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2006 | 45 | 85-100

Article title

Stanislaw Staszic's Science Conception


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Geology and philosophy were the research passion of Stanislaw Staszic (1755-1826). He was interested in sciences concerning the Earth in order to improve the economic development of the state, and in philosophy to eliminate degenerations connected with a use of the laws of nature, and the laws of nations. Since 1871 he worked as a tutor, and this job made him translate the French scientific and educational classical works into Polish. His translation of Buffon's work entitled 'Les époques de la nature' had three editions (1786, 1803 and 1816). He always made additions to the translations' content commenting on the mines that were situated on Polish territories. As a geologist he knew Alpine, Apenine and Carpathian area, and European Lowland. Since 1806 he used to publish the results of his searches and all results of his research works were included in a book of 1815 entitled 'O ziemiorodztwie Karpatów i innych gór i równin Polski' (Carpathian and Other Polish Mountains' and Plains' Geology). Staszic was also a co-founder of the Warsaw Society of the Friends of Sciences, and its president since 1808. He contributed - sometimes using his own money - to the theoretical and practical researches. He laid an emphasis on developing studies on mother tongue and history of the nation. Very fast he managed to convert the Society into nation - wide science academy (scholars and artists), national museum and national library. As a high - ranking civil servant (since 1807) he organized higher education. Moreover, there were established basal academies (university, mining academy, institute of technology, superior school of agriculture and forestry, art schools, and even rabbinical school). He acted in the period when Polish territories were under control of occupying forces of Austria, Prussia and Russia. Specialists of Warsaw Society of the Friends of Sciences, and teachers and graduates of different schools - educated thanks to Staszic - used to improve on economic and educational development after his death. Undoubtedly, this fact let Polish people outlast as a nation in the 19th century.







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  • Z. Wojcik, Muzeum Ziemi PAN, al. Na Skarpie 20/26, 00-488 Warszawa, Poland


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