Science & Technology

Armenia has a long tradition of excellence in science, technology, and education. During the Soviet era, Armenian capabilities were oriented to a significant degree toward supporting the Soviet military-industrial complex. Research activities, particularly in physics, were well financed. Education in science and engineering received strong support. A number of industrial facilities operated throughout the country, providing goods for local consumption and for more distant markets within the Soviet Union.

With the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Armenia became isolated from many of its markets, and exports rapidly declined. As the economy spiraled downward, the budgets for research and education plummeted. A major exodus of technical talent began. Although many research and education institutions and a few industrial facilities remain, their capabilities have eroded considerably. Many laboratories and much equipment are obsolete, with little hope of replacement. Funds to cover costs of experimental work are scarce, and the funds that are available are not always directed to activities with high potential to build research capacity and lead to economic development. Paying customers for the results of research products are few in number. While educational standards remain high, the infrastructure supporting students continues to decline, and the “brain drain” has resulted in a serious deficiency of practicing scientists in the 25 to 40 age bracket.

Nevertheless, Armenian scientists who remained have persevered and have achieved impressive results despite severe financial limitations. Now more than ever, science and technology (S&T) are critically important to the future of Armenia.

The Armenian Academy of Sciences is the primary body that conducts research and coordinates activities in the fields of science and social sciences in the Republic of Armenia. It was founded on November 29, 1943. The Academy of Sciences central location is in the capital of Armenia, Yerevan, although other branches exist in Gyumri, Sevan, Goris, Vanadzor and Ghapan.

The Academy of Sciences was founded by several Armenian intellectuals, including Joseph Orbeli, Stepan Malkhasyants, and Viktor Ambartsumyan; Orbeli became the first president of the academy.

From 1947-1993 the President of the Academy of Sciences was Professor Ambartsumyan, Full Member of the USSR and Armenian Academies of Sciences. During 1993-2006 the President of NAS was Academician Fadey Sargsian. Since 2006 the President of NAS RA is Academician Radik Martirosyan.

A branch based in Aragatsotn studies astronomy at the Byurakan Observatory.

The National Academy of Sciences of the Republic Armenia

http://www.sci.am/