Founded on February 28, 1932, S.I.Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IHST RAS) was based on the Soviet Commission for the History of Knowledge (‘KIZ’).
Today the full name of the Institute, which in 1991 was named after Academician S.I.Vavilov, is Federal state budgetary institution S.I.Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology RAS, operating under Federal Agency of Scientific Organizations.
The history of the Institute is connected with such outstanding scientists and public figures as a great scientist Academician V.I. Vernadskii ; Academician A.S. Lappo-Danilevskii; a distinguished politician Academician N.I. Bucharin; Permanent Secretary of the Russian Academy of Sciences S.F.Oldenburg; Academicians V. V. Osinsky, S. I. Vavilov, B. N. Yuryev; Corresponding member X. S. Koshtoyants; President of the USSR Academy of Sciences V.L. Komarov; Academician B.M. Kedrov.
The first director of IHST was Academician N. I. Bucharin.
The directors of the Institute were: Corresponding Member of the USSR Academy of Sciences Professor I.V. Kuznetsov; Professor N.A. Figurovskii; Academician B.M. Kedrov;, Corresponding Member of the Academy USSR Dr. S.R. Mikulinskii; Academician V.S. Styopin;, Corresponding Member N.D. Ustinov,; Professor B.I.Kozlov; Professor V.M.Oryol; Professor, Dr. A.V.Postnikov; Corresponding Member of RAS .Yu.M. Baturin.
Now the Institute is headed by Doctor of Technical Sciences Shcherbinin, Dmitriy Yurievich
IHST is a unique cross-disciplinary collective: representatives of more than 10 various scientific specialties work here that covers almost all range of fundamental areas of natural sciences, technical and the humanities.
Now over 190 employees work in the Institute (among them there are 42 doctors and 84 candidates of science). Institute consists of 11 Departments, scientific sectors, problem groups, analytic centers. Institute has 3 branches: St. Petersburg branch of IHST RAS;. Laboratory of the Scientific and applied Photography and Cinematography, and of Television( Branch) (LAFOKI); Branch“Exhibition Center”.
The current research work is conducted in departments, sectors, analytical centers and problem groups. The Institute’s main objective is to conduct the fundamental and applied research in the field of history of science and technology and science of science. The key strands of IHST’s activities are: the history of natural sciences; the history of technology and technical sciences; the history of the Russian Academy of Sciences and scientific institutions; the science of science; source studies and historiography of the history of science and technology; identification, studies and classification of the monuments of science and technology; organisation and coordination of exhibition activities of the Russian Academy of Sciences and its institutions, biographies of outstanding scientists and the technology, engineering activity in the context of history of a world civilization; in the field of science of science: studying of major factors of influence of society on development of scientific and technical knowledge, dynamics of scientific policy according to change of social conditions, various aspects of psychology of natural-science and technical creativity.
Studies are being carried out, devoted to the analysis of various concepts in the history of science, history of organisation of centres and associations for the history of science, as well as to the life and work of historians of science and technology. Thus, the works dedicated to scientific heritage of G.F. Müller, V.I. Vernadskii, T.I. Rainov, S.L. Sobol, N.I. Vavilov, V.P. Karpov, I.B. Pogrebysskii, V.P. Zubov, A.P. Yushkevich, N.A. Figurovskii, S.I Vavilov have already been published.
Modern science is also an object of professional analysis in the sphere of psychology, sociology, and economics of science. The topics covered at IHST include the structure of research fronts of various disciplines; the state of and trends in the development of information environment of contemporary Russian science; psychological factors of the emergence, development, and dissolution of scientific schools; as well as the values, motivations, and interpersonal relations within contemporary scientific community in Russia; the Soviet nuclear project; regional history of science and technology; the history of ecology (environmental science); the Russian scientists abroad.
IHST is not only a team of researchers but also a unique collection of information resources for the history of science and technology studies. The Institute owns extensive collections of books (both in Moscow and St. Petersburg), the Ikonotheca, the archives of written documents and oral history, the photoarchive. The Institute publishes a journal “Voprosy istorii estestvoznania i tekhniki (Issues in the History of Science and Technology)”, the Scientific Biographies series, the Annuals devoted to the history of individual disciplines. In addition to that, dozens of books and hundreds of papers are published annually.
Institute has the state license for postgraduate education in the specialty 07.00.10 – “history of science and technology”.
Institute has organized the Center of computer telecommunications including the Website of Internet and the personal sites of employees .
IHST pays great attention to coordinate a work in the field of history of the science and technology which is carried out in Russia and other countries. IHST RAS is the leading center of international cooperation in the sphere of historical and scientific and historical and technical researches. Many scholars of IHST are full members of the international academies, associations, unions, societies on history of science and technology, winners of prestigious international awards and medals, members of international editorial boards of foreign journals and serial publications. The scientists from IHST participate in the international research projects together with their colleagues from China, Germany, Greece, Italy, Slovenia, Finland, France,Ukraine, Japan and others. The Institute as a part of RAS is a member of the International Union on History and Philosophy of Science and Technology. The international academic links of the Institute are under active development, and its activities are already widely known in many countries of the world.