UK and Russian Science Academies convene high level discussion on black holes and the nature of the universe

11 April 2017

Leading scientists from the UK and Russia have called for the two countries to strengthen their scientific collaboration in order to better understand the nature of our universe.

The scientists came together on 10 and 11 April 2017 for a bilateral UK-Russia workshop on “100 years of black holes”, which commemorated the centenary of Karl Schwarzchild’s solution to Einstein's field equations, which first predicted the existence of black holes. Participants included Professor Stephen Hawking FRS, Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology, University of Cambridge; Professor Lev Zelenyi, director of the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and Lord Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal and former President of the Royal Society.

This meeting was convened by the Royal Society and the Russian Academy of Sciences at the Kavli Royal Society International Centre at Chicheley Hall, and co-chaired by Professor Andrew Fabian OBE FRS, Acting Director of the Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, and Professor Gennady Bisnovatyi-Kogan, Space Research Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences. It was the second meeting under an ongoing partnership which brings together scientists from both countries to explore opportunities for scientific collaboration and exchange, and was one of a number of events taking place under the UK-Russia Year of Science and Education (YoSE).

Professor Fabian said “This is one of the most fast-moving and exciting areas of science in the world today. UK and Russian scientists are outstanding in this field, and it is imperative that our collaboration continues to grow”. Sir Martyn Poliakoff, former Foreign Secretary of the Royal Society, said, “It is more important than ever that our best scientists continue to work together”. Professor Zelenyi echoed his words, adding "This meeting, and the UK-Russia Year of Science of which it is part, demonstrate the importance of maintaining and developing the strong and productive scientificrelationship between our countries."

Following this event, on 18-19 May 2017, the Royal Society and the Russian Foundation for Basic Research will hold a high-level roundtable on science diplomacy in Moscow. The aims of the meeting are to promote mutual learning on the relationships between science and policy in leading scientific nations, to explore how science can enhance national, regional and international interests, and to bring together leading UK and international scientists and science advisers with their Russian counterparts.