“We are living in remarkable time, when a man becomes geological force changing the look of our planet,” Vladimir Vernadsky wrote. Biologists place him on par with Darwin and Pavlov, geographers call him the creator of modern geography, while geologists attribute the creation of geology to this scientist. The practical works in the fields of agrochemistry, biochemistry and physiology can be interpreted in the right way only in the light of his ideas. This is the tremendous contribution that academician Vladimir Vernadsky made to science. In Saint Petersburg University, Vernadsky was in charge of scientific and literary society. It was a pity that this society was dispersed as the hotbed of free thinking and rebellion: talented student-zoologist Alexander Ulyanov, arrested for regicide intent, was a secretary of it. However, this deplorable fact did not put off Vernadsky’s passion for science. When a student, he became a disciple of professor Dokuchayev and performed his first geological traverse. The article about it was the first of almost 700 academic papers that Vernadsky published over 60 years of working in science. Member of the Central Committee of the Russian Constitutional Democratic Party, member of the State Council, and even deputy minister in the Provisional Government, Vernadsky recognized the Soviet power, yet did not idealize it. “Socialism is always based on subordination of personality to the well-being of the majority,” the scientist lamented, “the scientific development requires full personal liberty, personal spirit, as only on this condition one scientific worldview can be replaced by another one created by the work of independent and free personality.” His own spirit was free, while his contribution to science – invaluable. Academician Vernadsky revised notion biosphere. According to his concept, it is gradually evolving into noosphere, the sphere of mind, under the influence of scientific achievements and human labor. Finally, Vernadsky founded many research institutions which made science in our country progress ahead dramatically. His efforts have not been lost, while his memory was eternized – there are streets in Russia named after him. Vernadsky’s name can be found even on the map of Antarctica: subglacial mountains and Ukrainian research station have been named in his honor.
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