Научная статья на тему 'Недавние исследования по истории научного знания. Научный обмен между Россией и Германией. Рец. На кн. «Естественные науки как коммуникативное пространство» (2011)'

Недавние исследования по истории научного знания. Научный обмен между Россией и Германией. Рец. На кн. «Естественные науки как коммуникативное пространство» (2011) Текст научной статьи по специальности «История и археология»

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Текст научной работы на тему «Недавние исследования по истории научного знания. Научный обмен между Россией и Германией. Рец. На кн. «Естественные науки как коммуникативное пространство» (2011)»


Recent Research on Scientific Knowledge:

Circulation between Germany and Russia in the 19th Century1

Brigitte Hoppe

University of Munich, Munich, Germany; B.Hoppe@lrz.

Papers discussing cross-cultural scientific relations in Europe during the 19th century are collected in this volume.

They had been presented by European and overseas scholars at an international conference held in Leipzig, Germany, from September 29 to October 1, 2010. It was organized by a research group working on the basis of the long-term project Scientific Relations between Germany and Russia in the Fields of Chemistry, Pharmacy, and Medicine in the 19th Century at the Saxon Academy of Sciences and Humanities in collaboration with the Karl-Sudhoff-Institute for the History of Medicine and Science at the Leipzig University, Medical Faculty. The collection of 31 contributions in German, Russian, and English language unites different subjects in six parts. Some introductory speeches emphasize the long tradition of important research results and recent efforts and projects at the University and the Academy of Leipzig, in particular in the fields of Natural and Life Sciences, and their history as well. Fundamental viewpoints of the research program concerning the cross-cultural scientific relations, also connected with political and economic impacts in former Europe are outlined by two keynote speeches. D.v. Engelhardt, Luebeck, depicts main aspects drawn from different sources regarding scientific exchange of ideas around 1800, while M. Middell, Leipzig, analyses the complex structures of processes of cultural transfers of knowledge. Both contributions outline important aspects to be considered by future historians.


Ortrun Riha und Marta Fischer (Hgg.)

Naturwissenschaft als Kommunikationsraum

Internationale Tagung, Leipzig, 29.9.-1.10.2010

1 Review of Riha O., Fischer M. (eds.). Science as a Medium of Communication between Germany and Russia in the 19th Century (Relationes, vol. 6). Aachen, Germany: Shaker Publisher, 2011. 572 p.

The main part of the book includes 28 case studies arranged in accordance with subjects. The role of individual works of mediating exchange in the fields of chemistry and pharmacy between German and Russian scientific activities is discussed concerning F.K. Beilstein (E. Roussanova), G.v. Bunge (R. Pfrepper and G. Pfrepper), W.v. Ostwald and I.S. Plotnikov (E.A. Zaitseva/-Baum/) and V. Vernadsky (M.J. Sorokina; in Russian). The reception of the fundamental Periodic Table, developed separately by D.I. Mendeleev and L. Meyer in the 1860s, in German chemical textbooks is studied by G. Boeck. In an overview of reports in German historiography of pharmacy concerning activities of German pharmacists emigrated to Russia C. Friedrich points out that the knowledge on this topic is very meagre. The case studies on then current developments in areas of medicine and psychology are based also on individual achievements. New diagnostic methods were introduced in the St. Petersburg Medico-Surgical Academy by KJ.v. Seidlitz in the first half of the 19th century (G. Kichigina). The lasting impact of the physiological work and theories of E.H. Du Bois-Reymond on Kharkov University physicians depicts V.A. Abasnik. The difficult position of E. Kraepelin at the former Dorpat (now Tartu) University at the end of the 19th century who tried to reform psychiatry, but was hindered by panslavistic endeavours, describes F. Mildenberger. The discussions on new purposes of psychology introduced by leading German psychologists, who influenced their Russian colleagues from the end of the 19th to the beginning of the 20th centuries, are outlined concerning the examples of V.M. Bechterev (S. de Freitas Araujo), of A. Nachayev (S. Guski-Leinwand), and of the Russian Psychological Society (N.J. Masolikova; in Russian). The fourth chapter of the book is devoted to one of the principal themes of the 19th century biology and medicine, to hygiene. The prevention and treatment of infectious diseases were especially practised in the Naval Forces of the Russian Empire around the middle of the 19th century (V.S. Sobolev; in Russian). Activities of Russian physicians who were incited by German hygienists, in particular by the Munich university professor Max v. Pettenkofer (F. Steger, N. Meyer, W. Locher), furthered hygiene regulations and public health even in the provinces of the Russian Czardom as outlined with regard to Saratov (L. Hafner) and the Odessa region (K.K. Vasylyev). The spreading of Eugenics in Russia at the beginning of the 20th century, exemplified especially by the biography and work of E.A. Sepilevskij , Professor of hygiene and bacteriology at Dorpat (Tartu) 1904-1918, is described by B.M. Felder.

Chapter five of the book, relating to zoology and botany is devoted to works of naturalists living in Russian countries and introducing evolutionary ideas into biological fields — often influenced by German contemporary naturalists. In several essays is outlined a long lasting overview from the first decades of the 19th to the beginning of the 20th centuries. The detailed discussion of the voluminous work on Comparative Osteology (14 vols., 1821-1838) by C.H. Pander (1794-1865) and E.J. D’Alton (1772-1840) describes the significance of ideas of transformism during the pre-Darwinian period of biology (Th. Schmuck). A revision of the statements on extinction and “transmutation” of species in the work of one of the leading German-Baltic naturalists, K.E.v. Baer (1792— 1876), who rejected in particular Darwin’s assumption of the efficiency of natural selection during a long time-scale, presents Erki Tammiksaar. The many-sided discussions of Russian scientists, many of them influenced by German naturalists, on different hypotheses of evolutionism depicts E.I. Kolchinsky. The development of modern Zoology in Russia was much stimulated by students and scholars visiting the zoological school of Otto Butschli (1848-1920), zoological protistologist and cytologist at the University of Heidelberg around 1900 (S.I. Fokin; in Russian). An influential competition took place at the St. Petersburg Zoological Museum and the Imperial Academy of Sciences at the same time,

which showed a nationalist confrontation between Russian and German parties. It was rather a scientific contest between the traditional direction of zoological systematics and the then more modern morphological analysis of animals. The conflict was decided in favour of taxonomic zoology, so that this Zoological Museum became one of the leading institutions of the world (N.V. Slepkova). The emergence of botany and in particular of its branch plant geography in Russia was initiated by botanists with origin of German-speaking countries and working in Russia. The important turn of the situation was based on the foundation of societies, congresses, and new university positions of naturalists since the 1860s, as A.A. Fedotova points out (in Russian). A similar significance for the development of veterinary medicine in Russia had the foundation of the Society of Veterinary Surgeons in 1846 in St. Petersburg which remained active until 1917 (N.E. Beregoj; in Russian). A special aspect, i.e. knowledge transfer between St. Petersburg and Leipzig represented by the relations of the Imperial Academy of Sciences and of the academician K.E.v. Baer to the Leipzig publisher Leopold Voss (1793-1868), who held the position of a commission agent for the Russian Academy of Sciences since 1832, is analysed by A. Ananieva.

The volume is terminated by biographical contributions presenting several works in progress. Short biographies of almost 600 persons, i. e. professors, lecturers and doctors from the 18th to the 20th centuries (1784-1918), are collected by a partner project of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the Lviv National Medical University (D. Angetter, M. Nadraga, A. Nad-raga). The work on a multivolume encyclopedia of professors in the Russian Czardom, which is arranged in accordance with disciplines, is described by V.A. Volkov and M.V. Kulikova. Finally, the program of the project of the Saxon Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Leipzig, realized by the Karl-Sudhoff-Institute for the History of Medicine and Sciences, to compile a biobibliographical encyclopedia of German-Russian Relations in Chemistry, Pharmacy, and Medicine during the 19th century is outlined by M. Fischer.

The collection of papers in this volume presents an impressive richness of historic details on different topics resulting from intense studies of original sources preserved in European archives. It shows in addition, how many questions concerning the circulation of knowledge between different regions of former European countries remain unresolved, since we learn by these exemplary case studies that academic institutions of different regions were connected by learned people corresponding with their colleagues and travelling around by carrying out their “academic tour” at different levels of their education and work. Thus, the authors involved in the current project of the Saxon Academy of Sciences but also future researchers working at other institutions may be stimulated to exchange archival materials and to continue the work. A large field of important research regarding the development of life sciences in Europe is outlined by this book. By continuing the work historians of sciences and medicine will gain further insights into the principal points and turns of the structure of the European communication space.

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