SOCIO-CULTURAL PORTAIT OF A RUSSIAN NATURALIST AT LATE XIX - EARLY XX CENTURIES
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This short period was abundant in scientific and organizational innovations that helped in establishing the scientific community in Russia and fostering the features of a Russian scientist. The analysis is made at macrosocial level, on the assumption that actions of an individual are guided by a broader social background. Russian scientists in that period embodied the liberal force regarding science as an activity for the benefit of people and opposing the power, although in XX century many of them became democrats, and there were some participating in revolutionary movement of 1905 (for example, I.Mechnikov, a great Russian microbiologist). They regarded self-organization as the main tool to consolidate their social standing. The research was done mostly in universities and combined with teaching. Universities accommodated most part of academic schools and scientific societies. Regular congresses of naturalists and medical doctors were launched in that period (since 1867), a new institutional form of biological research appeared, sea stations, and a new form of research funding, philanthropic societies. Naturalists were engaged in public educative work, and money received went for charitable purposes. They advocated rights of women for higher education and engagement in research. The prevailing philosophy of Russian scientists was materialism and positivism, not in its original classical form but its materialistic slogan denying speculative constructions and follow only facts. The October revolution was met by most of them with distrust or opposition, although there were some who welcomed it (for example K.Timiryazev, an outstanding Russian physiologist) and readily collaborated with it.
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