Petersburg pioneers: Scientists and inventors in St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg's founder, Peter the Great, was a passionate advocate of scientific discovery and technological advancement, determined to attract the best minds from all across Europe to his new city and to transform Russia from an ultra-religious feudal backwater on the very periphery of European culture into a modern state at the forefront of technological progress.

By the end of the 19th century, Peter's dream had been fully realized, and St. Petersburg was unquestionably one of Europe's leading centres of scientific research. The great scientists and inventors that worked in St. Petersburg were mostly born far away from the city, but the Academy of Sciences and St. Petersburg University brought them together and fostered their talents, facilitating an enormous collective contribution to the span of human knowledge.