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 Russian-American Scientist Association

By Vladimir Shiltsev
President of RASA and Director of Accelerator Physics Center
Batavia, Illinois

As the number of APS Fellows elected from Russia has been increasing since 1995 (with 16 elected in 2011), I want to take this opportunity to introduce APS members to a US-based organization representing the Russian science community–the (RASA).

The Russian American Scientists Association is a nonprofit organization working to consolidate the Russian scientific diaspora, to advance the career development and qualifications of its members, and to provide opportunities for social and cultural exchanges. RASA represents over 300 members, including scientists, engineers and hi-tech entrepreneurs in academia, national laboratories and industry in the United States and throughout the world. Together with European branch, RASA-USA is an integral part of the international Russian-speaking Academic Scientists Association (Ассоциации RASA ). The objectives of the RASA include:
  • Organization of a world-wide network of Russian-speaking scientists, engineers and hi-tech entrepreneurs working outside Russia.
  • Exchange of knowledge and experience, initiation of joint projects and coordination of research programs.
  • Dissemination of information on research achievements and innovations.
  • Organization of conferences, seminars, research schools.
  • Provide information regarding job opportunities, permanent and temporary position openings, graduate and postdoc fellowships, etc.
  • Share knowledge of teaching programs and lecture materials.
  • Mentoring of junior scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs by successful established colleagues.

RASA is governed by a Coordinating Committee comprised of leading US scientists representing a wide spectrum of research areas–physics, biology, mathematics, biomedicine, chemistry, etc., as well as those working in many high-tech and IT areas. We hold annual conferences–e.g., in 2012, the conference took place in Philadelphia on November 9-11. In addition, RASA actively interacts with Russian scientific-educational and governmental organizations. At the request of the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies (RUSNANO) and the Ministry of Education and Science (RMES), many members of RASA provided scientific expertise on applications for various supporting grant programs. Some dozen members of RASA actively collaborate with individual Russian institutions and lead research groups in Russia. In 2010 RASA along with RMES started the program of the International Center of Advanced Science. Under this program, undergraduate and postgraduate students from Russian universities compete for scholarships from the President of the Russian Federation for training in several dozens of different research centers abroad in fields such as biotechnology, energy, nuclear technology and software, medical equipment and pharmaceuticals, aerospace and telecommunications, nanotechnology, etc. In 2012 Argonne National Laboratory and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (both in Illinois) hosted three ICAS physics students for six months each. Stony Brook University (New York) is expected to join ICAS in 2013.

Since 2011 RASA has actively participated in and coordinated activities aimed at cooperation with the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (SkTech), which is formed as part of a cooperative agreement between the Russian Foundation of the Center of Research and Commercializing of New Technologies “Skolkovo” and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology–see http://sktech.mit.edu/. RASA members take an active part in the reviews of the proposals for the organization of the SkTech / MIT research centers.

Together with the Russian Centre of Science and Culture in Washington, DC, RASA organized a tercentennial celebration of the great Russian polymath Mikhail Lomonosov in November 2011. RASA members are actively involved in lectures, seminars, writing articles and other educational activities in the United States (for example, several articles appeared in scientific and popular journals on great Russian scientists such as M. Lomonosov, L. Shtern, N. Gurvich, etc.), and in Russia.

RASA is seeking new members–so, if you want to join, please, email us at mod.rasa.usa@gmail.com.

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Editor: Alan Chodos