Issue 4 (73)

Year 2021 Number 4(73)
Pages 145-154 Type scientific article
UDC 94(47)“1945/1950” BBK 63.3(2)631
Authors Melnikova Natalia V.
Summary Scientists of various specializations, status and citizenship took part in the Soviet atomic project, which required serious scientific research. Their scientific and organizational contribution has been described in scientific and popular publications. This paper considers the project’s social dimension, poorly reflected in the research literature. The chronology includes the period from 1945 to the second half of the 1950s. It was time between the beginning of the project’s active stage after a protracted start and its completion, when the main results had been achieved. Providing information on the scale of employment of scientists in the project, the article focuses on the question of how their work and life were built within the framework of this secret research. The study describes the specifics of scientists’ mobilization, explores restrictions, deprivations, threats and opportunities associated with their participation in the project; it also analyzes features of their dealing with authorities, the ratio between compulsion and trust, regime and freedom, stimulation and internal motivation, dependence and scientific autonomy. These aspects contribute to better understanding of the USSR atomic project phenomenon and its effectiveness, serve as a “magnifying glass” for observing the specifics of the scientific work organization, as well as the Soviet social space as a whole.
Keywords USSR atomic project, Special Committee, First Main Administration, scientists, interactions

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