The Centre’s mission is to advance knowledge in the field of Russian language studies and to foster a broader understanding of Russia through research, academic training and knowledge exchange.
The Centre has the following areas of activity:
The Centre's objectives are to:
The Centre is named after Princess Ekaterina Dashkova, one of the leading figures of the Russian enlightenment, who lived in Edinburgh from 1776 to 1782 while her son attended the University. While in Edinburgh Princess Dashkova lived at the Palace of Holyrood House and was close friends with several of Scotland’s brightest enlightenment thinkers including William Robertson, Adam Smith, Hugh Blair and Adam Fergusson.
On returning to Russia she was appointed Director of the Russian Imperial Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg - becoming the first woman in the world to lead a national science academy - and founded the Imperial Academy of the Russian Language. In 1783, as Director of the Imperial Academy of Sciences she awarded William Robertson, Principal of the University of Edinburgh with the honorary degree of Doctor of Sacred Theology.
Her legacy includes thousands of pages of notes, letters, and manuscripts. As an academic, Princess Dashkova is most known however for her editing of the Academic Dictionary of the Russian language, a pioneering work in the Russian lexicology of the 18th century.