Факультет психологии Московского государственного университета им. М.В. Ломоносова Факультет психологии МГУ им. М.В. Ломоносова

Психологи МГУ: А Б В Г Д Е Ж З И К Л М Н О П Р С Т У Ф Х Ц Ч Ш Щ Э Ю Я

Russian version

Лучков Вячеслав Викторович

Vyacheslav Viktorovich Luchkov
(1941-1997)

Vyacheslav Viktorovich Luchkov was born on September 21, 1941. After leaving school in 1957 he entered the Faculty of Law of the Moscow State University. He dreamt of being a lawyer, but self-actualization was hardly possible in this profession under the Soviet regime, and thus in 1959 he transferred to the Philological Faculty of the Moscow State University, Department of Romance and German Philology. Being the fifth year student in 1964 he entered the evening department of the MSU Biological Faculty (specialty — physiology of higher nervous activity) and for a certain period he was studying at the daytime and evening departments simultaneously. In 1964 he graduated from the Philological Faculty and was assigned to work as an interpreter in Iraq, Baghdad, where he staid for a year. Back in Moscow he worked as a teacher of the English language at the University and continued his studying at the Biological Faculty. He took an external degree in 1967.

In 1966 Luchkov started working in one of the exploratory laboratories of the Research and Development Institute of Educational Psychology under the Academy of Educational Sciences of the USSR.

This was when the persecution of the so-called dissidents — those who criticized the then order in the society — took place. In 1967 the writers Sinyavsky and Daniel were prosecuted. Very few were as valiant as to protest against this unjust procedure and Luchkov was one of the few. He had foreign friends — a thing strictly forbidden in that time. Vyacheslav Luchkov was a person of great internal freedom and independence — quite some courage under the existing conditions often requiring sacrifice. In 1968 Luchkov was excluded from the Young Communist League and from the Institute due to his political convictions. Afterwards he has been trying to enter the postgraduate course of the Institute for several years, but every time he was met with refusal.

In 1973 he finally became a postgraduate of the just founded Institute of Psychology under the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. A thesis titled “System Study of the Inner Composition and Interdisciplinary Relations of Human Engineering” was written under the supervision of the Institute Director Professor B.F. Lomov.

After completing the postgraduate course in 1977 he accepted the offer of the Dean of the Faculty Professor A.N. Leontiev and became the scientific editor of the magazine launched the same year at the Psychological Faculty “Moscow University Bulletin, Series 14, Psychology”. Vyacheslav Luchkov was the first editor of the faculty magazine and has remained the same for 10 years.

It was decided right from the outset that, firstly, the magazine was to be not merely a periodic collection of articles by faculty employees and postgraduates, but rather a real magazine with subject columns, scientific news, discussion department, jubilee and archive materials publications, etc. Secondly, to make the magazine well read and interesting it required good editing. Thirdly, the objective of the magazine was not mere description of the faculty life but also the means of connection of the faculty activity with the life of the whole scientific community and the country.

These tasks were performed owing to deep professionalism, erudition and enthusiasm of Vyacheslav Luchkov. The magazine published fundamental articles dealing with the acute problems of psychological science, new columns were introduced and continuously updated: “From Psychology History”, “Foreign Psychology”, “Psychology News”, “Psychology to Practice” and others. This is what made the magazine informative and interesting. This immediately affected the growth of magazine circulation. It built up especially fast after the subscription limit was removed — 21 a year on average (from 1983 to 1987 the circulation has totally grew by 83%). Among the Bulletins of the Moscow University the psychological bulletin was far ahead of those issued by other faculties.

Vyacheslav Viktorovich Luchkov was a talented and widely and diversely educated person. He possessed deep knowledge, wide erudition; he truly loved and perfectly mastered the Russian language. He was the editor of best quality, the artist widely acknowledged. Virtually all the leading psychologists wanted him to editor their books. He also knew two foreign languages, English and French, and translated interesting psychological works.

Along with the magazine business Vyacheslav Viktorovich Luchkov was occupied with scientific work as well. He was the author of distinguished articles devoted to complicated and disputable problems of psychology, the articles that often caused acute discussions. A number of articles were written together with the leading Russian psychologists (A.N. Leontiev, B.F. Lomov, M.S. Pevzner, etc.) In 1986 in cooperation with the then Dean of the Psychological Faculty of the MSU E.A. Klimov a program article was written dealing with the prospects of the faculty life with many statements being still topical for the faculty today.

For the period from 1990 till 1995 Vyacheslav Viktorovich has been working in the United States — at the Russian-American Center — in the position of the Vice President, Director Psychology Project. The Center was headed by Dulce W. Murphy.

The aim of Psychology Project, as Luchkov saw it, “was to assist in: development of Russian Psychology, growth of its professional level and applied potential, efficient integration into social life; improvement of communication system of Soviet and American psychologists; theoretical development of scientific psychology. The opportunities and forms of these ideas implementation depend on the involvement of both Soviet and American sides in the corresponding work… One of the major psychological demands revealed in the Soviet Union by the common opinion, was the necessity to restore the lost mental, environmental, social and economical health of the country. To solve the related tasks the Soviet Union was inevitably in demand of extensive use of the West experience to compensate for the dozens and dozens of years when this topic had been ignored and no professional relations and information exchange had been possible with the Western countries. The aim of Psychology Project was to make all the arrangements for the efficient interaction of American and Soviet experts, to organize and structure the process of transfer and assimilation of the practically valuable psychological information in the Soviet Union. Skillful use of such information would significantly smoothen painful Perestroika processes, make the shift to socially and mentally health society easier”.

The plans of the Psychology Project were the following (sub-projects): monographic research “Psychology and Perestroika”; development of English-Russian/Russian-English encyclopedic dictionary of psychological terms; several series of reviews of applied and theoretical psychology in the Soviet Union; psychological magazine “Life and Psychology” mainly aimed at giving the Soviet reader the idea of how the psychological (or even the human factor) knowledge and information is created and operated in the Western world, in the economic and social structures.

The magazine “Life and Psychology” was supposed to tell about the aims of psychologists in the Western countries, the psychology as profession, psychologists’ partners and the way of cooperation with them, the provision and assessment of their work at the level of society and culture in general. Thus the magazine was to be focused on all the professionals whose work requires assimilation of information on human factor, as well as the demands of any Soviet reader interested in searching the ways of improvement of social life quality.

Moreover it was planned to coordinate the program implemented by the Center and implying invitation of Soviet clinical psychologists and the representatives of other ‘assisting’ professions to the one-year probation at the Department of Mental Health under Berkley City Administration.

In summer 1993 the Directorate for the preparation of «The Russian-American Assistance Program for Psychology in Russia» was established by V.V. Luchkov. One the main tasks of the Directorate was “to organize systematic conference meetings of Russian and American psychologists”. These conferences were to be highlighted in the press: the Assistance Program shall use the internal potential of propaganda and popularization of psychology to the most. A wide range of support groups of initiatives in Russian psychology development shall be formed… Information support of psychology is necessary: books, magazines, reference, bibliographical and information and search systems; data bases; systems of professional notification and communication organize a campaign in the USA to collect psychological and “near about” literature for Russia (for the libraries of psychological faculties) turn to the American universities, professional psychological societies, directly to the American psychologists, to the publishers of American psychological magazines, to the management of publishing houses specialized in psychological literature, asking for the free copy of their editions for the needs of Russian psychology ... Moreover at the meetings of the Directorate the issue has been discussed of the possibility of creating a ‘Russian Psychology Support Club’ under the Russian-American Center (San-Francisco), of taking actions to support psychology in Russia…”

As we can clearly see from the above said all the energy, intellectual potential and interests of Vyacheslav Viktorovich Luchkov have been focused on the development of psychology in this country.

Vyacheslav Luchkov has started implementing the plan of information support of the Psychological Faculty; he has brought a great number of modern books and magazines recently issued in America. They were to become the first items of the library which after Vyacheslav Luchkov’s death on October 30, 1997, was renamed into the Fund in the name of V.V. Luchkov, as it had been suggested by Dulce Murphy, Chief Executive Officer of the Russian-American Center. Today Dulce Murphy is continuing the work of Vyacheslav Luchkov providing great help in supplying new books and magazines to the Fund.

Vyacheslav Viktorovich Luchkov was the real Russian intellectual, member of Russian intelligentsia. In one of his latest letters he said that psychological science in this country needs help and that he would be happy to serve the science and Russia. This was exactly the task he was trying his best to fulfill.


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