Science and Fear (Slaves Do Not Repent) (Paperback)
"Science and Fear (Slaves Do Not Repent)" is a mixture of memoirs, journalism, and storytelling in the form of a novel. It is an artistic representation of the life of scientists during last years of the Soviet regime. Deep professional depiction of the psychological, intellectual, and social status of the researchers has not anything equal in the world of modern literature. The final chapters portray the exodus of Russian scientists and the features of their adaptation to the U.S. academic world. The reader is immersed in the workaday activity of geophysicists studying climate change, in their passions and pastimes, religion and sex, their views on despotism and democracy, and their relationships with the authorities. A broad panorama of life gives the possibility to represent a wide spectrum of personalities and social positions, from an alcoholic ("Leninism is in proletarians' blood together with a neat spirit. The more alcohol, the more Leninism.") in a vodka line to a professor ("The fact of the human sperm and egg cell preservation at ultra-low temperatures could serve as evidence of our extraterrestrial origin. Acquiring such a property in the refined and protected conditions of our planet is impossible."; "The tragedy of Russia is in its mixture of the highest European culture and medieval Asian political and executive power."), from depiction of research institute's degradation and speculations on climate problems to international prostitution. There are matchless chapters ("The Gorbachev Loop" and "The Last Soviet New Year Night") completely woven from the jokes and folklore of the 1980s. This story captivates the reader by the novelty of the subject, a variety of scientific ideas, and the tragedy of the primal confrontation between an extraordinary personality and a mediocre environment. The narrative employs a multilayer structure with a unique plot blending scientific and entertaining events, an authentic depiction of which can rarely be found in world literature.