Science train in Moscow metro.Press photo / The British Council
Outside of politics, it seems that Russia and the UK are enjoying their warmest relations ever, Mikhail Shvydkoy, the Russian president’s special envoy for international cultural cooperation, has said.
Speaking at the launch of the 2017 UK-Russia Year of Science and Education (#YoSE2017), Shvydkoy highlighted the strength of cultural relations between the two countries.
The success of the 2014 UK-Russia Year of Culture, which included a look at Soviet achievements in space in the Cosmonauts exhibition at London's Science museum and other events, was followed by the 2016 UK-Russia Year of Language and Literature, with more than 2,000 great initiatives, including marking the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, an exchange of portraiture exhibitions between major Moscow and London art galleries and tours of leading classical theaters.
The pace of events organized by The British Council in Russia and by the Russian Embassy, Rossotrudnichestvo (the Russian center for science and culture in London) and other organizations in the UK, has been so strong that it proved impossible to stop the momentum. In 2017 around 3,000 events are being planned in both countries.
Valentina Tereshkova. Source: RIA Novosti
London's Science Museum will mark the 80th birthday of Valentina Tereshkova with an exhibition celebrating her life and career. The first woman in space plans to attend the show in person. The museum is also preparing an educational program and has just unveiled the Soyuz TMA-19M in which British astronaut Tim Peake flew to the International Space Station.
Science train in Moscow metro. Source: Press photo / The British Council
Following the success of the Shakespeare train on the Moscow metro, the British Council decided to launch another train with quotes and images of British scientists and their inventions. A science train may also run on the London Underground.
Scientists at work. Source: Press photo / The British Council
Russian and British higher education institutions have agreed to hold a range of round-tables and conferences on issues ranging from antibiotics, medicine and biotechnologies to the Big Bang, nuclear physics and energy. More than 18 university exchange programs are scheduled for the year. According to Russia's deputy Minister of Science and Education Ludmila Ogorodova, dual diplomas with Oxford University are even under discussion.
A number of grants will also be launched for the development of research and innovation collaboration between the UK and Russian scientific communities and young scientists.
Total dictation 'Spell well'. Source: Press photo / The British Council
For the past several years, Total Dictation has been available in Russian in many cities of the UK; last year the initiative - which enables speakers of Russian to practice test their grammar by taking dictation tests - spread to the English language. The dictation events will involve star presenters from both countries. For those who want to prepare in advance, here are RBTH's tests in Russian and a guide to five easy ways to learn Russia.
One of the most ambitious plans is to improve educational collaboration between schools. In October there will be a special 'Making Science Live in Schools' program in both the UK and Russia. A digital platform will provide materials designed to engage and inspire young audiences.
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