In much of his work in the history of science, Graham has demonstrated the influence of social context on science, even its theoretical structure. For example, in his Science and Philosophy in the Soviet Union which was a finalist for a National Book Award he delineated the influence of Marxism on science in Russia — in some cases, such as the Lysenko Affair , deleterious, but, in other cases, particularly in physics , psychology , and origin of life studies, positive.
In addition to writing on the history of scientific theories, Graham has written much on the organization of science in Russia and the Soviet Union, including a book on the early history of the Soviet Academy of Sciences The Soviet Academy of Sciences and the Communist Party and a more recent one on the situation of science in Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union Science in the New Russia ; co-written with Irina Dezhina.
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Graham earned his B. In , he was awarded a medal by the Russian Academy of Sciences at a ceremony in Moscow for "contributions to the history of science".
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Graham's wife Patricia Graham is a prominent historian of education and a former dean at Harvard University. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The tough survival years ended in the early s, with the growing public finance of secondary and higher education and with the introduction of new university supports such as State Target Programs and institutional grants.
Aside from the growing public budget for education, Russian universities levied rising tuition fees, introduced officially as early as the mids.
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By the middle of the first decade of the new century, 62 per cent of all the freshmen in public universities were paying for their studies. Petersburg or below dollars in the regional universities. The market for legal education expanded considerably on the basis of a management model marked by the absence of peer-based decision making. Controlling the growing public finance and commercial flows, the university-as-enterprise remains an important agency of the black and grey economy and is connected genetically and functionally to earlier institutional models.
Private reselling of publicly paid places was already familiar under the rigid Soviet regulation but became much more widespread under harsh deregulation.
The image of the university as violating basic principles of social justice continued unabated, even intensified, in the post-Soviet period. Such commercial autonomy kept the post-Soviet university afloat and its management motivated. It worth mentioning that another key factor of this model — along with a diploma of higher education to be presented on entry to the labour market and the avoidance of military service — consists in holding mandatory entrance exams since the Soviet era following the model of elite High Schools but now applied to mass education.
In a set of universally imposed but locally managed exams were replaced with a set of mandatory national tests which serve to regulate the role of private incomes including corruption that lie at the basis of university self-financing. Under these circumstances, the significance of the current European Bologna university reform in Russia is quite unusual from a global perspective. The State wants to take over the underground financial flows which have been controlled, since the early nineties, by separate university groupings.
From the outside, this situation is often seen in a distorted way, a contrast between the revival of state tyranny on the one side and the expansion of the mafia on the other. Indeed, the new right governments in Europe are on the way to a profound mutual understanding. The actual governmental executives of Sarkozy or Berlusconi reveal similar political and economic sensibilities, and consider the Russian State as a successful enterprise which knows how to make a good profit from public goods. Neither government nor university administrations normally consider the problem of inequality of access to and success in education.
But for the majority, especially for those coming from small and medium towns, a cheap dormitory and, in general, lower living expenditures are a key factor when choosing a university.
According to surveys conducted in the early s in several major Russian cities, from 70 per cent to 95 per cent of students come from the same region. They pay for a diploma that is only a basic prerequisite for gaining access to a job. In this sense, post-Soviet universities drop out of the history of world culture and find themselves, to a large extent, as part of the modern economy of rent seekers — an image that is all too closely associated with the New Russia. Increasing fees and inadequate social programmes transform the university into a place of forced social consensus where no one has interest in claiming too much.
Parents do not ask what they pay for, professors do not ask students to study hard, and students themselves feel uneasy to formulate any claims. Such a tight consensus reveals itself in various ways, including an extremely low failure rate from one year to the next. By the early s, the ratio of the number of graduates to the number of freshmen five years earlier was a sensational per cent, while in the early s the figure was only 63 per cent.
Far more than in the Soviet Union, commercial autonomy of universities has transformed higher education from a personal project into a weighty family investment. Commercialization does not improve the most problematic parts of the university model, such as general entering exams serving as one of the main relays of educational corruption. Indeed, commercialization does not eliminate the weak parts but just makes them more profitable.
Locally held mandatory oral and written exams in subjects, depending on the university , giving access to university studies, served as an important source of illegal income for university administrations and staff, until very recently. This elitist admission procedure was not abandoned, whether in favour of a open commercialized access or to take into account the fact that 72 per cent of school leavers were entering universities in the early s.
The formal procedure and the controlling body were changed but the principle itself remained immutable. In long oscillating polemics that have accompanied preliminary regional experiments and the ultimate shift from exams to tests, some university administrators confessed that none of methods of pre-selection had effectively measured student abilities.
The power balance between university management and collegiate bodies has shifted dramatically in favour of the former, leading, in effect, to various kinds of university privatization.
Guide to the History of Russian Science
This detachment affects staff recruitment as well as the way the curricula are immutably since the Soviet era determined on the ministerial level. This balance has little chance of being recomposed within the crystallized model of a paternalistic and profit oriented university, and, moreover, one that is impervious to critique and revision.
This financial insecurity expressed itself in the nineties in the holding of several badly paid jobs, but by the end of the current decade, under a demographic and financial crisis, it involved the reduction of vacant positions due to the growth of teaching obligations.
Science in the New Russia: Crisis, Aid, Reform
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