation will cover the history of Russian oceanography, with a focus on specific Soviet culture of oceanography with its large research vessels, long oceanographic voyages and the romanticized image of oceanography in the eyes of the Soviet public.

"I fell in love with marine biology as a Soviet student in the early 1970s, and Scripps Institution of Oceanography was one of the places I always dreamed to visit and work," said Alexandrov. "Though I am a sociologist now, it is a great honor to be receiving the Ritter Fellowship and to receive such collegial recognition for work in my former research area, which I still miss."

Alexandrov received his Ph.D. in the history of science from the Russian Academy of Sciences and holds an M.S. in biology from St. Petersburg State University. He taught at St. Petersburg State University from 1981-1988, and worked in the Institute for the History of Science in Technology, Russian Academy of Sciences, from 1988-1998. During that time, he was also a visiting professor at the University of Chicago (1992) and the Georgia Institute of Technology (1994). Since 1996 he has taught in the history and sociology departments of the European University at Saint Petersburg, where he became a full-time professor in 1998. Since last summer his main position has been with the Higher School of Economics - St. Petersburg. In recent years, he spent time as a visiting fellow at the Max-Planck-Institute of History (Goettingen), Max-Planck-Institute of History of Science (Berlin), Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales and Institut d'Etudes Politiques (Paris). In Spring 2004, he received the Eisenhower Fellowship and spent two months in the United States studying the university-philanthropy-business nexus.

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