The National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine informs with deepest sorrow that on 19 August 2020 the international and Ukrainian science suffered a great loss – at the 102th year of his life, the heart of Academician Borys Paton, the President of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, a prominent Ukrainian scientist in metallurgy, metal technology, electric welding and materials science, science development leader, statesman and public figure, Director of E. Paton Electric Welding Institute of the NAS of Ukraine, twice the Hero of the Socialist Labor, the first Hero of Ukraine, stopped beating.
Borys Paton was a true son of the Ukrainian people, a genuine figure of research scientist, science manager and citizen, notable for his powerful talent, modesty and ability for work. He liked to repeat that science was the essence of his life, and the Academy is not merely his job but his second and, perhaps, his only family. Everybody who was fortunate enough to be closely acquainted with Borys Paton or even once actually communicate with him will confirm that this, without exaggeration, epoch-making man was burning with his cause and was doing everything possible and even impossible for the Ukrainian science to draw due attention and support of authorities and public. On his shoulders, like on those of Atlas, the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine was able to hold on and maintain its autonomy, self-government, the freedom of research, which is an integral part of science functioning.
The achievements and awards of Academician Borys Paton could be enumerated indefinitely, but let it be left to historians and biographers. Scientists will remember the Head of the Academy of many years, primarily, as a Person of bright mind, passionate heart, warm humor and high human feelings. At this sorrowful moment, we ask to share our grief and pay the last honors to Academician Borys Paton.
We express our sincere condolences to the relatives, friends, colleagues and disciples of Borys Paton…
The last respects to Borys Paton are scheduled to be payed on Saturday, 22 August, at the Cabinet of Ministers Club, burial – at the Baikove Cemetery. The time of ceremonies will be given later.
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Boris Paton was an eminent scientist in welding, process metallurgy and materials science who had won world-wide recognition and respect. He was the author of numerous fundamental studies and high technologies developed on their basis, a talented science manager and an outstanding public figure. He had an exceptional ability to foresee ground-breaking trends in the advancement of science that played the seminal role at certain stages of the development of science and technology.
B.E. Paton gave further momentum to the work initiated by his father — Academician E.O. Paton, the founder of Electric Welding Institute, and achieved new heights in science.
His diversified and exceptionally fruitful R&D activities, desire to aim basic scientific research at new social challenges won him immense international popularity and prestige.
For nearly 67 years he was at the head of the world-renowned NAS E.O. Paton Electric Welding Institute, which grew into a powerful scientific and technological complex incorporating a research institute; several R&D, design and technological divisions; three pilot plants and a trial production facility; engineering centers and other innovative organizations, as well as certification and training centers.
Under his guidance and with his personal contribution, the Institute carried out in-depth research and obtained remarkable results in developing advanced technologies for permanent joints and working of metals and non-metals under different conditions and in different environments. Among them were submerged arc welding and surfacing, gas-shielded solid and flux-cored wire welding, electroslag welding, flash-butt welding, thermal spraying, radiation technologies and other processes.
Fundamental research of B.E. Paton and his disciples into the interaction of welding heat sources with molten metal laid the foundation for a new avenue of metallurgy — special electrometallurgy, which made possible casting of super-pure special steels and alloys, non-ferrous metals, production of unique composites. New prospects were opened up for creating advanced structural and functional materials of the 21st century.
Boris Paton made a major contribution to producing innovative types of welded structures, developing industrial technologies for welding main pipes, large-sized oil storage tanks, blast-furnace mantles and high-rise tower structures.
Academician B.E. Paton was the first to launch and advance research into applying welding processes in space technologies, which were used by cosmonauts in orbital flights and in the outer space. He was the recognized leader in this area.
Boris Paton also gave a lot of attention to implementing the achievements of today’s science and technology in practical medicine. Under his guidance, researchers of the E.O. Paton Electric Welding Institute and medical scientists created a breakthrough method of joining (welding) live tissues, which has been widely used in practical surgery for more than 20 years. It permits a quick and almost bloodless cutting and joining of biological tissues. After such operations wounds heal much faster than after conventional surgery. Besides, the duration of the surgical procedure is considerably shorter, there is less hemorrhage, and the postoperative recovery of patients is quicker. Nearly 200 thousand various surgical procedures have been performed with this method. The Institute has developed state-of-the-art equipment for welding live tissues and launched its manufacturing.
B.E. Paton was the President of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine for 58 years. Under his guidance the Academy grew into one of the major scientific centers of Eastern Europe, widely known all over the world. It played and does play a key role in the life of society and the nation, in the advancement of science and education, in strengthening the defense capability and developing the national economy of Ukraine.
Since the very outset, the focus of B.E. Paton’s organizing activities as the President of the Academy was on promoting a broad range of fundamental research, developing cutting-edge technologies on its basis for large-scale industrial applications, and guiding Academy institutions towards those goals.
Boris Paton was always concerned with the integrative and innovative scientific search in the major areas of natural, engineering sciences and socio-humanities. His initiative for the maximum involvement of research institutions in local socio-economic, scientific and technological issues was put into effect through organizing regional science centers of the Academy, which cover the entire country.
His commitment to getting the achievements of scientists to serve the economy, industry and agriculture promoted targeted basic research, participation of Academy institutions in S&T programs of various scopes. The ties of science and industrial production were highly efficient since the 1960-ies. At that time, numerous pilot production plants, design offices and engineering centers were established, R&D facilities were set up, inter-sectoral ones included. Due to that, institutions were able to bring their developments to the high degree of availability for practical use in industrial production.
Always attaching top priority to the development and deployment of advanced technologies, B.E. Paton at the same time emphasized the importance of scientifically validated assessments of their effects on the environment and people. Under his supervision, Academy’s scientists made predictive estimates of the negative impacts of large-scale melioration projects in Ukraine, the heavy use of chemicals in agriculture, and the partial diversion of the Dnieper and Danube rivers runoff. Boris Paton also took a principled stand concerning the construction of a nuclear power plant near Chernobyl, insisting that it was inappropriate and hazardous. The events of 1986, which the whole world knows too well, only proved his apprehensions and warnings.
A new page in B.E. Paton’s versatile activities was started in the years of Ukraine’s independence. As a member of the Council for Science and R&D Policy under the President of Ukraine and the Council for National Security and Defense, he made a great personal contribution to the adaptation of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and all Ukrainian science to the rules of market economy. As the Chairman of the Committee for State Prizes of Ukraine in Science and Technology, he invariably was taking care of the due recognition of scientists’ work and raising its prestige. Boris Paton always attached the utmost importance to innovation. The Academy initiated the establishment of technology parks in Ukraine, focused on industrial deployment of science-intensive high technologies and the manufacturing of products that would be competitive on the international markets.
B.E. Paton played a vital role in coordinating the activities of the national sectoral academies of sciences in this country, in collaboration with institutions of higher education, their broader interaction for the progress of science and the nation as a whole. He was a member of the National Board of Ukraine on the Development of Science and Technology, the Chairman of the Council of the Presidents of the Academies of Sciences of Ukraine.
Academician B.E. Paton paid a lot of attention to young researchers and the involvement of talented young people in research work. He always tied in young scientists’ training with improving the conditions of the difficult but socially important work of scholars.
Boris Paton put great efforts into preserving and promoting the international scientific collaboration of the Academy, and into extending economic ties of its institutions with foreign partners. Such collaboration could be seen in the participation of Academy’s scientists in international research programs and projects, in extensive information exchange, and in the numerous license agreements and contracts that were concluded.
Academician B.E. Paton was a co-founder and from 1993 till 2017 the permanent President of the International Association of the Academies of Sciences (IAAS), which incorporates a number of national academies of sciences and world-renowned scientific organizations, universities and foundations and is an official UNESCO partner with the consultative status. He also headed the IAAS Scientific Council for Advanced Materials.
Academician B.E. Paton was the Honorary President of the International Academy of Engineering, a member of Academia Europaea, an Honorary Member of the Club of Rome, the International Academy of Technological Sciences, the International Academy of Sciences, Education, Industry and Arts, the International Academy of Astronautics. He was a Full Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, a foreign member of academies and S&T societies of numerous countries. Dozens of Ukrainian and foreign universities elected Academician B.E. Paton Doctor Honoris Causa, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, National Technical University of Ukraine ‘Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute’, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology etc. were among them.
As a person, scientist and citizen, B.E. Paton was incomparable in his ability to lead large teams of scientists and science managers towards a high goal, captivate them with his inexhaustible enthusiasm, and ensure environments favorable for creative work. He always quickly and promptly attended both to personal problems of his colleagues and to the needs of the economy and the state.
For his immense services to science and to the nation, B.E. Paton was twice honored with the high title of the Hero of Socialist Labor, the Hero of Ukraine and presented with the Order of the State. He was a holder of four orders of Lenin, orders of the October Revolution, the Labor Red Banner, the Friendship of Peoples, the orders of Freedom, Prince Yaroslav the Wise (I, IV and V Class), the Russian Federation order ‘For Services to the Motherland’ (I and II Class) and ‘Order of Honor’, orders of Francisk Skorina and ‘Friendship of Peoples’ of the Republic of Belarus, the orders of ‘Honor’ of Georgia, ‘Dostik’ (‘Friendship’) of the Republic of Kazakhstan, ‘Shikret’ (‘Honor’) of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the ‘Order of Honor’ of the Republic of Moldova. B.E. Paton was a winner of the Lenin and State Prizes of the USSR and Ukraine in Science and Technology. In 2010, he received the Global Energy International Prize — a most prestigious international award for outstanding achievements in energy engineering. He was awarded with the NAS V. Vernadsky Gold Medal, RAS M. Lomonosov, S.I. Vavilov, S.P. Korolyov Prizes, the highest award of the NAS of Belarus The Gold Medal of the NAS of Belarus ‘For Great Contribution to the Development of Science’, A. Einstein UNESCO Silver Medal, UNESCO Aristotle Gold Medal and numerous other prizes and honors.