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Official website of the President of Russia


The 2019 National Award in Science and Technology has been conferred on Andrei Golovnyov for his contribution to research into the cultural heritage of the Arctic indigenous peoples

June 18, 2020

Andrei Golovnyov was born on March 14, 1958, in Chelyabinsk. He is a Professor with a DSc in History, and a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He is the Director of the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (the Kunstkamera) of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Andrei Golovnyov is one of the most brilliant Russian anthropologists whose expertise in Arctic anthropology and ethnography is recognised in Russia and abroad.

As a practical anthropologist, Andrei Golovnyov has for many decades been involved in field research, in the fundamental study and applied projects concerning the cultural heritage of the Arctic indigenous peoples. His research has exposed not only the abundance of northern cultures but also their extraordinary adaptability to environmental conditions, cultural, political and economic impact. He was the first Russian scholar to hypothesise the concept of “anthropological movement.” According to this concept, nomadism is not considered an archaic characteristic. On the contrary, high mobility is seen as an archetypal quality of humankind and a driving force in human development.

The ethnological appraisal methodology proposed by Andrei Golovnyov can be efficiently used to optimise inter-ethnic cooperation and activate ethnic and cultural potential as the non-indigenous population develops northern natural resources.

Dr Golovnyov’s concept of Russia’s essentially northern nature and northern identity deserves particular attention. Russia is the largest northern country with its geographical centre on the polar circle in the lower reaches of the Yenisei River.

Considering that the Arctic and the subarctic region are playing an increasingly important role in the economic, social and strategic development of the Russian Federation, the propositions on Russia’s northern nature and practical conclusions about the northern indigenous people’s capability to develop their home region in cooperation with other ethnicities have, without doubt, strong theoretical and practical significance.