Science Lecture. Out of the Secret World: Cosmic Visions in the Soviet Imagination

Tuesday, February 13, 2018 — 6:30pm - 8:00pm

Science Lecture. Out of the Secret World: Cosmic Visions in the Soviet Imagination 

Image: Soviet space camera

Dr. Asif Siddiqi, space historian and professor at Fordham University, specializes in the history of science and technology and modern Russian history. He has written several books on the history of space exploration.

The Soviet space program emerged at a particular moment in the post-Stalinist period when a burst of optimism about the socialist future provided a powerful setting for mass enthusiasm for the cosmos. Because much of the inner details of the space program were shrouded in secrecy, official Soviet publicity had to take creative liberties in advertising and promoting the space achievements of their cosmonauts. As such, official Soviet news sources de-emphasized technical detail in favor of monumental and colorful iconography that combined the fantastic with the heroic.

In this talk, Asif Siddiqi explores the vivid and vibrant aesthetic imagery of Soviet cosmic achievements at the height of the Cold War —  manifested especially in magazines and posters —  as a way to explore the striking and often strange tensions between openness and secrecy that characterized the Soviet space program.

Reception at 6:30 pm; talk 7:00 – 8:00 pm. Admission in advance:  Free for Bruce members and students (with valid ID), $15 for nonmembers. At the door:  $10 members, $25 nonmembers. Reservations at


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