The article takes up the hitherto under-investigated issue of the conditions for the development of science in Poland after WW II. It analyzes the scientific career of Rufina Stella Ludwiczak (1906-2001), professor of organic chemistry, active at the Adam Mickiewicz University, the School of Commerce (Akademia Handlowa) and the Medical School (Akademia Medyczna) in Poznan. Ludwiczak, first engaged in research in the field of structural chemistry, later on turned her attention to applied chemistry, concentrating on studies which had relevance for the domestic production of plant drugs. Despite the fact that she was not a Party member she not only became Head of the Chair of Organic Chemistry at the Faculty of Pharmacy of the Medical School, but she was also its Vice-Rector and a deputy for the Sejm (Polish Parliament), which was quite unusual in socialist Poland. The factors that favoured her career were related both to the qualities of her character such as the moral principles instilled in her at home, and to the excellent grasp of research methodology which she developed while being a research assistant to professor Jerzy Suszko. The factors that worked against her career were of an external nature and had to do with the politicization and administrative management of tertiary schools, as well as the underinvestment that they suffered, manifested especially in the long-standing shortages of facilities, including buildings and equipment.
A. Magowska, Akademia Medyczna w Poznaniu, Zaklad Historii Nauk Medycznych, ul. Sieroca 10, 61-771 Poznan, Poland
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