On 15 May 2018, the Archive of Russian Academy of Sciences opened the exhibition called ‘Women’s Perspective on the Development of Russia’. Nadezhda Osipova, Candidate of Historical Sciences and Academic Secretary of the Archive of Russian Academy of Sciences, elaborated on the event. According to her, the exhibition is dedicated to both women-scientists and wives of scientists, who contributed greatly to their husbands’ professional development and supported them greatly. 

Exposition comprises various documents, diaries, notebooks, letters, works, and medals alongside other awards of brilliant women. Ms. Osipova commented: “Surely, that is not all we would have liked to present. However, we tried to demonstrate key exhibits, which let people estimate the level of women’s contribution to different spheres of science”. 


Visitors to the exhibition are able to get acquainted with the activities of great women scientists. Maria Klenova, for instance, was the first woman ever to go down to the bottom of the sea in a submersible and head the Arctic expedition. Evgenia Ivanova has made significant progress in pedology. Well-known Russian mechanic and mathematician Sofia Kovalevskaya, in turn, not only did her research work, manuscripts of which are presented at the exhibition, but also wrote poems, that are also demonstrated there. 

‘Women’s Perspective on the Development of Russia’ pays special attention to women scientists from rare fields of activity. Thus, Maria Sadovnikova-Koltsova studied veterinary psychology. She also became the first scientist to apply micro- and stereophotography in her research. 


Ms. Osipova told us, that the first ever woman-member of the USSR Academy of Sciences was Lina Stern, whose blood studies helped save the lives of many Soviet soldiers, who needed transfusion during The Great Patriotic War. 


Importantly enough, the majority of women, whose activity was presented at the exhibition, acted as both researchers and caring mothers and wives. The event pays particular attention to married couples of scientists. Thus, the first ever woman doctor Maria Sechenova-Bokova and educator Ivan Sechenov supported each other. The same goes to Maria Pavlova, zoologist and her husband, geologist Alexey Pavlov; Nobel prize winner Ilya Mechnikov and wife, assistant biologist Olga Mechnikova, who did painting and helped her husband illustrate his works. 


Natalya Vernadskaya, who got good home education, knew all the main European languages, but lacked a scientific degree. She supported her husband Vladimir, who was a brilliant Russian-Soviet natural scientist, greatly. Mrs. Vernadskaya helped her spouse with his scientific work, translated his lectures, while he always asked for her advice, and shared his thoughts with his wife. According to Natalya’s daughter, her mother’s effort assisted Vladimir Vernadsky on his way to great scientific success. 


The exhibition ‘Women’s Perspective on the Development of Russia’ also present personal items of first Russian woman chemist Yulia Lermontova, history academicians Militsa Nechkina and Anna Pankratova, and other outstanding people. They all dedicated their efforts to make people’s lives better. 

Viktoria Yezhova, news agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community

Translated by Nikolay Boykov