Galina Orlova. Atom and melancholy: memorative paths of One Big Half-Life Science

The collapse of the Soviet system of scientific policy in the situation of break-up of the USSR remains the main traumatic scene of big science in its domestic version. Everything that defined dimensionality of this scientistic project – the quantity and the quality of the involved humane resources, the Cyclopean infrastructure, the degree of centralization, the scale of state control and support, the national scope of cooperation, the colossal scale of projects and the exclusive symbolic capital – was dispersed, lost, frozen and devaluated during a short period of time. The melancholic reproduction of this disruption transforms the local scientific and technical communities into the communities of loss, with its reclaim in the reminiscences of those who made the big soviet science and who outlived it displaying the typical signs of discursive impotence (silence, lack of language, iterations, gaps between articulation and affect etc.). However, and this will be analyzed in the report on the example of the memorative practices realized by post/soviet atomic community, the painful loss that changed the quality of life in the big science and in the logic of existence of scientific and technical community can have far more complicated and heterogeneous structure accumulating the effects of the events that occurred during different time periods at different discursive surfaces. The speaker also intends to demonstrate that the repression into spaces of non-official memorativity proves to be the structural basis for eduction, actualization and production of traumatic experience for the scientific and technical community that initially was in the privileged relations with the power.