1.9

“FOR THE NATIVE LAND AND PEOPLE…”

 

1S.P. RUDA

1State University of Infrastructure and Technologies

Nauka naukozn. 2019, 1(103): 133-146

https://doi.org/10.15407/sofs2019.01.133

Section: Science and technology history

Language: Ukrainian

Abstract: The article is devoted to the life and work of Danylo Zabolotny, a prominent Ukrainian epidemiologist, President of the All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences (AUAS) (1928–1929), the founder of the Institute of Microbiology and Virology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. The situation within AUAS at late 20s of the past century is described, with highlighting the increasing political pressures on it and reasons behind the election of Zabolotny as AUAS president. The choice fell on academician Zabolotny because he had not been engaged in clashes between two main groups of academicians, which he could not do as he had worked in S.- Petersburg that time. Being a Ukrainian by birth, a peasant by origin, but an educated person, a graduate of two universities, with the proficiency in Greek, Latin, French, English and German language, a scientist with the worldwide merit, and also a good-natured man knowing and fond of literature and arts, he perfectly fit for this choice.

Detailed biographic account of D. Zabolotny is given, especially his research work in the field of epidemiology and his participation in scientific expeditions before his election as UASA president. It is emphasized that it was his active participation in anti-plague expeditions that made him widely recognized, and it was in 1898 that he was invited to S.-Petersburg women’s medical institute to teach the course of bacteriology, which success laid to organization of the first cathedra of medical bacteriology in Russia.

By use of notes written by scientists of that time it is demonstrated that Zabolotny’s presidency fell upon the difficult time for the Ukrainian Academy, when the soviet power began to mingle with its life. The president’s duties in times of the consolidating totalitarian regime and rapid “sovietization” of the scientific community were, therefore, quite difficult to fulfill. The following events showed that even a contained, intelligent and easy-going person like Zabolotny sometimes failed to win in fights with the state. Internal contradictions in the Academy could not be easily mitigated, as the president had to cope with problems of moral and ethical mature. The Zabolotny’s effort related to organization of the institute for microbiology is highlighted.

Keywords: All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, Presidium of All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, president, People’s Commissariat of Education, institute for microbiology.

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