STC JINR: priorities and pragmatic approach

Organization, 07 March 2021

At the first meeting of the JINR Science and Technology Council of this year held on 4 March, structural changes in the Institute were announced.

The STC, as usually, started with the analysis of the latest events in the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research. In January, regular meetings of the Programme and Advisory Committees (PACs) on Particle Physics, Nuclear Physics, and Condensed Matter Physics were held. These are the main fields of the JINR’s activities. The JINR Scientific Council considered the recommendations given by PAC members in February.

Scientific Leader of the Joint Institute Academician Victor Matveev presented the results of work of the PACs and the Scientific Council to participants of the STC meeting. He found the meetings of all three Programme and Advisory Committees significant and noted that their work was rich and very successful. He also noted a big role Chief Scientific Secretary Alexander Sorin plays and his clear interaction with the directors of the laboratories in the success of the meetings of all the Programme and Advisory Committees and the Scientific Council.

All the events were held remotely, and the organization of discussions between participants was at a high level. And the quorum at the Scientific Council was extremely high, as never before.

Academician Matveev highlighted that the discussion of the programme of JINR scientific research plays an increasingly important role, so the discussion of the importance of the recommendations given by the PACs’ members is of special significance. These recommendations demonstrate the priorities of the Joint Institute, and the laboratories do not always agree with them. That is why it is necessary to introduce regulations useful for the interaction of the laboratories with the PACs, as Victor Matveev suggested. “If heads of the laboratories cannot agree on the prioritization suggested by the PACs, then the JINR Directorate will ask them for serious arguments justifying their position. It is necessary to learn how to justify the position,” he said.

JINR Director Academician Grigory Trubnikov agreed with the assessment of the February meeting of the JINR Scientific Council given by Academician Matveev. “The overall impression of the Scientific Council is very positive,” he noted. He also said that the JINR Directorate had received a lot of letters from the participants of the PACs and the Scientific Council with thanks for the wonderful organization of all these events. The duration of speeches of all the participants of the PACs and the Scientific Council was calculated so as not to lose the attention of the audience.

Grigory Trubnikov reminded that the Institute should be guided in its actions by pragmatism caused by limited financial resources planned by the Seven-Year Plan for the JINR development. According to the JINR Director, the main goals of the Joint Institute are the construction and launch of the NICA collider, experiments at the new Superheavy Element Factory, the neutrino telescope on lake Baikal, the computer complex of the Laboratory of Information Technologies, and the IBR neutron reactor with the spectrometer complex. “The rest is after the main tasks are completed,” Academician Trubnikov concluded. He also explained, “We discuss only strong projects, which have received the highest level of expertise and which are aimed at obtaining outstanding results of a global scale.”

The JINR Director urged theoreticians of the Institute not to be limited by already developed scientific realms but to look for new research areas promising the discovery of new physics.

Grigory Trubnikov also spoke about saving the health of the JINR staff from the coronavirus infection. Only in the New Year holidays 2021, two outstanding scientists of the Institute Vladimir Gerdt and Victor Brudanin passed away from the coronavirus. And this sad sequence was continued by two Polish staff members of the Laboratory of High Energy Physics. To stop the pandemic, the JINR Director called on everyone to be vaccinated against the coronavirus as soon as possible. About a thousand JINR staff members have already got vaccinated. 600 – 700 employees acquired immunity having been ill with the coronavirus. However, in total, only a third of the JINR staff have immunity.

The JINR Director called heads of all the JINR departments to persistently convince their employees to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

If 60 % of Dubna and Russian citizens are immune to the coronavirus, then life will return to normal, and the autumn meetings of the governing and advisory bodies of JINR will be held in person. Hoping for the best, the autumn session of the JINR Committee of Plenipotentiaries is already scheduled to be held in Bulgaria. And this year will be declared the Year of Bulgaria in JINR as soon as the Plenipotentiary Representative of the Government of Bulgaria arrives in Dubna. His arrival is expected soon. By the way, Armenia and Azerbaijan also changed their plenipotentiaries in JINR. Kazakhstan is going to do the same.

Speaking about city affairs, Grigory Trubnikov noted that the Institute with great responsibility for the city supports a large number of city social objects, including schools and hospitals. “We have established very good cooperation with city enterprises,” he added.

Director of the Laboratory of High Energy Physics, RAS Corresponding Member Vladimir Kekelidze informed the STC members about the progress in the construction of the NICA collider. He said that the first test run at the new collider’s accelerator, i.e. the Booster launched with the participation of Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, had been successfully concluded. “Everything went according to the plan, no additional settings were necessary, there were no failures and violations,” Professor Kekelidze drew the attention of the audience. “The beam operates stably, the capture is 60 % of the injection. It is brilliant for the first start. The magnetic system operates perfectly. The designed indicator of the magnetic field has been reached.”

The creation of all the basic systems of the NICA accelerator complex is completed, the plan has been implemented. The next stage is the integration of the Booster into the general system with the Nuclotron. The physical launch of the Booster and the Nuclotron is scheduled for the end of 2021, the 50th week of the year. According to Vladimir Kekelidze, it is expected to start the installation of magnetic blocks in the collider’s channel next year. The installation will be completed next year.

The STC JINR members congratulated LIT JINR Deputy Director Tatiana Strizh on the jubilee via a teleconference. The meeting of the Science and Technology Council ended with the presentation of diplomas of Candidates of Physics and Mathematics to young JINR researchers who had recently defended their dissertations in the Dissertation Councils of the JINR laboratories. Andrey Sapozhnikov (LIT), Arkady Terekhin (VBLHEP), and Alexander Airiyan (LIT) received their diplomas from the JINR Director.

Moreover, changes in the structure of the JINR’s Office were announced. JINR Director Grigory Trubnikov announced it at the meeting of the STC JINR. Five new departments have been added:

  • Human Resources and Secretariat (Head: Elena Kolganova)
  • International Cooperation (Head: Dmitry Kamanin)
  • Digital Services Development (Head: Mikhail Vasiliev)
  • Budget and Economic Policy (Head: Nikolay Kalinin)
  • Property Complex Development (Head: Alexander Brun)

Until 31 December 2021, Evgenia Kuteinikova was appointed Acting Chief Accountant of JINR, O. V. Kapuskina will work as Acting Head of the Internal Audit Service, and Sergey Bobrov was appointed Acting Head of the Human Resources Office. Sergey Bobrov was appointed Acting Head of the Human Resources Office. Head of the Legal Department is A. Yu. Kharevich, and Head of the Procurement & Logistics Service is V. V. Ivanova. Head of the JINR Director Protocol I. T. Suleimanov is entrusted general coordination of the operation of the departments engaged in protocol activities, information provision of the Institute’s activities, and communication with mass media. S. N. Dotsenko is appointed Assistant to JINR Director for financial issues.

Natalia Teryaeva,
Photos by Elena Puzynina