St. Petersburg State University scientists and teachers have been elected Academicians of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS). The election results were announced and finalised at the general meeting of the Russian Academy of Sciences on 28 October.

The newly elected Academicians specialise in such academic fields as Oriental studies, medicine, bioinformatics, mathematics, and physics.

Professor Mikhail Piotrovsky, dean of the Faculty of Oriental studies, has been elected an Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences for his contribution to the study of history: he has studied the South Arabian epic tradition and introduced it into the field; has identified and described the Arabian roots of Islam, the formation of the political power of Muhammad and the combination of the secular and the religious in Islamic practices.

Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry and Medical Technologies Yury Shcherbuk was elected an Academician of the RAS in the Branch of Medical Sciences (Neurosurgery). Professor Sergey Kislyakov, an expert in mathematical analysis, Doctor of Physics and Mathematics, was elected in the Branch of Mathematical Sciences. SPbU professor Grigory Trubnikov, Doctor of Physics and Mathematics, was elected in the Branch of Physical Sciences (Nuclear Physics). SPbU professor Lev Magazanik, Doctor of Biology, was elected in the Branch of Physiological Sciences.

Among the newly elected members are a number of prominent foreign scientists, including Stephen J. O'Brien, Director of the Theodosius Dobzhansky Centre for Genome Bioinformatics at St. Petersburg State University, elected as a Foreign Member of the RAS in the Branch of Biological Sciences.

With no elections of Academicians and Corresponding Members of the RAS for about five years, following the reform of the Academy, the competition included a record number of applications – about 2.5 thousand. As a result, the RAS now has 176 new Academicians and 323 new Corresponding Members.