Soviet Union: Revolt of the Scientists

Revolt of the Scientists

When 1,279 scientists gathered at the prestigious Soviet Academy of Sciences last week to select delegates to the new Soviet parliament, nobody expected them to be happy. The procedure by which their slate of candidates was chosen had been widely criticized as both undemocratic and politically biased. In a series of "pre-electoral" meetings, the academy's ruling presidium had narrowed a list of 121 nominees to 23, eliminating such proponents for reform as space scientist Roald Sagdeyev and human-rights activist Andrei Sakharov.

But nobody expected the academics to stage a full-scale revolt. After a noisy protest meeting outside, rank-and-file scientists voted to...

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