Science and the City: Publishes a Map of Streets Named after Scientists

July 11
Science and innovation has published the interactive map of streets named after prominent scientists. The Science and the City project was launched in 2021 declared the Year of Science and Technology in Russia.

Over 180 streets, avenues, lanes and squares in the capital citybear the names of people whose research and discoveries have advanced world science and changed mankind’s life. They are gifted physicists and geographers, historians and mathematicians, chemists and biologists, as well as travelers and inventors. Some of them are well-known all over the world, for example, Dmitry Mendeleev and Andrey Sakharov. Other scientists are known to only few people. The new project will help fill in the gaps and learn about the achievements of those people whose names are inscribed on address plates.

Who was Vladimir Shukhov whose name is borne by the tower on Shabolovka? Why was the lane in Khamovniki renamed in honour of Aleksey Pomerantsev when he was just an ordinary student? How did Zinaida Ermolyeva create the Soviet version of penicillin to save hundreds of thousands of soldiers during the Great Patriotic War? And who else, apart from Igor Kurchatov, was among the originators of the Soviet atomic industry?

One can find answers to these and many other questions on the interactive map of the Science and the City project. It indicates 184 streets that were once named or renamed after scientists and inventors. When one points a cursor on a specific point on the map, one can see a scientist’s biography, their portrait and information on the related street.

Science without Borders

The majority of the streets, avenues and squares named after scientists are found in the southwestern part of Moscow. 38 names are immortalized there. They are Moscow University founder Mikhail Lomonosov and geologist Vladimir Obruchev whose names were received not only by an avenue and a street but also by two districts. Two streets are named after a famous father and son. The street named after Academician Kapitsa in Konkovo cherishes the memory of this scientist – the Nobel Prize laureate in physics: Pyotr Kapitsa discovered the phenomenon of liquid helium superfluidity. As for Gagarinsky district, it has a street named after his son Sergey Kapitsa still remembered by many people as the host of the Evident but Incredible TV show.

Moscow streets have the names of not only Russian but also foreign scientists. In the northeast where the memory of polar explorers is especially cherished, there are Amundsen street and Nansen proezd – both explorers have Norwegian origins. Savelovsky district has Zdeněk Nejedlý square named after a Czech historian and musicologist. Gagarinsky district has Nicolaus Copernicus street, while the territory of Skolkovo comprises streets named after Einstein, Nikola Tesla, Wilhelm Roentgen, and Blaise Pascal.

Most often, streets, lanes, squares and even districts are named after such scientists as Mikhail Lomonosov (his name is borne by a district in the South-Western Administrative District, an avenue in the Western Administrative District and in the South-Western Administrative District, as well as two streets in the Troitsky and Novomoskovsky Administrative Districts), biologist Kliment Timiryazev (a district, a street and a passage in the Northern Administrative District, as well as two streets in the Troitsky and Novomoskovsky Administrative Districts) and breeder Ivan Michurin (an avenue in the Western Administrative District, one street in the North-Eastern Administrative District and six streets in the Troitsky and Novomoskovsky Administrative Districts).

New locations named after scientists appeared in the city in June 2021. Shchukino now has Academician Vershilova square, and Presnensky District – Erisman street.

The project map was also created based on local identity to be supported and developed by the My District programme. Some scientists actually lived or worked near the streets that were later named after them. Former Akademicheskaya street in Troitsk (Troitsky and Novomoskovsky Administrative Districts) was given the names of one of the city founders, geophysicist Nikolay Pushkov, and his son Aleksandr. Nikolay Vasilyevich was living here in the 1950s, in a house at the intersection with Tsentralnaya street. Soviet cosmonautics founder Sergey Korolev lived on 1-ya Ostankinskaya street that stretches very close to the current Academician Korolev street.

Atomic bomb developer Igor Kurchatov lived and worked in the territory of the National Research Centre Kurchatov Institute, and today a research institution, a square and a street in Shchukino bear his name.

The Science and the City project will be especially interesting to schoolchildren and teachers for local history lessons, as well as for people who take interest in the history of their district. The project was created by the editorial staff of the Moscow Mayor’s My District project, Moscow prefectures and the Central Archive of Moscow.

The three leaders in the number of streets named after scientists are the South-Western Administrative District (38), Western Administrative District (34) and North-Eastern Administrative District (25). They are followed by the Northern Administrative District (23), Central Administrative District (19), Troitsky and Novomoskovsky Administrative Districts (17), North-Western Administrative District (13), Southern Administrative District (11), Eastern Administrative District and Zelenogradsky Administrative District (three in each) and South-Eastern Administrative District (two).

My District is a complex programme by the Moscow Mayor meant to improve the urban environment. Its goal is to create comfortable living conditions in all districts of the capital city. Convenient courtyards, up-to-date polyclinics, schools and cultural centres, equipped parks and festival grounds within walking distance – all these are important components of the programme.


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