The Moscow Society of Naturalists celebrated the anniversary of the great scientist - Vernadsky
160 years ago, on March 12, 1863, Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky (1863 - 1945) was born - an outstanding natural scientist, thinker and public figure, creator of several scientific schools and a new science - geochemistry.
During his long life, Vernadsky managed to be an academician of the Imperial St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences, Ukrainian and USSR Academy of Sciences. Acting State Councilor. Founder of scientific schools in mineralogy, geochemistry, founder of the science of biogeochemistry. One of the representatives of Russian cosmism. Laureate of the Stalin Prize I degree.
Vernadsky's scientific interests included: mineralogy, crystallography, geochemistry, geology, soil science, radiogeology, biology, paleontology, biogeochemistry, meteoritics, philosophy and history of science. In addition, he was engaged in organizational and social activities.
According to Wikipedia, the father of Vladimir Vernadsky, Ivan Vasilievich, was a descendant of a Zaporizhzhya Cossack foreman, who derived himself from a certain Lithuanian gentry Verna. At the time of the birth of his son, Ivan Vernadsky served as an official for special assignments under the Minister of the Interior, taught economics and had the rank of a real state councilor.
Mother Anna Petrovna Konstantinovich came from a Russian noble family.
In 1881, Vladimir Vernadsky was enrolled as a student of the natural department of the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics at St. Petersburg University. Vernadsky's teachers were the geologist and soil scientist Vasily Dokuchaev, the botanist Andrei Beketov, and the chemist Dmitry Mendeleev. Upon graduation, Vernadsky was left at the university to prepare for a professorship and took the position of curator of the Mineralogical Cabinet.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, Vernadsky has occupied a prominent place in the scientific community of Russia. He maintains active contacts with scientists around the world. In 1908 he was elected an extraordinary academician (corresponding member) of the Imperial Academy of Sciences, and in 1912 he became an ordinary academician.
Vernadsky argued that the biosphere is a self-developing system. Its organization is ensured by the migration of chemical elements, which are affected by the main source of life - solar energy. At the same time, the biosphere is included in a single planetary ecological system, being in direct contact with other geospheres.
Even in the book "Biosphere", published in 1926, Vernadsky came to the conclusion that the appearance of man with his scientific thought was a natural stage in the evolution of the biosphere. Under the influence of a united humanity, mastering ever more powerful forces, the biosphere must inevitably change radically and move into a new state, which is called the noosphere - the sphere of mind (from the Greek noos - mind). In other words, the noosphere is the entire geological shell of the planet Earth, developing under the influence of conscious human activity. But the noosphere is not limited to the Earth - Vernadsky assumed that in the future the Cosmos would also be included in the noosphere.
“In the biosphere there is a great geological, perhaps cosmic force, the planetary action of which is usually not taken into account in ideas about the Cosmos ... This force is the mind of man, his striving and organized will as a social being,” Vernadsky wrote.
The scientist believed that humanity is capable of performing common reasonable actions, not only to satisfy its needs, but also in order to create harmony and balance on the planet. However, he warned, it is possible to change nature only in accordance with its laws, and only in this case it is possible to achieve harmony and happiness for all mankind.
Honor and praise to the authors of the Russian Wikipedia. They make up for what has been lost and consistently oppose memory amputation. For Russia, this is as important as for any other country in the world. No one else has such a rich scientific and cultural heritage. Provocations and assaults on Wikipedia are connected with this.
It can be said that Vernadsky erected a monument to himself not made by hands. Even before the emergence of the phenomenon of the blogosphere, it was clear that this was inevitable based on the idea of the noosphere. In 2020, this round of evolution ended with the transformation of the blogosphere into the fifth power.
Vernadsky's ideas received a natural spontaneous embodiment, revived and spread the memory of the founding creator.
The twenties of the new century brought a rethinking of historical memory and a new reading of the role of Russia in the evolution of mankind.
The biography of Vladimir Vernadsky plunges into the Russian scientific environment of the last and the century before last. You can see what it was like when the classics were young. How it changed, what remained in the textbooks, monographs and apocrypha of scientific folklore.
Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky was more than a typical representative of Russian science, refined in the standard classical version. The Russian scientific environment has never been blissful and comfortable. In Russia, a real self-sufficient civilization of naturalists - travelers and experimenters, open to the world and whole inside, has developed.
Before the revolution, it was customary in the scientific and especially student environment to demonstrate a liberal protest against any manifestations of power. After the revolution, as a result of a combination of complex multidirectional processes, the Soviet government built science and made it a national symbol.
The fate of each individual scientist evolved unpredictably in a wide range of outcomes from farce to tragedy with stops at the "recognition" and "curse" stations. Liberal protest mummified, freeing the field for monarchist communitarianism. But he did not die, but was reborn with particular intransigence after the replacement of Soviet power with non-Soviet power.
Vladimir Vernadsky was lucky. Well, all of us along with him. In his person we have the image of a great scientist, which does not cause discrepancies and disagreements.
On Thursday, March 16, 2023, in room 11 of the Zoological Museum of Moscow State University on Bolshaya Nikitskaya, a joint meeting of several sections of the Moscow Society of Naturalists was held, dedicated to the 160th anniversary of the birth of Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky.
The meeting was chaired by the historian of science Sergey Bagotsky.
The keynote speaker was Sergey Andreevich Ostroumov, Leading Researcher, Faculty of Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University. M.V. Lomonosov. According to cyberleninka.ru, Ostroumov contributed to the knowledge of anthropogenic influences that cause a decrease in the biogeochemical (biospheric and hydrospheric) functions of living matter.
Thus, Ostroumov should be considered the direct successor of the founder Vernadsky.
The speaker spoke about the human side of Vernadsky's biography, how the choice of life path and place of work took place. It seemed that Russia could lose the main figure in the national gallery of scientists. However, the Russian evolutionary school proceeds from the predetermination of the future. There is no point in resisting fate, fate must be created.
Ostroumov named the main achievements of Vernadsky - the doctrine of the noosphere, the uranium project, the idea of the ubiquity of life and living matter, biogeochemical provinces.
I was lucky in my life, I had a chance to participate in expeditions of the laboratory of biogeochemistry GEOKHI of the USSR Academy of Sciences. The head of the expedition was my friend Vladimir Krivitsky, one of the ideological followers of Vernadsky. The Biogeochemical Laboratory of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (BIOGEL) was founded by Vernadsky at the beginning of the last century. Since 1947, the laboratory has been part of GEOKHI.
To understand what a biogeochemical province is, you need to visit it.
The expedition, with the participation of specialists from various fields of science, carried out complex studies of plants and animals, geobotanical and biochemical. Samples were collected in the field, on farms and meat processing plants. Wild animals have been found to occupy ecological niches that avoid abnormal levels of heavy metals. With domesticated animals and people themselves, it was more difficult.
There are several biogeochemical provinces on the territory of vast Russia, and they are very different.
This I mean that the teachings of Vernadsky has a practical application, and a very important one. The center of Moscow with a complex of university buildings, where the Moscow State University Museum is located, is literally imbued with the memory of Vernadsky. Here he lectured as Privatdozent. Here is the Geological Museum named after him.
The spirit of the place helps scientists understand each other and restore what their predecessors thought.
The contemplation of minerals is as useful for a biologist as much food for thought is given to any natural scientist by a close look at the living world. The indefatigable variety of forms of self-organization, limited by a single criterion, the best of the criteria - beauty. From this arises a life-giving multidisciplinarity.
How unfortunate words are invented by scientists, trying to convince themselves and others of something. If not for the flight of fantasy, the literal meaning would lead to a dead end.
Did Vernadsky know that he was engaged in multidisciplinarity? Ostroumov, the speaker, knew in advance that his answer to Vernadsky's attitude to the concept of "vital force" would not satisfy the audience. And at the same time, he never ceased to be surprised at how attentively they listened to him.
The successful choice of the organizers had an effect. The man spoke in such a way that he could be understood, and accordingly arranged the selection and sequence of information about Vernadsky.
We saw a man in a great scientist and public figure, a reformer of science. A person just like us, and just like us, looking for his place in life. Chaotic throwing is directed by self-organization, and the life of a scientist in the description of his historians appears as a precious mineral with clean edges.
Vernadsky foresaw the energy future of uranium. He searched for the origins of life and eventually supported the idea of panspermia. Vernadsky's terminology has become a classic element of the civilizational heritage - the biosphere and noosphere, living and inert matter. I think I would be very surprised to find myself in a discussion with Vernadsky. The semantics of words known from school has changed dramatically.
Thus, Democritus' term "atom" has become common and does not cause discrepancies. Democritus did not foresee the fission of the atom and the energy value of this phenomenon. He generally had something else in mind, participating in the scientific discussion of his time.
Sergei Bagotsky firmly declared the failure of the term "living matter". Vernadsky has these words on every page.
In our era, chemistry has long become a boring routine, we simply do not know about its new directions. In the mass consciousness, chemistry does not have that mystical meaning when love was denoted by the words "there is something chemical between them."
Which, by the way, was completely confirmed.
Similarly, attitudes towards cars have changed.
The speaker did not accept the host's objections. From the explanations, it is clear that Vernadsky was looking for a way to get away from fruitless discussions flooding the meaning with valuable thoughts about the origin of life, when the very meaning of life is lost.
In principle, terms should save brains, but in reality they become a factor in the fragmentation of science.
The record among the various designations belongs to attempts to designate the very essence of the phenomenon of life.
Regardless of who the scientist loves more, a classic in himself or outside of himself, but you have to agree. Vernadsky is a unique figure in the history of science. His terminology became classically accepted and thus cemented the basis of science. His finds did not run away from the author, but became elements of his personal image.
The speaker was objected to, but in fact they did not argue with him. He did not mention Vernadsky's predecessors and teachers. As a result, the image of the reformer of science became even more solid.
Vernadsky is still just one of the many figures of the great and generous Russian science. We know less about others...
In the system of images, Timofeev-Resovsky fell to be Vernadsky's antipode. This founder made many discoveries in laboratory and field research, provoked a revolution in science and was fantastically popular in the international environment.
Science is built not by scientists, but by society, and there are more rights for amateurs.
Timofeev-Resovsky ended his life in complete oblivion. Few people know about his scientific heritage now. But at least he died of natural causes. What cannot be said about the great Nikolai Vavilov. When I studied at the Department of Genetics, this name could not be called out loud.
I repeat once again, one can be glad for Vernadsky and all of us that we have a figure that does not cause discrepancies. In his image, one can imagine what they were, our classics, artificially deleted from the history of science.