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2
Perestroika and Expansion of Scientific Cooperation

Facing the truth and publicly debating the nation’s most acute and vexing difficulties are supposed to be the strength of democracy. Isn’t it extraordinary that this has been happening … in the land of Stalin and Ivan the Terrible?

Hedrick Smith, The New Russians, 1991

By the mid-1980s, Mikhail Gorbachev’s efforts to reform the Soviet system of governance were well under way. Glasnost (openness) was becoming a reality as the traditional dearth of information about developments in the country was replaced by an overload of information of all shades of reliability. Soviet investigative reporters began exposing corruption, inefficiencies, and structural weaknesses throughout the Soviet state. Soviet army troops had returned from Afghanistan, and excessive military expenditures had increasingly become the target of criticism from within the government and in the press. Private restaurants, bakeries, and repair shops were springing up in cities throughout the country, as the government heralded the establishment of small private enterprises as an important mechanism for absorbing some of the underutilized workforce within the country (Kaiser, 1988/89).

Meanwhile, consumer goods were becoming scarce in every city and town. Even vodka production became a victim of the new thinking. But when the population rose up in protest over the long lines to buy a bottle of vodka and bootlegged vodka became increasingly popular, the government



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Scientists, Engineers, and Track-Two Diplomacy: A Half-Century of U.S.-Russian Interacademy Cooperation 2 Perestroika and Expansion of Scientific Cooperation Facing the truth and publicly debating the nation’s most acute and vexing difficulties are supposed to be the strength of democracy. Isn’t it extraordinary that this has been happening … in the land of Stalin and Ivan the Terrible? Hedrick Smith, The New Russians, 1991 By the mid-1980s, Mikhail Gorbachev’s efforts to reform the Soviet system of governance were well under way. Glasnost (openness) was becoming a reality as the traditional dearth of information about developments in the country was replaced by an overload of information of all shades of reliability. Soviet investigative reporters began exposing corruption, inefficiencies, and structural weaknesses throughout the Soviet state. Soviet army troops had returned from Afghanistan, and excessive military expenditures had increasingly become the target of criticism from within the government and in the press. Private restaurants, bakeries, and repair shops were springing up in cities throughout the country, as the government heralded the establishment of small private enterprises as an important mechanism for absorbing some of the underutilized workforce within the country (Kaiser, 1988/89). Meanwhile, consumer goods were becoming scarce in every city and town. Even vodka production became a victim of the new thinking. But when the population rose up in protest over the long lines to buy a bottle of vodka and bootlegged vodka became increasingly popular, the government

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Scientists, Engineers, and Track-Two Diplomacy: A Half-Century of U.S.-Russian Interacademy Cooperation reversed its policy intended to improve the health of the population by limiting consumption of alcohol and authorized increased production. Even the best Soviet industries lost their competitive edge as imports of modern technologies rose while the value of the ruble tumbled. To further exacerbate the situation, the nuclear reactor tragedy at Chernobyl, the earthquake devastation of poorly constructed buildings in Armenia, several gas pipeline explosions, and increasing shortfalls in agricultural production shook the confidence of the population in Soviet technology, which had for decades been a symbol of the strength of the Soviet system. The repairs needed to remedy these and other catastrophic failures of technology, stemming largely from shoddy Soviet practices, drained scarce resources (Garrett, 1988; Schweitzer, 1989; Graham, 1993). Gorbachev repeatedly called on intellectuals, and particularly scientists and economists from the ASUSSR, to help find practical solutions to these and other problems impeding economic growth. The new government advisers urged adoption of Western management approaches. And they recommended the immediate purchase of tens of thousands of computers in an effort to energize the entire society. They also called for reorientation of some of the technologies that had supported the large military effort to the challenging task of upgrading industrial production practices in the civilian sector. In the foreign policy arena, Soviet academics became significant participants in government entourages at disarmament talks in Geneva and at other important intergovernmental gatherings. They did speak out against the U.S. Strategic Defense Initiative (Star Wars), but they also offered all nations practical approaches to reducing the nuclear threat through arms reduction and through steps to prevent nuclear proliferation (Sagdeev, 1994). A truly heavy burden to provide the conceptual basis for a revitalized nation had been placed on the doorsteps of leading Soviet scientists. Some of these scientists were also the Soviet interlocutors for the NAS-ASUSSR interacademy program. Many of Gorbachev’s advisers urged closer cooperation with U.S. institutions, both to help reduce international security tensions and to take advantage of Western experience in competing in international technology markets. In 1987 and again in 1990 several of his academic advisers accompanied him to summit meetings in Washington, and special sessions were arranged for them at the NAS. The agendas for these meetings, which were very rich, included highly informative discussions of economic reform, the legal framework for perestroika, international cooperation in space

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Scientists, Engineers, and Track-Two Diplomacy: A Half-Century of U.S.-Russian Interacademy Cooperation research, the use of computers in education, and other topics (NRC, 1988e: 4, 1990a: 1). Against the changing political and economic panorama in Moscow, a general warming of bilateral relations between the two governments, and the need for better channels to address human rights issues, the leadership of the NAS decided to reestablish a broad program of cooperation with the ASUSSR in 1985 (NRC, 1985a: 1). The National Science Foundation (NSF) was prepared to continue to provide substantial funding for exchanges of individual scientists to and from the Soviet Union—on the order of $400,000 annually to support 50 person-months of exchanges in each direction, staff support costs, and related activities. In addition, in 1984 the NAS had received a 10-year grant of $3 million from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to support activities with colleagues in the Soviet Union and China, and these funds enabled the NAS to consider a variety of new program approaches (NRC, 1983–1984a: 3). The funds were transferred to the NAS at the outset of the 10-year period, and their investment earnings eventually increased the available funding to over $5 million, with the bulk of the funds devoted to the Soviet engagement program. In Moscow, there was an eager response to the renewed interest in Washington in interacademy cooperation, but only as long as the focus was on scientific activities and not on human rights and other contentious issues. A brief clause in the new interacademy agreement in 1986 that was acceptable to both sides was clearly directed to concerns over human rights (“the environment affecting cooperation”), and within a few months many new cooperative activities were under way. THE WIDER PROGRAM Not surprisingly, one of the new areas for interacademy consultations was economic reform.1 Meetings of specialists were held in the Soviet Union and the United States to consider the changes brought about by perestroika. The topics for the first meeting in Moscow in 1987 included patterns and trends in economic structure and aggregate productivity, the economic aspects of technology, innovation and the diffusion of technology, management approaches, and international economics. Despite the timeliness and the importance of the items on the agenda, the presentations by Soviet econo- 1   For a detailed discussion of economic reform efforts, see U.S. Congress, Joint Economic Committee (1987).

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Scientists, Engineers, and Track-Two Diplomacy: A Half-Century of U.S.-Russian Interacademy Cooperation mists wedded to central planning provided few new insights into the problems confronting a country presumably interested in transition to a market economy. Also, considerable confusion surrounded the selection of the appropriate American and Soviet participants for the dialogue. In particular, Soviet efforts to involve their leading engineers in meaningful discussions of macroeconomic issues were not successful (NRC, 1989a: 11). At the second meeting in the United States, there was a better match of economic expertise between the Americans and Soviets, and the agenda was expanded considerably. Although the discussions continued to be superficial, they provided an impressive overview of the many topics high on the Soviet list of economic priorities. These topics included conversion of defense industries, the new law on private property, the speed of the process of perestroika, personal savings and investment, the need for a convertible ruble, Soviet interests in stocks and bonds, joint ventures, and the threat of labor strikes. A few Soviet economists were beginning to think like Westerners, and the American participants began to understand the large gap between Western and Soviet conceptions of economic policy in a free market economy (NRC, 1989–1990a: 16). The academies also sponsored two-week workshops for young economists from the two countries in the United States and in the Soviet Union. The promising young scholars who participated addressed a variety of interesting topics, including enterprise reform, environmental economics, the innovation process, internal currency markets, and price reform. Several of the participants kept in touch after the workshops, and they soon gained recognition from their American and Soviet peers within and outside government for their insightful views of the Soviet economic transition (NRC, 1990f: 5). Then in 1990, several U.S. government agencies asked the NRC to assemble a group of experts to help estimate the size of the Soviet economy, an issue immersed in controversy in Washington since 1980 and even earlier. The group concentrated on the military-industrial sector, consumption and service activities, and the underground economy. Participants quickly concluded that Soviet statistics were unreliable. They simply could not venture a conclusion to meet their charge, and they urged the Soviet Union to adopt an internationally acceptable accounting system as an indispensable component of its transformation (Alexeev and Walker, 1991). Earlier, in 1986, the two academies had initiated a series of interacademy meetings on energy efficiency and conservation, another area of immediate policy concern. This topic was and remains of crucial importance to both

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Scientists, Engineers, and Track-Two Diplomacy: A Half-Century of U.S.-Russian Interacademy Cooperation countries, and the specialists identified a large number of topics that could be effectively addressed by American and Soviet specialists (NRC, 1986a, 1989b: 9, 1989d: 5). Box 2-1 identifies some of the energy efficiency and conservation topics suggested for interacademy cooperation. A particularly interesting aspect for the American participants in this initial collaboration was a 10-day tour of key energy facilities in Siberia—hydro projects, energy transmission facilities, mining centers, and research institutes (NRC, 1989–1990b: 15). Ecology projects also became important components of the interacademy program. Global ecology was a topic of interest to both scientists and engineers, and, within that context, biodiversity and the impending extinction of thousands of plant and animal species were popular themes for exchange visits by groups of specialists. In meetings attended by representatives of regulatory authorities, the academies addressed environmental monitoring, the health effects of pollutants, ecological resiliency, and global and regional-scale studies of environmental change. Meanwhile, the overarching concept of “environmental security” was adopted in both countries, and the academies explored the far-reaching effects of neglect of air and water pollution, indiscriminate cutting of forest areas, and degradation of soil. Social scientists took advantage of the expansion of opportunities for new areas for cooperation. Initially, the academies sponsored a workshop on social science research and the prevention of nuclear war, paying particular attention to various concepts of interdependency and modeling of interdependency. Global ecological problems also were on the agenda. Another workshop topic was research priorities in improving understanding of the challenges of northern regions where living conditions are very difficult. The social scientists urged expansion of joint projects and resolution of the logistical issues that impeded cooperative efforts to help develop the behavioral sciences in the Soviet Union (NRC, 1987c: 7, 1990d, 1990e). Two tragedies in the Soviet Union—the Chernobyl accident in 1986 and the earthquake devastation in Armenia in 1988—triggered quick responses by the NAS. Over a period of several years, the NAS sponsored visits by American specialists to Chernobyl and to bilateral and international meetings to assess the extent of the contamination problems and the effects both of the accident itself and of the contamination on human health and on animals and crops. As for the earthquake, the NAS, in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey, sent a team of earth scientists to Yerevan to review the damage and the likelihood of aftershocks. The general objective

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Scientists, Engineers, and Track-Two Diplomacy: A Half-Century of U.S.-Russian Interacademy Cooperation BOX 2-1 Energy Efficiency and Conservation Topics Suggested for Interacademy Cooperation, 1986 Specialists of the National Academy of Sciences and the Soviet Academy of Sciences developed this list of priorities for interacademy cooperation at an interacademy workshop in Yalta in 1986. The two selection criteria were likely impact on energy consumption and comparable technical strengths of the two countries. Buildings thermal characterization of building components and systems fenestration field evaluation of energy use in buildings Community systems advanced concepts in district heating Transportation electric urban mass transport heavy-duty vehicle diesel engines Industrial processes welding technologies melting and hot working of materials industrial coprocessing of energy and materials Power generation and distribution advanced systems for cogeneration, especially with gas turbines improvement of energy equipment—for example, generators, turbines, boilers, and transformers power conditioning high-voltage transmission superconductivity applied to power generation and transmission Energy demand analysis and modeling integration of technology, economic, and environmental concerns to improve the modeling of energy systems and the forecasting of energy demands Basic science to support energy conservation heat and mass transfer tribology combustion research Source: Adapted from NRC (1986b: 7–8).

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Scientists, Engineers, and Track-Two Diplomacy: A Half-Century of U.S.-Russian Interacademy Cooperation of the visit was to improve understanding of earthquakes and their effects on engineering designs and construction of structures. The activities stemming from this objective strengthened the scientific ties between specialists, which contributed to a high level of cooperation on earthquake prediction and seismic engineering in the years ahead (NRC, 1989c: 6). Concerned about other harmful incidents that could be produced by nuclear activities, the two academies began organizing workshops on nuclear topics, and such efforts continue to this day. Risk assessment and reactor safety received greater attention worldwide after the Chernobyl accident, and they became useful focal points for interacademy discussions. The topic of radioactive waste management was becoming a contentious issue in both countries, and two workshops were directed to this topic. Also, in view of the fact that the Armenian earthquake occurred in the region of a nuclear power reactor, the academies gave considerable attention to the impacts of external events on nuclear reactor safety (NRC, 1988g: 17, 1989–1990c: 13, 1990c: 6). But these nuclear-related activities did not plow much new ground because the same topics were being addressed on a much broader scale within cooperative programs sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Soviet Ministry of Atomic Energy (Minatom). Yet the interacademy deliberations were important in helping to establish the ASUSSR, and eventually the RAS, as an important participant in nuclear debates in Russia. A new Nuclear Safety Institute was established within the framework of the ASUSSR shortly after the Chernobyl tragedy. Located outside the Minatom complex, the institute slowly gained credibility as a “watchdog” institution. The topic of science education also was on the list of priorities of the two academies. The lack of computer literacy in Russia was of special concern. In the United States, the inconsistent performance of high schools in science and mathematics was attracting attention. However, despite many discussions of these topics at interacademy meetings, a significant interacademy program did not materialize. The academies were not able to define a meaningful project because the discussions seemed to always slip back to those of how to obtain more funding for computers in the Soviet Union. Even though much of the attention of the two academies had been redirected to applications of science, the importance of basic research was not forgotten. In 1986 the two academies identified eight scientific topics for bilateral workshops that were held during the late 1980s. As indicated in Box 2-2, most of the workshops were considered successes by the participants. The financial sponsors also were generally pleased.

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Scientists, Engineers, and Track-Two Diplomacy: A Half-Century of U.S.-Russian Interacademy Cooperation BOX 2-2 Evaluation of Bilateral Scientific Workshops held from 1987 to 1989 This evaluation was based on reports by the NAS workshop chairs and staff evaluations. The significant criteria for evaluation of the workshops included the relative importance of the topic chosen for study, the degree of U.S. and Soviet strengths in the field, the composition and balance of the U.S. and Soviet scientific teams, and follow-on activities resulting from the workshop. Workshop Summary of Evaluation Condensed Matter Theory December 1987, Santa Barbara *** Outstanding. Became a successful facilitative project. Lasers in Linear and Nonlinear Photochemistry March 1988, Santa Barbara *** Highest level in laser research. New Approaches to the Creation of Vaccines April 1988, Moscow - - Opening of dialogue, but U.S. and Soviet participants had very different orientations. Nonlinear Processes in Dense Plasmas May 1988, Santa Fe ** Major success; collaboration began. Earthquake Prediction October 1988, Moscow *** Established connections between seismologists and nonlinear experts; collaboration began. Planetary Sciences January 1989, Moscow ** Very good workshop, but disappointing site visits. High-Energy Astrophysics June 1989, Tbilisi * Delegations not well matched, but workshop started collaboration. Plant Molecular Biology Applied to Agriculture October 1989, Washington, D.C. ** Workshop started good scientist-to-scientist contacts.

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Scientists, Engineers, and Track-Two Diplomacy: A Half-Century of U.S.-Russian Interacademy Cooperation Structure of Eukaryotic Genome October 1989, Tbilisi ** Very good workshop, but not enough young Soviet scientists. String Theory October/November 1989, Princeton *** Very high-level workshop; good exchange on intersections of mathematics and physics. Note: Reports were published for two of the workshops: planetary sciences (Donahue, 1991) and high-energy physics (Lewin et al., 1991) Source: NRC (1990b: 24). One unsuccessful workshop was on the topic of virology. The American participants were disappointed with the level of scientific achievements presented by Soviet specialists during the workshop and subsequent visits to several research institutes. A few years later, they learned that a large sector of the Soviet biological research establishment had been excluded from the workshop. A huge complex of institutes and production facilities that had been established to support the Soviet defense effort—the Biopreparat complex—was simply under wraps and was little known to Western visitors even though the basic research capabilities of some of the Biopreparat institutes were precisely the types of capabilities under discussion at the workshop. Indeed, access to former Soviet defense-related facilities has remained a frustration for American advocates of scientific exchanges. Similar access problems do exist in the United States, but in Russia the military legacy of secrecy lives much longer, beyond the termination of sensitive activities. The people who work in such facilities are so accustomed to secrecy that they have little incentive to challenge security procedures—no matter how much out of date. A new aspect of interacademy cooperation during the 1980s was the facilitation of bilateral projects developed and carried out independently by individual scientists or institutions in the two countries. The role of the academies was simply to endorse the activities, assist with the acquisition of visas, and sometimes support efforts to obtain funds for the activities. Table 2-1 identifies facilitative projects selected for special attention in 1990. In general, these “bottom-up” activities were considered quite useful from the

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Scientists, Engineers, and Track-Two Diplomacy: A Half-Century of U.S.-Russian Interacademy Cooperation TABLE 2-1 Facilitative Projects Endorsed by NAS-ASUSSR for 1990 Topic NAS Lead ASUSSR Lead Status Lasers in photochemistry University of California at Los Angeles Institute of Spectroscopy Workshop held in Soviet Union in June 1990. Algebraic geometry University of Chicago Steklov Institute of Mathematics June 1989 symposium proceedings published in 1990. Individual visits made by Soviets to U.S. in 1990. Second workshop held in 1991. Laser optics of condensed matter University of California at Irvine Institute of General Physics Workshop held in U.S. in 1990. Geological impacts and mass extinctions Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory Institute of Spectroscopy Ongoing joint research conducted to determine possible extraterrestrial originof geological sediments. Joint publication in 1991. Solar neutrinos University of Pennsylvania, Los Alamos National Laboratory Institute for Nuclear Research Soviet teams visit University of Pennsylvania and Homestake Gold Mine in 1990. Developed new iodine detector experiments. Condensed matter theory University of Illinois Landau Institute of Physics Two Soviet postdoctorates at University of Illinois and one at University of Florida. Applications of nonlinear dynamics to problems of lithosphere deformation Cornell University Schmidt Institute of Physics of the Earth Bilateral consortium established to oversee cooperative research. Algebraic groups and related number theory Princeton University, Yale University Institute of Mathematics in Minsk Framework developed for follow-on workshop.   Source: NRC (1990b: 25).

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Scientists, Engineers, and Track-Two Diplomacy: A Half-Century of U.S.-Russian Interacademy Cooperation viewpoint of both the participants and the financial sponsors. But within several years, the academies were no longer needed to help facilitate such activities. The only impediment to the expansion of such projects was the lack of funds. In 1988, in response to the personal interests of several members of the Institute of Medicine, the IOM and the Soviet Academy of Medical Sciences entered into a formal agreement for cooperation in four areas: alcoholism and chemical dependency, virology and host response to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the application of molecular biology to the eradication of poliomyelitis, and the health effects of environmental radiation. This IOM initiative was about two years ahead of a closely related initiative of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, which signed an array of agreements with the Soviet Ministry of Health to address the same issues as well as a few others. This onetime series of IOM exchange visits clearly helped to jump-start cooperation by focusing attention on both sides of the ocean on common problems of growing importance worldwide (NRC, 1988b: 2).2 The late 1980s saw an upsurge of interest within the two governments and in the U.S. private sector in expanding intergovernmental bilateral cooperation in science and technology. There were fewer visa and access problems than in previous years, and funding for cooperative activities had become more plentiful, at least on the U.S. side. However, the NAS soon lost an important advantage in competing for funding—its unique access to important pockets of Soviet science. In searching for a new unique role, the interacademy program quickly stretched beyond the traditional exchanges of individual scientists, as noted earlier. Yet exchanges of individual scientists remained a core activity of the two academies, producing many notable achievements in addressing specific scientific challenges. Some examples follow: An American-Russian team obtained evidence that Siberia was on the equator during the Cambrian period (NRC, 1982–1983:4). An American mathematician working with colleagues in Leningrad proved a solution to the Bieberbach Conjecture (NRC, 1985b: 3). An American-Russian team developed new comparative geoformation information on the Baykal and Rio Grande rift systems (NRC, 1988a: 10). 2   The text of the agreement appears in Appendix D.

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Scientists, Engineers, and Track-Two Diplomacy: A Half-Century of U.S.-Russian Interacademy Cooperation An American-Russian team working in both countries provided new insights on alpine florae in North America from studies of their antecedents in Russia (NRC, 1988f: 13). An American geologist joined a Russian team that discovered a Kornerupien locality in Siberia with rock specimens comparable to the best in the world (NRC, 1987a: 8). Impressive findings in cell biology, ice physics, and many other disciplines also attest to the importance of scientific engagements sponsored by the academies. And not to be overlooked are the contributions of scientists to political rapprochement. In the words of the U.S. ambassador to Moscow in 1983 after a presentation at his residence by a planetary scientist who was an NAS exchange visitor, “His trip helped NASA’s reputation gleam more brightly here” (NRC, 1983–1984b: 2). Meanwhile, in Moscow the ASUSSR was reaching out to many U.S. organizations. Table 2-2 identifies the most ambitious efforts of the ASUSSR in the 1980s. Still, both academies continued to give their special relationship high priority, even though cooperative projects sponsored by other organizations but involving the academies were often far larger. During the late 1980s, each of the academy presidents made two transatlantic visits at the invitation of his counterpart to discuss this special relationship. A particularly important development for international cooperation in science and technology was the establishment in 1986 of a special science and technology committee by the U.S.-USSR Trade and Economic Council. Several of the projects promoted by the committee were directly related to the interests of the NAS and the ASUSSR (computers in education, energy conservation). Members of the committee from several U.S. companies such as Corning, Ralston Purina, and Monsanto that were particularly interested in the research activities of the ASUSSR and the Soviet Academy of Medical Sciences participated in the NAS-ASUSSR workshops. REFLECTIONS ON THE EXPANSION OF COOPERATION The proliferation of cooperative activities through the interacademy channel and through many other channels clearly indicated that the days of central planning of bilateral cooperation had come to an end. Government organizations and individual scientists themselves in both countries were determining whether their involvement in cooperative programs would be

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Scientists, Engineers, and Track-Two Diplomacy: A Half-Century of U.S.-Russian Interacademy Cooperation TABLE 2-2 U.S.-Soviet Cooperative Programs Administered by the Soviet Academy of Sciences during the 1980s Field U.S. Institution Lead Institution within Soviet Academy Portions of intergovernmental agreements Fundamental properties of matter Department of Energy Depends on project Environmental sciences Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of the Interior Depends on project Independent agreements Physics, chemistry, and materials sciences National Bureau of Standards Depends on project Social sciences American Council of Learned Societies/International Research and Exchanges Board Depends on project Organic chemistry University of Minnesota Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry Planetary geochemistry Brown University Vernadsky Institute of Geochemistry and Analytical Chemistry Mechanical engineering American Society of Mechanical Engineers Blagonravov Institute of Machine Science Decision theory University of California at Los Angeles Computer Center (Moscow) Verification of nuclear testing National Resources Defense Council Schmidt Institute of Physics of the Earth Physics University of Texas Lebedev Institute of Physics Source: NRC (1988d: 7). of benefit from their vantage points. Although the U.S. Department of State and the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs obviously remained significant organizations in the approval of activities, they had in large measure, but not entirely, become the scorekeepers rather than the controllers of cooperation.

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Scientists, Engineers, and Track-Two Diplomacy: A Half-Century of U.S.-Russian Interacademy Cooperation Most of the joint activities during the late 1980s were based on targets of opportunity rather than a deliberative process to carefully weigh alternative project opportunities. The focus of the interacademy program shifted from exchanges in the basic sciences to workshops, consultations, and other forms of cooperation in areas of immediate security, economic, and social concern within the Soviet Union. At the request of the U.S. Congress, in 1986 the president of the NAS had laid out general principles for cooperation with the Soviet Academy of Sciences in the new political environment. They included: an emphasis on projects in fields in which both countries were world leaders a new focus on scientific problems of global dimensions, particularly problems in the environmental and atmospheric sciences concentration of activities in nonsensitive areas greater access to unique data banks and scientifically important geographic areas consistency of policies of counterpart organizations with the provisions of the Helsinki Accords (particularly human rights provisions), with annual discussions of the means to foster cooperation within this framework more active participation in cooperative endeavors by leading scientists, and particularly academy members, than in the past more exchange visits based on invitations from foreign colleagues, in contrast to the earlier system of nomination of exchangees by the respective academies (NRC, 1987d: 6). That same year, the two academies developed new initiatives reflecting these principles. As the political and economic transitions began within the Soviet Union, policy-oriented activities moved to center stage, with cooperation in the basic sciences receiving less attention. From 1980 to 1991 the academies sponsored 20 workshops, evenly divided between those on scientific research topics and those on policy-oriented topics. The attraction of travel to the Soviet Union waned during this period. Procedures in Moscow covering the timely issuance of visas and Soviet support for the organization of itineraries became uncertain. The quality of hotel accommodations also deteriorated. Indeed, the general level of amenities in the Soviet Union declined throughout the travel sector.

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Scientists, Engineers, and Track-Two Diplomacy: A Half-Century of U.S.-Russian Interacademy Cooperation At the same time, the U.S. government was promoting exchanges of all types on the grounds that Soviet exposure to Americans would contribute to positive changes in the approach to governance in the country. Advocates of scientific cooperation argued that the objectivity and openness of scientific research were characteristics that would contribute to such positive changes. But this political motivation for engagement never supplanted scientific benefits as the primary rationale for contacts (U.S. House of Representatives, 1986). In summary, during the late 1980s the academies were major players in pioneering new areas for cooperation and in testing new mechanisms for its implementation. Also, the academies included in their activities many specialists who had not previously been interested in cooperative projects. Some of these participants went on to play important long-term roles in fostering U.S.-Soviet and then U.S.-Russian relations. The payoffs from and limitations of scientific cooperation through academy and other channels had become clearer (Ailes and Pardee, 1984).