Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky (Russian: Влади́мир Ива́нович Верна́дский; Ukrainian: Володи́мир Іва́нович Верна́дський; 12 March [O.S. 28 February] 1863 – 6 January 1945) was a Russian and Soviet mineralogist and geochemist who is considered one of the founders of geochemistry, biogeochemistry, and radiogeology. He is also known as the founder of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences (now National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine). He is most noted for his 1926 book The Biosphere in which he inadvertently worked to popularize Eduard Suess' 1885 term biosphere, by hypothesizing that life is the geological force that shapes the earth. In 1943 he was awarded the Stalin Prize.
Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky
12 March [O.S. 28 February] 1863
|Died||6 January 1945 (aged 81)|
|Education||Doctor of Science (1897)|
|Alma mater||Saint Petersburg Imperial University|
|Fields||Geology, crystallography, mineralogy, geochemistry, radiogeology, biology, biogeochemistry, philosophy|
|Institutions||Moscow University Professor|
National Academy of Science of Ukraine
Tavrida National V.I. Vernadsky University
Moscow Institute of Fine Chemical Technologies
|Thesis||Slip phenomena of crystalline matter|
|Influences||Vasily Dokuchaev, Andreas Artsruni|
Vernadsky was born in Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire, on 12 March [O.S. 28 February] 1863 in family of the native Kiev residents Russian Imperial economist Ivan Vernadsky and music instructor Anna Petrovna Konstantinovich. According to family legend, his father's ancestors were Zaporozhian Cossacks. Ivan Vernadsky had been a professor of political economy in Kiev at the St. Vladimir University before moving to Saint Petersburg; then he was an Active State Councillor and worked in the Governing Senate in St. Petersburg. Vladimir's mother was a Russian noblewoman of Ukrainian Cossack descent. Vernadsky graduated from Saint Petersburg State University in 1885. As the position of mineralogist in Saint Petersburg State University was vacant, and Vasily Dokuchaev, a soil scientist, and Alexey Pavlov, a geologist, had been teaching Mineralogy for a while, Vernadsky chose to enter Mineralogy. He wrote to his wife Natasha on 20 June 1888 from Switzerland:
...to collect facts for their own sake, as many now gather facts, without a program, without a question to answer or a purpose, is not interesting. However, there is a task which someday those chemical reactions which took place at various points on earth; these reactions take place according to laws which are known to us, but which, we are allowed to think, are closely tied to general changes which the earth has undergone by the earth with the general laws of celestial mechanics. I believe there is hidden here still more to discover when one considers the complexity of chemical elements and the regularity of their occurrence in groups...
While trying to find a topic for his doctorate, he first went to Naples to study under crystallographer Arcangelo Scacchi, who was senile by that time. Scacchi's condition led Vernadsky to go to Germany to study under Paul Groth. Vernadsky learned to use Groth's modern equipment, which included a machine to study the optical, thermal, elastic, magnetic and electrical properties of crystals. He also gained access to the physics lab of Leonhard Sohncke (Direktor, Physikalisches Institut der Universität Jena, 1883–1886; Professor der Physik an der Technischen Hochschule München 1886 -1897), who was studying crystallisation during that period.
Vernadsky participated in the First General Congress of the zemstvos, held in Petersburg on the eve of the 1905 revolution to discuss how best to pressure the government to the needs of the Russian society; became a member of the liberal Constitutional Democratic Party (KD); and served in parliament, resigning to protest the Tsar's proroguing of the Duma. He served as professor and later as vice rector of Moscow University, from which he also resigned in 1911 in protest over the government's reactionary policies.
Following the advent of the First World War, his proposal for the establishment of the Commission for the Study of the Natural Productive Forces (KEPS) was adopted by the Imperial Academy of Sciences in February 1915. He published War and the Progress of Science where he stressed the importance of science as regards to its contribution to the war effort:
- "After the war of 1914–1915 we will have to make known and accountable the natural productive forces of our country, i.e. first of all to find means for broad scientific investigations of Russia’s nature and for the establishment of a network of well equipped research laboratories, museums and institutions . . . . This is no less necessary than the need for an improvement in the conditions of our civil and political life, which is so acutely perceived by the entire country."
Vernadsky first popularized the concept of the noosphere and deepened the idea of the biosphere to the meaning largely recognized by today's scientific community. The word 'biosphere' was invented by Austrian geologist Eduard Suess, whom Vernadsky met in 1911.
In Vernadsky's theory of the Earth's development, the noosphere is the third stage in the earth's development, after the geosphere (inanimate matter) and the biosphere (biological life). Just as the emergence of life fundamentally transformed the geosphere, the emergence of human cognition will fundamentally transform the biosphere. In this theory, the principles of both life and cognition are essential features of the Earth's evolution, and must have been implicit in the earth all along. This systemic and geological analysis of living systems complements Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection, which looks at each individual species, rather than at its relationship to a subsuming principle.
Vernadsky's visionary pronouncements were not widely accepted in the West. However, he was one of the first scientists to recognize that the oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere result from biological processes. During the 1920s he published works arguing that living organisms could reshape the planets as surely as any physical force. Vernadsky was an important pioneer of the scientific bases for the environmental sciences.
Vernadsky was a member of the Russian and Soviet Academies of Sciences since 1912 and was a founder and first president of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences in Kiev, Ukraine (1918). He was a founder of the National Library of Ukrainian State and worked closely with the Tavrida University in Crimea. During the Russian Civil War, he hosted gatherings of the young intellectuals who later founded the émigré Eurasianism movement.
In the late 1930s and early 1940s Vernadsky played an early advisory role in the Soviet atomic bomb project, as one of the most forceful voices arguing for the exploitation of nuclear power, the surveying of Soviet uranium sources, and having nuclear fission research conducted at his Radium Institute. He died, however, before a full project was pursued.
Vernadsky's son George Vernadsky (1887–1973) emigrated to the United States where he published numerous books on medieval and modern Russian history.
UNESCO sponsored an international scientific conference, "Globalistics-2013", at Moscow State University on 23–25 October 2013, in honor of Vernadsky's 150th birthday.
- Father – Ivan Vernadsky, Russian Imperial economist
- Mother – Аnna Konstantinovich, Russian music instructor
- Wife – Nataliya Yegorovna Staritskaya (married in 1887 in St. Petersburg)
- Son – George Vernadsky, American Russian historian, an author of numerous books on Russian history and philosophy
- Daughter – Nina Toll, Doctor-psychiatrist
- Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine is the main academic library in Ukraine
- Ukrainian Antarctic station Akademik Vernadsky
- Tavrida National V.I. Vernadsky University, university in Simferopol
- Vernadsky Institute of geochemistry and analytical chemistry, a research institution of the Russian Academy of Sciences
- Vernadsky State Geological Museum is the oldest museum in Moscow
- Vernadsky Mountain Range is a mountains in Antarctica and is an extension of the Gamburtsev Mountain Range.
- Bulvar Akademika Vernadskoho (Academician Vernadsky Boulevard) is a street in Kiev
- Vulytsia Petra Zaporozhtsia (in 1961–1963 vulytsia Akademika Vernadsky) is a street in Kiev
- Vernadskiy (crater), a lunar crater
- Vernadsky Medal awarded annually by the International Association of GeoChemistry 
- 2809 Vernadskij, an asteroid
- Geochemistry, published in Russian 1924
- The Biosphere, first published in Russian in 1926. English translations:
- Essays on Geochemistry & the Biosphere, tr. Olga Barash, Santa Fe, NM, Synergetic Press, ISBN 0-907791-36-0, 2006
- Dnevniki 1917–1921: oktyabr 1917-yanvar 1920 (Diaries 1917–1921), Kiev, Naukova dumka, 1994, ISBN 5-12-004641-X, 269 pp.
- Dnevniki. Mart 1921-avgust 1925 (Diaries 1921–1925), Moscow, Nauka, 1998, ISBN 5-02-004422-9, 213 pp.
- Dnevniki 1926–1934 (Diaries 1926–1934), Moscow, Nauka, 2001, ISBN 5-02-004409-1, 455 pp.
- Dnevniki 1935–1941 v dvukh knigakh. Kniga 1, 1935–1938 (Diaries 1935–1941 in two volumes. Volume 1, 1935–1938), Moscow, Nauka, 2006,ISBN 5-02-033831-1,444 pp.
- Dnevniki 1935–1941 v dvukh knigakh. Kniga 2, 1939–1941 (Diaries 1935–1941. Volume 2, 1939–1941), Moscow, Nauka, 2006, ISBN 5-02-033832-X, 295 pp.
- Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky. Encyclopaedia Britannica
- Encyclopaedia Britannica
- "Большая российская энциклопедия".
- "Honoring Vladimir Vernadsky: Russian-Ukrainian Scientist's 150th Year Wraps Up". Archived from the original on 3 February 2015. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
- Верна́дський Володи́мир Іва́нович. Універсальний Словник-Енциклопедія
- Samson, Paul R.; Pitt, David C. (1999). The Biosphere and Noosphere Reader: Global Environment, Society, and Change. London: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-16644-7.
- Книжкова виставка – «Життя, присвячене науці» – до 150-річчя від дня народження В. І. Вернадського (1863–1945) [Book exhibition – "A life devoted to science" – the 150th anniversary of VI Vernadsky (1863–1945)] (in Ukrainian). Nplu.org. 12 February 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
- В.В. Томазов. Генеалогія В.І. Вернадського: походження та родинні зв'язки
- Oldfield, jon. "Russian geography and the Commission for the Study of the Natural Productive Forces of Russia (KEPS), 1915-1930" (PDF). www.york.ac.uk. University of York. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
- Kojevnikov, Alexei (2002). "The Great War, the Russian Civil War, and the Invention of Big Science". Science in Context. 15 (2): 239–275. doi:0.1017/S0269889702000443 Check
- Josephson P., Dronin N., Mnatsakanyan R., Cherp A., Efremenko D., Larin A. (2013) An Environmental History of Russia. New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. 54–57. ISBN 9781139021043. doi:10.1017/CBO9781139021043
- Weart, S.R. (2003) The Discovery of Global Warming, Cambridge, Harvard Press
- See Vernadsky's diaries in the "Works" section, summarized in Sergei Glebov. "Russian and East European Books and Manuscripts in the United States" in Russian and East European Books and Manuscripts in the United States: Proceedings of a Conference in Honor of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Bakhmeteff Archive of Russian and East European History and Culture (Slavic and East European Information Resources, Volume 4, Number 4 2003), eds. Jared S. Ingersoll and Tanya Chebotarev, The Haworth Press, 2003, ISBN 0-7890-2405-5 p. 29
- Margulis, Lynn; Sagan, Dorion (2000). What Is Life?. University of California Press. p. 170. ISBN 978-0-520-22021-8.
Both the French paleontologist-priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and the Russian atheist Vladimir Vernadsky agreed that Earth is developing a global mind.
- Neelakandan, Aravindan (21 February 2013). "Vernadsky, Noosphere and Vivekananda". Centreright.in. Archived from the original on 30 May 2015. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
- "Yuva Bharati February 2012 | Vivekananda Kendra Prakashan". Prakashan.vivekanandakendra.org. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
- Cite error: The named reference
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- Ukraine starts printing new 1,000-hryvnia banknotes, UNIAN (1 October 2019)
- Imperial Moscow University: 1755–1917: encyclopedic dictionary. Moscow: Russian political encyclopedia (ROSSPEN). A. Andreev, D. Tsygankov. 2010. pp. 120–122. ISBN 978-5-8243-1429-8.
- "Science and Russian Cultures in an Age of Revolutions" ISBN 0-253-31123-3
- Lapo, Andrei V. (March 2001). "Vladimir I. Vernadsky (1863–1945), founder of the biosphere concept" (PDF). Int. Microbiol. 4 (1). pp. 47–9. doi:10.1007/s101230100008. PMID 11770820.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Vladimir Vernadsky.|
- The grave of Vernadsky
- Behrends, Thilo, The Renaissance of V.I. Vernadsky, Newsletter of the Geochemical Society, #125, October 2005, http://www.geochemsoc.org/files/4813/4436/8118/gn125.pdf retrieved 27 April 2013
- Vernadsky's biography
- Electronic archive of writings from and about Vernadsky (Russian) http://vernadsky.lib.ru/
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