Oral History Transcript — Dr. Marat Alexandervich Bogdanov
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Todayís date is the 18th of January, 1990, and this is an interview with Marat Alexandervich Bogdanov. And itís being done in Moscow, Russia. And my name is Tanya Levin and our interpreter is Andre Krogin.
Levin:Bogdanov, you were born in Moscow in Russia?
Bogdanov:Yes, he was born in Moscow. March 23rd, 1931.
Levin:I donít know anything about what it was like to grow up in Russia at this time. Itís right before, of course, World War II. What did his parents do for a living? What work did his parents do?
Bogdanov:His father worked at VNIRO.
Levin:Yes? Did he grow up knowing about the institute? Did he visit with his father?
Bogdanov:So as he already told you on Friday, during his summer holidays, when he was at school, he came to expeditions as a guest and on the Black Sea, from this institute.
Levin:But when he was a little boy.
Bogdanov:No, it was eighth and ninth grade, two grades. So he was about 15, 16 years old.
Levin:Was his father a scientist here?
Levin:And what, he was an oceanographer?
Levin:Biologist. And did he grow up hearing about his fatherís studies?
Bogdanov:Yes, of course.
Levin:And did your father encourage you to become a scientist?
Bogdanov:Yes, yes, sure.
Levin:And did his mother work at home or stay at home?
Levin:And does he have brother and sisters?
Bogdanov:Yes, he has two sisters.
Levin:Two? When he was growing up, what kind of — did he live in an apartment or a house?
Bogdanov:They had apartment.
Bogdanov:Mm hmm [yes].
Levin:And did they have a library in the apartment?
Bogdanov:Yes, of course.
Levin:And when he was growing up, as a little boy what kinds of books did he like to read?
Bogdanov:He liked books about everything.
And where did he want to go? Anywhere or...?
Bogdanov:He would like to go anywhere.
Levin:Anywhere, yes. And during summers when he was young, did they go to their dacha? Did they have a summer home to go to?
Bogdanov:No they didnít have dacha. But he was very interested in boats. Yachting.
Levin:Yachting with boats on the ocean, yachting?
Bogdanov:On the lakes.
Levin:Lakes, okay yachting.
Bogdanov:Down-hill skiing, athletics, itís like run and jump.
Levin:And at what age did he begin school?
Levin:And in the early years, was he exposed toÖdid he have any science courses at all?
Bogdanov:You mean at school?
Bogdanov:No special disciplines, just plain science, just a common course.
Bogdanov:Uh huh [yes].
So history, geography...
Bogdanov:Yes, yes, the usual, physics, mathematics, chemistry, Russian language, literature, biology. Possibly some languageÖforeign arts at high school.
Bogdanov:Ah yes, foreign language, after the 5th grade.
Levin:5th grade? But it was general instruction, but he had a little bit of biology, a little bit of chemistry, a little bit of physics. Did they do experiments?
Bogdanov:Just according to school program, not special experiments.
Levin:Okay and then he went up to the higher grades when he was about eighth or ninth grade, 15 or 16 years old. What languages did he take at that time?
Bogdanov:It was German. He spoke German all the way.
Levin:Really? Was it common, at that time, for people to learn German as a second language? Was that the common language?
Bogdanov:Yes. So I think that English was not so common at that at that time.
Levin:A lot of this at this time itís just after the War, just as it ended. But was his schooling interrupted or stopped because of the War?
Levin:No. Did a lot of the teachers go to fight in the War?
Bogdanov:He doesnít know. But of course some teachers came to the War to participate in the fight. So his teachers were mostly women.
Levin:That would make sense. And when he started taking science in these later grades, was he particularly interested in his courses? What were some in —?
Bogdanov:What course was interesting? Geography.
Levin:And were there any teachers that he particularly liked that had an influence on him?
Bogdanov:He liked the teachers on geography and history.
Levin:And when the time came to graduate from his high school and go to college, was there someone to tell him or to advise him where to go to school? Did he know which school to go to, or did he even know that he would go to college?
Bogdanov:His father advised him.
Levin:And did his father say which school to go to?
Bogdanov:You mean other school — what you mean? See we have somewhat different system. So they have just at school we have ten grades, now 11. And then after school we can come to institutes or universities. We donít have such — only now we have such a dorm-like college. But at that time, there were not any colleges. There were just institutes — I do not mean research institutes. Its institutes like universities or colleges, but in Russia they are called institutes.
Levin:Were these more technical?
Bogdanov:Itís different kinds. Mostly technical possibly. In Moscow we had Moscow State University, possibly you know. So as far as I know, Marat went to the University.
Levin:He went to Moscow State University?
Levin:And there was just one university in Moscow?
At that time unfortunately, only one university. And now each institute tried to call himself [???] [???] university. Like an American [???]. So because of his expeditions during some holidays, he choose his profession.
Levin:Ah, of course. It was your early expeditions —
Bogdanov:This determined his interest in his occupation-profession.
Levin:Oceanography. So he began his studies in oceanography after these early trips and he went to the — was it the Black Sea? Or no it was the CaspianÖ
Bogdanov:Caspian and Black Sea.
Levin:Caspian and Black Sea. And what courses in oceanography did he take? Did he take biological, chemical, physical?
Bogdanov:So I also graduated from Moscow State University, so they have a lot of different courses. Itís complex, so they have biology, they have physical, chemical, astronomy, meteorology, entomology and so on. But after graduating, each of us select by himself what his interest in, what is his most interest. So they also had a practice during the summer holidays when you are in universities, a practice at vessels in different areas of the world.
Levin:And could you choose where you wanted to go?
Bogdanov:Sometimes yes, but sometimes itís obligated.
Levin:Did you work closely with the teachers of the course? Did the teachers go with you?
Bogdanov:You mean teachers in the university?
Bogdanov:At the lower level it was the university vessel at high level. Regular state vessels for example, ice breakers and so on. Or research vessels that belong to official institutes.
Levin:Could the students at the high level decide what they were going to study? Or did the professors give them the problem and ask them to look into it?
Bogdanov:They select it by themselves.
Levin:Does he remember at school having conferences or seminars?
Bogdanov:Yes of course.
Levin:And did people come from outside the university to speak?
Bogdanov:You mean Soviet people or from other countries?
Bogdanov:So of course many people participated in these seminars, conferences, and so on. But at that time there was not such close relationship between USSR and the other world, so it wasnít reallyÖ
Levin:Were there people coming from East Germany? Poland?
Bogdanov:When he was a student there was no such participation. But later it was common.
Levin:What sort of text books did they have? Were they all Soviet textbooks, or did they get some textbooks from the West or outside of Russia?
Bogdanov:They have many translated textbooks by very famous scientists from America for example, from Germany and from other countries.
Levin:Does he remember some of the influential textbooks? Books that he had?
Bogdanov:You mean translated?
Bogdanov:They had a lot of textbooks. For example, itís very famous Russian oceanologist Nikeheiser Wolfe. He is very famous. He is founder of the Chair of Oceanology at Moscow State University.
Levin:Was he familiar with the work of Monk, Fermie, Sverdrop?
Bogdanov:Yes of course. Everybody was.
Levin:So he was missing a lot of the most recent science, the news, from all over the world. From Norway, from AmericaÖ
Bogdanov:If it was available. He knew Monk.
Levin:Did Monk come here?
Bogdanov:No, I went there.
Levin:Was this an IGY conference?
Bogdanov:He was in the state Oceanography Commission in 1972. So they visited several oceanography institutes in the USA. Scripps Institute, Lamont University, Miami, San Diego La Jolla.
Levin:What was his impression of these different institutions in the USA? Were they very different from those in the USSR?
Bogdanov:They were a different manner from USSR institutes.
Levin:Can he explain a little about some of the differences he noted?
Bogdanov:First of all, it was very good equipment. It is difficult to compare research vessels because we also had very good research vessels. But of course the new things, every time it fields the knowledge, and it is something new. So for example, American institutes, the equipment, it was new for them so it is big impression. Different institutes. Different. I think I also visited a lot of [???]. It is a new impression, so when we see for example in a laboratory, if people see in a [???] like we do, so it is already new.
Levin:Was there a difference in what was being studied, different approaches to studying the ocean?
Of course there were differences. So USSR had a lot of vessels which were in deep areas of the ocean. So Americans had much less vessels, but very well equipped vessels. We had a lot of vessels, but poorly equipped. But they covered large areas. American vessels covered less areas of the ocean.
Levin:I know that Soviet vessels were generally quite large. Were they larger than the American?
Bogdanov:It is difficult to compare because we had some very big vessels, but most of the vessels were of middle tonnage. And Americans also had very big vessels.
Levin:You said that the Russians liked to go farther, or rather they were at sea more often. Is that true that Russia kept their boats at sea for longer periods of time generally than the US did?
Levin:Does he know why that might be?
Bogdanov:So because they started the very remote regions of the ocean, it was very inefficient, just to go to there and return to that regions and return to the port. So it was very efficient just to stay a longer time studying the same region.
Levin:Did he notice a difference between different institutions in the US, between Woods Hall and between Scripps?
Bogdanov:Itís very difficult for him to do that.
Levin:Okay, so now weíre at his graduate years when he was an aspiranti. He continued at Moscow State University. How did he choose his specialty of his field?
Bogdanov:He was directed by State Commission, I donít know how, by university to this Institute.
Levin:By the university or the state?
Levin:By the university. They encouraged him to study at this institute, right, at VNIRO?
Bogdanov:Different institutes in Russia make the requests for specialists to the university. And university decided whom to direct to the certain institute.
Levin:Okay, and they requested someone that would study currents. Is that what they did? Or did they say we want someone whoÖ?
Bogdanov:They just requested a specialist. Not concretely, for example, ďWe need a specialist who studied currents or temperature or biology,Ē or so on. But they just request, ďWe need one oceanologist.Ē
Levin:Okay, so when he came to the institute, he was an oceanologist, an oceanographer, and he hadnít specialized. He hadnít said, ďIím going to do currents,Ē yet, or temperature.
Bogdanov:So you mean that he said that would like to study currents or so on? Or he was said that somebody told him that he should study currents or temperature?
Levin:Well, they requested an oceanographer. So he came. At that point, when did he decide? Did he decide what he wanted to study?
Bogdanov:The head of laboratory determined the direction of the field of work of studies. Firstly, or on the first stage, when he was a young scientist. Of course, when he became older and more experienced he may have decided by himself what to do.
Levin:When he graduated he could decide, or before when he was a higher level aspiranti?
Bogdanov:He was post-graduate, of course. The main field of his research was determined by his leader of his dissertation, his advisor. And after his dissertation, he may select his field by himself.
Levin:Could he summarize what his dissertation was? Great. Weíre looking at his CV, curriculum vitae.
Bogdanov:Thereís my dissertation. The polarities, [???] ability of hydra-meteorological conditions and variations in the volumes of commercial fishes, fish species, in the Northern Hemisphere.
And so his work...?
Bogdanov:Is more associated with the climate change and climate equations.
Levin:Interesting. And the practical aspect of how climate change influences fish populations?
Levin:Did he notice that there was an interconnection between how many fish and how warm it was? Was he noticing if it was warming?
Bogdanov:Itís a complex of natural factors, not only temperature. Atmospheric characteristics. I understand also oceanÖ So itís very complex, climate production.
Levin:And what year did he finish his degree?
Levin:1965. And soon after, or actually — oh 1965?
Levin:Ď65, okay. So even before this was the International Geophysical Year, before he graduated.
Bogdanov:Itís a Ph.D. degree.
Levin:Yes, Ph.D. degree that he got. How was he chosen to go on the expedition to Antarctica for the International Geophysical Year?
Bogdanov:VNIRO decided to select some specialists for participation right away. So he was in the number, he was included in the number.
Levin:Did most of the scientist who went to Antarctica come from VNIRO?
Bogdanov:So during the first Antarctic expeditions, it was only three or four people from VNIRO. So the other people were from other Soviet institutes.
Levin:And that first year was 1955, 1956, the preliminary year. And he went down on the boats, but he did not mentor over, is that right?
Bogdanov:He was only in mining expeditions, in some mining expeditions. He didnít mentor. This kind of vessels serviced the stations. They brought equipment, food, and so on.
Levin:And while there, while bringing this food and equipment for the people on the station, they took scientific measurements?
Bogdanov:Yes of course, they did service, according to the expedition program.
Levin:And what particular program was he working on while there?
Bogdanov:Research for oceanographic conditions in Antarctic waters.
Levin:Were they studying everything? Currents, temperatureÖ?
Bogdanov:Yes, yes, yes, yes.
Everything. And his particular group, his field, were they doing everything or were they doing particular —?
Bogdanov:He was responsible for equipment on current and temperature measurements, and also for come back in the usual oceanographic station. So understand what is an oceanographic station. Just a series of bottles, and at a certain point you put [???] monitors, current measurements, current equipment and so on. Itís called a station.
Levin:And was he surprised? The results that he got back from Antarctica, did he write that up as a report afterwards? Or did they compile the data between the different stations?
Bogdanov:He made a contribution to the compiled report.
Bogdanov:Not from VNIRO, but as a landmark participant of the expedition. So he was just a participant in the expedition. And after it finished, it was a combined report from all specialists. And Dr. Bogdanov made his own contribution in this combined report.
Levin:Combined with other specialists?
Bogdanov:Other specialists, yeah.
Levin:From his — from the Soviet Union or from —?
Bogdanov:Just from the Soviet Union. This report was compiled by specialists who were aboard a vessel, they was aboard a boat.
Levin:Oh. And did he have the opportunity to work with instruments and people that were also on his ship that were doing other sciences, say biology or other types of research?
Bogdanov:It wasnít necessary for him.
Levin:Were there others that were on the boat that were also looking at currents and temperature?
Bogdanov:So a hydrological group assigned as a group. They had about ten people. And each of them was responsible for his part of the work.
Levin:About how many scientists were on the Ob?
Bogdanov:He did not remember exactly, but about 90 people.
Levin:Was this typical of most countries to have that many on a boat?
Bogdanov:It was different for different countries.
Levin:And about how many other people besides scientists were on the boat?
Bogdanov:About the same.
Levin:About the same, okay.
Bogdanov:Possibly a little bit less.
Levin:And were there foreign scientists that would visit them on the boat? Or did they have scientists from other countries, say Africa or India who were working on the boat?
Bogdanov:Regarding the working on boat, there was no anybody from other countries who worked on expeditions. So but when they visited different ports in different countries, the countriesí many scientists visited the vessel.
Levin:And when these other scientists visited, did they show them around the ship? Did they show them the equipment?
Bogdanov:Yes, of course.
Levin:And the stations that they built, did the just build the one station at Antarctica, the Myrny?
Bogdanov:They built only the first station, itís Myrny. But of course, later, other stations were constructed on Antarctica, Soviet stations.
Levin:Was there a problem that he noticed saying that a certain station or a certain block of Antarctica belonged to the Soviet Union? Or this area belonged to — as opposed to not owning it, but just using it?
Bogdanov:This was determined by the National Committee.
Levin:Were there between the boats — okay heís on the boat, okay.
Bogdanov:Yes, he was on the boat, but he had helped to construct.
Levin:The station. And was it difficult or different to use the equipment that he was using in this south Indian Ocean, the Antarctic region? Was it more difficult to use the equipment? Or was it different? Did he have to change equipment or develop new equipment?
Bogdanov:You mean compared with what equipment?
Levin:To work in say the Pacific or the Atlantic Ocean.
Bogdanov:With the same equipment.
So it was the same. There is no —
Bogdanov:It doesnít depend on the region of the ocean.
Levin:He also worked in the area off of Iceland for IGY?
Bogdanov:During IGY, Iceland? No. He participated in expedition to Iceland during an overflow experiment, overflow one experiment in 1960.
Levin:These books on IGY that were produced by VNIRO about the program, your articles in here, Stachia [???] are on that Iceland and Ferro [???] Island.
Bogdanov:Yes. Was I there too on that?
Levin:Okay, so after. And who decided what the boat the Ob and his particular-the hydrographic group was going to study when they got to Antarctica?
Bogdanov:It was the head of hydrological group.
Levin:And the head of the hydrological group was a senior scientist?
Bogdanov:No senior scientist.
Levin:Was it the International Committee that asked him to do this, or did he decide?
Bogdanov:So besides the head of hydrological group, it was a head of expedition who brought the directions from the International Committee for what to do.
Levin:And I know that this was the first time for Russia and the Antarctic region.
Levin:Yes, the year before.
Bogdanov:Yes, it was the first time, and this was beginning of studies on Antarctic waters.
Levin:So after IGY, there was a year of international cooperation where people stayed, again, in Antarctica. After that year, did the Soviet Union continue its interest and programs?
Levin:Yes. Did he notice a change in the science that was done there after the year? Or did science there change with the international treaty on Antarctica?
Bogdanov:Science? What do you mean from this, science?
Levin:The type of science done, the people that were going to Antarctica to perform science to do certain types, the temperature, current. Did this change or shift after the treaty?
Bogdanov:So it perhaps was the same, but possibly of course, at this time, they were reformed, modernized. Itís been developed, of course.
Levin:Who funded the program for Russia to go to Antarctica or to take part in the International Geophysical Year?
Bogdanov:It was a state-funded endowment.
Levin:During this International Geophysical Year, did he attend international conferences, and where did he go?
Levin:IGY, mm hmm [yes].
Bogdanov:You mean not Marat certainly, but everybody from Russia, yeah, or Marat?
Levin:Marat in particular, and if he knew others.
Bogdanov:So the expedition during the year, there was not any conferences. But they go between expeditions. Marat was a very young scientist, so he didnít participate. But the heads of groups, and the heads of expeditions, they of course participated in these conferences.
Levin:And does he remember, in Russia did the press or the journals, Pravda, Izvestia, does he remember themÖ? Okay, so that question was about the press.
Bogdanov:The press, the Pravda, Izvestia and other newspapers wrote a lot about this expedition.
Levin:What was his reaction when he heard about Sputnik, the satellite?
Bogdanov:It was during the third expedition. They went to Genoa, Italy, and they heard about the Sputnik near Gibraltar Strait. And after two days later in Genoa, and in Genoa there was a lot of blackouts, advertisements, advertising news about Sputnik. And they buy some shirts and ties with Sputniks in Italy two or three days after Sputnik was launched.
Levin:And were they able to see it pass overhead?
Bogdanov:They saw the first city lights when they went to Antarctica. Not only was there not a lot of city lights, but nobody could see them.
Levin:And did he return to Russia after being in Italy? Did he see the excitement? What was it like in Russia at that time?
Bogdanov:They, after Italy, they didnít go to Russia. They went to Antarctica. But it was on the way — so they went from Leningrad via, firstly, via Gibraltar to Genoa, and they went to Antarctica.
Levin:Okay, and did he get from his family or from friends in Russia clippings of the news?
Levin:And did the news, did it mostly contain information about the science? Did it talk any about politics, geopolitics?
Bogdanov:They got letters from home. So they also listened to the radio. What they transmitted, so they heard what they transmitted by radio.
Levin:So they were getting lots of news then?
Bogdanov:Yes, of course.
Levin:But was anyone talking about the possible uses of the programs, the satellites, Sputniks, or Antarctic expeditions for politics, for possible use in the Cold War?
Levin:Was it difficult, or was the data he was collecting, was it all open immediately, published and given out? Or did some of it become classified or secret?
Bogdanov:There was an international program, so it got published. They were published in several volumes, which possibly you will see with permission.
Mm hmm [yes]. Okay, and so following the IGY, there was a year of cooperation. And so the collaboration between scientists from other countries continued. Was Marat able to meet anyone during these years from other countries, that he was able to keep in touch with, or to continue talking with after —?
Bogdanov:After the year?
Levin:And the year following.
Bogdanov:It was not necessary for him personally, because he worked in other area, in other field.
Levin:Did he hear about the international Indian Ocean expedition?
Bogdanov:Yes, of course.
Levin:And did he help with it or work on any aspect of it?
Bogdanov:No, he only knows about this expedition, about this program, but he didnít work personally on any aspects of this program.
Levin:Can you please ask him what he remembers the missions or the goals of the Indian Ocean expedition being?
Itís a rather complex program. Itís studies of bio-resources and currents and other oceanographic characteristics, and atmosphere. So several of our marine research institutes, participated in this program. Our southern institutes. Now itís Yugniro. Yug got the Yugni — yug, yug, from the Russian word yugni, yug. Yug is south, Hydrophysical Institute from Sevastopl and other institutes, Institute of Oceanography, Hydro and Meteorological Service and —
Bogdanov:Yeah, the Hydro and Meteorological Service, the institutes of Hydro and Meteorological Service studied the atmosphere.
Levin:And perhaps now we could talk a little bit about VNIRO and about the work that it does. You mentioned before that at one time it had its own ship. Could he remark when they got it? And was there something from the state?
Bogdanov:This vessel appeared in 1964. Academic Knipovich, do you remember possibly? Academic Knipovich. It was founded by budget, by the Ministry of Fisheries.
Levin:It was just this one boat. How long did they have it?
On the ship was it typical to — how did they decide, how did VNIRO decide who went on in that —?
Bogdanov:On boat? It was dependent on the program of expedition. And according to this program, VNIRO selected the staff for this expedition.
Levin:Was it the director of VNIRO that decided what programs they needed?
Bogdanov:This is scientific council of VNIRO.
Okay, and the scientific council decided itself or did they have, was there someone over them that also —?
Bogdanov:Each institute, VNIRO also has its annual plan, its annual program of research. And according to this plan, scientific council decided what will be the programs, what the programs should be.
Levin:And each time they wanted to have a program, did they have to ask special funds from the state?
So they had a plan of economy, so it was already planned. So because to maintain to keep the vessel you should pay for crew. You should maintain the vessel. And these plans were planned by state by ministry, but ministry is a part of state. Just as an example, so when they were on expedition Viskosha [???] Sea, thatís near Antarctica, they got a method where they should conduct additional research on an international program to study the biomass of one fish species. This is Ledyanaya — I donít know the English name for this fish, Ledyanaya.
Levin:Letís say they found something while they were down there doing the program that they were asked to do. Letís say they found something different and they wanted to change their course and look at that. Could they do that?
Levin:Yes? Okay, of course, wonderful, okay. And where was the VNIRO ship kept?
Levin:Sevastopl. And if they needed to use two ships or more, could they borrow another ship, and from whom?
Bogdanov:So our affiliates, I mean the other institutes, they had their own ships. So if it was necessary, we can make an agreement with them and just to use one of their ships. And each vessel typically worked according to its own program. It is difficult to coordinate the operation of several vessels in all countries.
Levin:That is true. And after 1991, this ship fell into disrepair. It was old. It ended its life. And so now you must continue to borrow ships? Is this a problem?
Bogdanov:If we need to conduct some special research, we make a contract with other research fishery institutes. Of course, if we donít find some funding for this. Now itís very difficult.
Levin:Where are the main sources of funding now?
Bogdanov:Budget. And different agreements with possibly with private companies.
Levin:And during the early years that he was at the institute, from 1954 through to 1989, were there a lot of exchanges of a lot of people coming to VNIRO to work and to learn from other countries, before Ď89Ē
Bogdanov:A lot of people.
Levin:Where did most of the scientists from other countries come from?
Bogdanov:From each fisheryís nation. NorwayÖ There were official delegations. It was official delegations. It was a purpose to conclude some agreements, contracts just to exchange the experience.
Levin:And so from the West as well?
Bogdanov:From the West, yes.
Levin:And from South America?
Bogdanov:Mm hmm [yes].
Levin:Everywhere for fishing nations.
Bogdanov:From Chile I think. From Peru possibly. From Norway, Poland, I think also.
Levin:Did you have say just one lone researcher who came to VNIRO say for a year or longer?
Bogdanov:Ricker, the famous biologist from — maybe it was from — yes, Ricker, biologist.
KROGIN: And there were some post-graduates from Iraq. Yeah, from Iraq, and Vietnam, I think, from Poland and possibly some other countries, and from Iran also. Iím forgetting I think that possibly now there is a post-graduate from Iran. Or he already finished his dissertation. I donít know.
Levin:Do you remember Cubans coming here?
Bogdanov:Yes, yes, yes, yes.
Levin:And you mentioned the Chileans. Did most of them come while Allende was in power? Did some come after Pinochet?
Levin:Before. Were there special programs that VNIRO had to cooperate with countries from the Third World?
Bogdanov:I donít know exactly, but of course, I think also that they were. So in this booklet that you got on Friday, possibly itís described.
Levin:And was it easier to have people visit who were from countries that were sympathetic to the USSR or who were communists themselves?
Levin:And what about people from VNIRO going to other countries for a year as an exchange?
Bogdanov:You mean at that time? Not now?
Bogdanov:So it was rather a lot of people who went before 1989. For example, by FAO programs in Morocco and Pakistan, and other people also. So it was possible.
Levin:Was it difficult to get visas, or to get permission to go abroad?
Bogdanov:It was not a problem if it was necessary. There were not any problems. Of course it was via the ministry. If you go abroad doing your work, it was not very difficult. It was if youíre tourist it was very difficult.
Levin:And as long as it was for your work and you were invited by a different country, you could go anywhere, but were there certain places that scientists particularly wanted to go, because they wanted to improve their scientific techniques or improve their career research?
Bogdanov:Sometimes it was possible, sometimes not.
Levin:Were there particular places that scientists wished to go?
Bogdanov:He doesnít know of this place.
Levin:Okay, was it an important step in career advancement or for your science to improve — for instance Marat was the director of VNIRO I believe.
Bogdanov:It was possibly different director in that time.
Levin:But to go up to a higher level of science or administration or leadership, was international programs part of this? Was it important?
Bogdanov:So I mean just to clear, if I understand you correctly, so you mean that if it was possible, for example, if it was necessary for a scientist just to go abroad, for example, to participate in international program to be on a higher level, yeah? It was not necessary.
Levin:What was important for a scientist at this time, to make him respectful in the eyes of his other scientists? What was most important? Was it publishing a lot of articles?
Bogdanov:Of course, for each scientist itís very important to have a lot of publications. So the number of papers allowed an assessment his scientific level.
Levin:But it didnít matter whether the articles were published in Russia or whether they were published abroad.
Bogdanov:A little extent.
Levin:Did the amount of funding that VNIRO got, did it change depending upon who was in power, whether it was Stalin or Kruschev, or who was head of the government at the time of the Soviet?
Bogdanov:Who was the head of the government? Who in government was responsible for funding?
Levin:Mm hmm [yes], right.
Bogdanov:Yes itís a State Planning Committee, I think. Itís something like this.
Bogdanov:Gosplan. Yes, I think itís a State Planning Committee, something like this.
Levin:And the life on ships, can he tell me a little bit about the socializing that happened on the ship? What they did, parties, sports?
Bogdanov:In those days, New Year was on celebrations — Day of Neptune.
Bogdanov:Itís also the God of the ocean.
Levin:I understand. And so they had a lot of parties.
Levin:Whenever possible. And they played sports? They talked a lot? Did they get together in groups?
Bogdanov:Yes, of course.
Levin:And was there ever a problem docking in certain places?
Bogdanov:You mean in visiting ports?
Bogdanov:So itís usually was agreed preliminary, before visiting, so not a problem.
Levin:Does he remember, was it hard for any ships coming to dock in Russia from other countries? Does he remember any ships trying to get permission that had problems with that?
Bogdanov:He doesnít know.
Levin:Was he under any expeditions where they asked to be Russians off their port where they were refused permission?
Bogdanov:This is not his field, so he doesnít know.
Okay, but when you went to Antarctica, you docked often in South America? Or was it equal between Australia, South Africa, or is it mostly —?
Bogdanov:All right. It depends on vessel and expedition. So what expedition, for example, you mean?
Oh, well of course if it was the Indian Ocean, then it would be —
Bogdanov:Montevideo, Buenos Aires. Both South Africa, South America, and Australia also. Itís during the IGY expedition.
Levin:And during the younger years, was it easier to dock in Chile? Were you able to do more work with Chileans at that time?
Bogdanov:At what time?
Levin:During the administration of Allende.
Bogdanov:So during the Allende years, Nipovich, our vessel, worked together with Chileans in their waters, on their waters and visited ports, Chilean ports. At Shetland Islands, itís near Antarctica, at one island, there are two stations, Chilean and Russians located very close to each other. There was no problem during Pinochet.
Levin:There was no problem?
Bogdanov:Yes, between different people.
Levin:So the collaborations continued even after Pinochet?
Levin:Yes, it did, wonderful. And there were women on board the ships?
Levin:About half of them were?
Bogdanov:Itís less than a half.
A little less, or —?
Bogdanov:It was dependent on expedition.
Levin:But thatís certainly more than there was women on American ships at that time. He doesnít know?
Bogdanov:Uh, uh [no].
Levin:Okay, when they were traveling on these ships, were there KGB agents on board?
Levin:Did anyone talk about there being?
Bogdanov:There isnít really anybody that tells this kind of things.
Levin:No one talks about it.
Levin:And I know that his work on currents and temperature was used to predict fish populations. He worked for the FAO in Pakistan. Did he know some of the others that were working on these problems like did he know Benny Schaefer.
Bogdanov:Ah, in was 1970sÖ Schaefer, Schaefer, SchaeferÖ
Levin:Schaefer. Roger Revelle? Okay.
Bogdanov:Where is he from?
Levin:He is from the U.S., from Scripps.
Bogdanov:Scripps. Of course, he knows his works, but he doesnít know him personally.
And was this a very important work? That Russia saw this as being very important for finding fish, finding food to feed the Soviet Union, the people in the Soviet Union, and Ö?
And was there a concern also for the third world, for the rest of the ocean —?
Levin:Yes? Okay, was there talk or does he remember studies of working to farm the oceans to get protein from algae and fish products?
Bogdanov:So you mean his work is important to get proteins?
Levin:The practical aspect, was it important?
Bogdanov:I think no, because I know the works and I think that it most important just to predict how much fish, how many fishes, different species will be in this specific place. So not directly connected to the uptake of protein from the ocean. Itís not our object. And to find fish, first of all.
Levin:Was there in Russia a program to have under the sea laboratories, sea labs, where researches would live under the sea for a long period of time?
Bogdanov:You mean Russian sea labs?
So he doesnít know about this underwater laboratories where people live for a long time, but I think that you will agree that this problem more exactly in the Institute of Oceanology because they studied this problem very seriously. They have underwater apparatus. So possibly you know that there are — but you know Titanic? Our Russianís apparatus were used just to make an underwater shootingÖ
Bogdanov:Yes, yes. And these films were in this movie. They used Russian equipment.
Levin:Yes. When he was in Pakistan, and when he visited the ports of South America, did he notice a difference in the way that the science was performed by these scientists in the poorer nations?
Bogdanov:In the poorer nations? What poor nations?
Levin:Less developed, Third World.
Bogdanov:So in Pakistan, in fact, there was not science, I mean in our field. So they created the science in Pakistan. But in South America it was a different level, and the scientists were much more educated, much more experienced than in Pakistan.
Levin:Did he believe that the work that was done in Pakistan, the science that was created there, was something that was useful to Pakistanis?
Bogdanov:Yes. Just a little contribution that they were using.
Does he think that the Pakistani people themselves will continue the work after the international cooperation — after the people have gone home?
Bogdanov:He worked on a FAO project. This project was continued after he went home.
Levin:Has he been back to visit what has happened since then? Since 1971, when he went to Pakistan, has he been back to see how itís going?
And a lot of the work that he participated in, the current and the temperature, is very important in order to send signals or communication through the water. If you are in a submarine, to send messages between radar. The practical uses of his work, was the state interested in the work that was being performed for —?
Bogdanov:You mean currents and temperature? Yes, I know they be interested in this.
Levin:Did they say at times that you cannot publish this work, because it is very important for the state to keep it a secret?
Bogdanov:This has not touched him directly.
Directly. Does he know other scientists that —?
Bogdanov:Nobody told. If somebody is concerned of this problem, he doesnít tell this to another scientist. But possibly, yes.
Levin:Possibly. And what did he see as the most important part of the work that he has done?
Bogdanov:You mean during his whole experience? Each type of investigation or research focuses on very small part of very useful contribution. Itís a very useful contribution to the whole science. So itís very difficult for him to determine the most important part of his work.
Levin:And one last question. How has international cooperation in the sciences changed since the end of communism, since Russia?
Bogdanov:So they had much more contacts with people, with scientists, with specialists from other countries. And I know myself, because since 1992, I visited a lot of conferences. And itís now very easy just to visit. To contact with other people via Internet, so I have a lot of contacts, each day a lot of messages.
Levin:Before the fall of the Soviet Union, could you not use email? Was email not available?
Bogdanov:We donít know what it is.
Levin:Oh, I see. Itís very new anyway.
Bogdanov:Yes I think in America itís also, just from the beginning of the Ď90s.
Levin:Right, that is true. Okay, well Iíd like to thank you for the interview. Youíve been very helpful, both of you. Thank you.