chapter  8
30 Pages

Science and Industry in Northern Russia from a Nordic Perspective

One common denominator in the Soviet Union and Scandinavia was the importance of eld science for surveying natural resources and the ways in which this related to colonial expansion. In the late nineteenth century, polar science, its expeditions and eld stations were viewed by Nordic researchers as civilizing scientic missions and industrial spearheads into the Arctic.2 Similarly, in the rst few Soviet ve-year plans, a science-based exploratory system was developed

on the Kola Peninsula into an outstanding model of industrial exploitation under the leadership of scientists and technocrats. To date, this parallel has been overlooked in socio-economic and historical research. e successful application of eld science in the exploitation of raw material resources in the Russian north-west initially surprised Scandinavian observers and then lled some of them with awe and envy. Such positive feelings were shared by a number of foreign visitors to the Soviet Union in the 1918-39 interwar period.3