The Khrushchev Thaw slightly de-veiled defense secrets and heightened public interest in science. Peaceful and non-peaceful atom, satellite, cybernetics... Physicists became the masters of thoughts, which was immediately noticed by the most sensitive people: poets. Literaturnaya Gazeta published the poem Physicists and Lyricists by Boris Slutsky Remember:
Physicists are held in reverence,
Lyricists – let’s be truthful – in the shade.
This is not an ordinary preference,
it’s a law, and is as such obeyed.
So, instead of being envious,
Let us watch objectively and coolly
How the foam of measures rhythmic
Drops away in sheer dejection,
And the mantle of distinction
Falls to spirals logarithmic.
The readers did not let go of greatness without a fight. During the Thaw, poets went public and gathered stadiums. They unfolded a major discussion to determine “who is more valuable for the mother history.” The expression “physicists and lyricists” was repeated so many times that it became a proverb, whereas “physicists” were widely interpreted – from biologists to mathematicians.
Here “lyricists” received unexpected support – from “physicists.” Without abandoning synchrophasotrons, microscopes and retorts, scientists took a pen and a guitar. It helped authors build, live and defend theses.
Doctor of Biological Sciences Dmitry Sakharov, better known among the fans of the author’s song as Dmitry Sukharev, noticed the trend faster than others:
Does it mean that the chiming clock went wrong?
Physics lost its spangle?
Post-graduate students became lyricists,
candidates and professors did the same...
Physicists became defeathered,
There’s a shadow hanging over them.
They indeed do something.
They were the first ones to start singing Slutsky’s songs!
Indeed, during the stagnation period, physicists stopped being the heroes of the day. And in the turning 90s, when both physicists and lyricists became useless for the country at once, a poem with the familiar title Physicists and Lyricists was written by Doctor of Geological and Mineralogical Sciences Aleksandr Gorodnitsky.
Physicists are no longer in honor today either,
They’re vegetating in melancholy, without money and glory.
Only emigration may save them now,
You can count those staying in Moscow on the fingers of one hand.
Lyricists are absent now either. Definitely.
Don’t judge them harshly, they are hardly to blame.
Earlier we didn’t have sex – now we don’t have enough love,
Earlier we didn’t have God, now we miss moral.
It turns out that poets noticed that the relationship between physicists and lyricists is a function of time and historical period. This conclusion is quite scientific.