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Mongolian Science

Following the organizational pattern of Soviet science, Mongolia separated research, which was pursued in specialized research institutes, from the teaching of science in universities. The Mongolian Academy of Sciences, founded in 1961, had fourteen research institutes in 1982. Scientific work in Mongolia reflected the country's particular geological and climatic conditions, and it involved a good deal of surveying, mapping, and cataloging of minerals, soils, plants, and local microclimates. Projects with clear economic applications were favored. The Institute of Geography and Permafrost compiled maps of permafrost, which covers more than half the country, and devised methods of construction and mining in permafrost areas. Geological mapping and prospecting for useful minerals had a high priority. The country's climate and location make it a good place for astronomical observatories and for studies of seismicity and tectonic processes. Mongolian physicists were concentrating on the development of solar energy and photovoltaic generation of electricity to serve the dispersed and mobile herders and to help stem the flow of the population to the cities. The expansion of scientific education and of the number of scientists contributed to concern over the environmental consequences of the single-minded focus on short-term economic growth that had characterized the period from the 1960s through the late 1980s.

Last Update: 2010-12-07