Vernadsky, Vladimir Ivanovich

(Figure) Vernadsky, V.I.

VERNADSKY, Vladimir Ivanovich (RU: Вернадский, Владимир Иванович) is the Soviet naturalist, mineralogist, and geochemist, the academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (the academician of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences since the 1912). Vernadsky has graduated from the Physics-Mathematics Faculty of the St. Petersburg University (1885). The scientific and pedagogical activity is associated mainly with the Academy of Sciences (1906-45), and with the Moscow University (1890-1911). Vernadsky is one of the founders for the genetic mineralogy and geochemistry.

The ideas of Vernadsky have formed the basis for the modern concepts about the structure of the silicates, about the paragenesis of the chemical elements within the isomorphic series, about the geochemistry of the rare and scattered elements, about the forms of the finding, and about the history of the chemical elements on the Earth and within the outer space. His teaching about the living substance, and about the role of the latter within the geochemical processes, has determined for the first time the problems of the biogeochemistry. The teaching, which has been formulated by Vernadsky, about the biosphere and its evolution, about the powerful impact of the human being onto the environment, and about the transformation of the modern biosphere into the noosphere (the sphere of the reason), is the major philosophical generalization. While developing the idea about the radioactive decay, as the standard for the time, and as the energy factor of the Earth, Vernadsky has initiated the radiogeology. Foreseeing the great future for radium and uranium, Vernadsky, as the first person within Russia, conducted since the 1910 the searches for the deposits with these elements. The ideas of Vernadsky have the fundamental significance for the solving of the issues for the mining science, namely, the development of the deposits with the useful minerals with the help of the underground leaching, the protection of the environment within the regions with the mining-extracting enterprises, the comprehensive usage of the mineral raw materials, and others.

Vernadsky is the organizer for many scientific institutions: the Commission for the study of the natural productive forces within the country (KEPS; the chairman during the 1915-30); the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR (the first president during the 1919-21); the Governmental Radium Institute (the director during the 1922-39); the Biogeochemical Laboratory of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, which is now the Institute for the Geochemistry (the director during the 1928-45); the International Commission for the determination of the absolute age of the rocks (the vice-president during the 1937-45); the Commission on the Isotopes (1938); the Uranium Commission (1939). The scientific and pedagogical work of Vernadsky has led to the creation of the school of thought of the Russian mineralogists and geochemists (the school of Vernadsky), to which there belong A. E. Fersman, V. G. Khlopin, Y. V. Samoilov, A. P. Vinogradov, D. I. Shcherbakov, A. A. Tvalchrelidze, K. A. Nenadk evich, and others. Vernadsky has been awarded with the Governmental Prize of the USSR (1943) because of many years of the outstanding works within the field of science and technology. The name of Vernadsky has been assigned to the Institute for the Geochemistry of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1947), to the peak on the Paramushir island, to the peninsula within the East Antarctica, to the avenue within the Moscow city, and to the mineral within the group of sulfates. Within the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, there have been instituted the monetary awards (since the 1945), and the gold medal (since the 1963), which have been named after Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky.

Vernadsky is the corresponding member of the British Association of Sciences (1889), the foreign member of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, and of the Serbian Academy of Sciences (1926), of the Paris Academy of Sciences (1928), and so on.