Anatoly Torkunov Awarded Demidov Prize

Anatoly Torkunov Awarded Demidov Prize

30 November 2020

November 30th, during a press conference at TASS, the winners of the 2020 Demidov prize were announced. MGIMO Rector, Academician A.Torkunov was the laureate in the "Social Sciences" category.

The Rector was awarded the prize for his outstanding achievements in the study of the history of international relations and diplomacy, for the years he dedicated to training research and diplomatic personnel, for organizing educational activities related to historical matters.

The Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Demidov Scientific Foundation, academician G.Mesyats read out the names of the winners. A.Torkunov was introduced to the audience by the Secretary of the Department of Historical and Philological Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences, laureate of the Demidov Prize, Academician V.Tishkov.

A.Torkunov expressed his gratitude to the Demidov Committee for the high award. “It is a pleasure to be in the company of this year's laureates,” he noted. The Rector also recalled that among the past laureates of the prize there are many outstanding specialists in the sphere of social sciences and history: “Among them is E.Primakov - the teacher and friend whom we love, remember and honor”.

The other 2020 Demidov Prize laureates were the Rector of Moscow State University, Academician V.Sadovnichy (for "Applied Mathematics"); Academician L.Leontiev (for "Metallurgy"); D.Pumpyansky, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Pipe Metallurgical Company (in the "New Technologies" category).

Among those attending the event were the Executive Director of the Demidov Science Foundation, Vice-President of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Chairman of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Academician V.Charushin; the Advisor to the Russian Academy of Sciences, laureate of the Demidov Prize; Y.Osipov, the Rector of the Ural Federal University V.Koksharov; the Director of the Institute of Metallurgy at the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Academician A.Rempel.

The Demidov Prize is one of the most prestigious non-governmental scientific awards in Russia. The prize was created in 1832 by Pavel Demidov, a patron of art and member of the famous family of Ural industrialists, to support those who devote themselves to the "constant work and the modest glory of academia", as was noted by the former President of the Academy of Sciences, Count S.Uvarov during the first award session known in Russia and abroad.

During the 19th century, the award was conferred upon the great chemist D.Mendeleev, the famous surgeon N.Pirogov, the famous travellers and geographers I.Kruzenshtern and F.Wrangel. There is a common belief that Alfred Nobel borrowed the idea of awarding scientific prizes from Pavel Demidov. The two awards, Nobel and Demidov, have many common features: from the nomination procedure to the decision-making during which academics have the last say.

In 1992, the prize was revived in Yekaterinburg on the initiative of Academician G.Mesyats, the former Chairman of the Ural branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, with the support of the Ural authorities, industrialists and entrepreneurs and in 1993 the first award ceremony took place. The special value of this award lies in the fact that it is granted by fellow researchers from the academic community. For the laureate, the Demidov Prize always comes as a surprise as one does not submit any applications or present one’s work to be a candidate. The decision to award the prize is made by the dedicated Committee of the Demidov Scientific Foundation based on the recommendations of expert commissions.