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Speech Delivered at a Reception in the Kremlin to Higher Educational Workers
17 May 1938
Comrades, permit me to propose a toast to science and its progress, and to the health of the men of science.
To the progress of science, of that science which will not permit its old and recognized leaders smugly to invest themselves in the robe of high priests and monopolists of science; which understands the meaning, significance and omnipotence of an alliance between the old scientists and the young scientists; which voluntarily and willingly throws open every door of science to the young forces of our country, and affords them the opportunity of scaling the peaks of science, and which recognizes that the future belongs to the young scientists. (Applause.)
To the progress of science, of that science whose devotees, while understanding the power and significance of the established scientific traditions and ably utilising them in the interests of science, are nevertheless not willing to be slaves of these traditions; the science which has the courage and determination to smash the old traditions, standards and views when they become antiquated and begin to act as a fetter on progress, and which is able to create new traditions, new standards and new views. (Applause.)
In the course of its development science has known not a few courageous men who were able to break down the old and create the new, despite all obstacles, despite everything. Such scientists as Galileo, Darwin - and many others - are widely known. I should like to dwell on one of these eminent men of science, one who at the same time was the greatest man of modern times. I am referring to Lenin, our teacher, our tutor. (Applause.) Remember 1917. A scientific analysis of the social development of Russia and of the international situation brought Lenin to the conclusion that the only way out of the situation lay in the victory of Socialism in Russia. This conclusion came as a complete surprise to many men of science of the day. Plekhanov, an outstanding man of science, spoke of Lenin with contempt, and declared that he was "raving." Other men of science, no less well-known, declared that "Lenin had gone mad," and that he ought to be put away in a safe place. Scientists of all kinds set up a howl that Lenin was destroying science. But Lenin was not afraid to go against the current, against the force of routine. And Lenin won, (Applause.)
Here you have an example of a man of science who boldly fought an antiquated science and laid the road for a new science.
But sometimes it is not well-known men of science who lay the new roads for science and technology, but men entirely unknown in the scientific world, plain, practical men, innovators in their field. Here, sitting at this table, are Comrades Stakhanov and Papanin. They are unknown in the scientific world, they have no scientific degrees, but are just practical men in their field. But who does not know that in their practical work in industry Stakhanov and the Stakhanovites have upset the existing standards, which were established by well-known scientists and technologists, have shown that they were antiquated, and have introduced new standards which conform to the requirements of real science and technology? Who does not know that in their practical work on the drifting icefloe Papanin and the Papaninites upset the old conception of the Arctic, in passing, as it were, without any special effort, showed that it was antiquated, and established a new conception which conforms to the demands of real science? Who can deny that Stakhanov and Papanin are innovators in science, men of our advanced science.
There you see what "miracles" are still performed in science.
I have been speaking of science. But there are all kinds of science.
The science of which I have been speaking is advanced science.To the progress of our advanced science!
To the men of advanced science!
To Lenin and Leninism!
To Stakhanov and the Stakhanovites!
To Papanin and the Papaninites! (Applause.)
19 May 1938