by Sergei POPOV, journalist
The past is always surrounded by legends. This makes all the more important eyewitness accounts and assessments of events of the distant past. A newly published book by biophysicist, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy Genrikh Ivanitsky KRUGOVOROT ("Rotation") (M., Nauka, 2005) represents an attempt to describe some episodes, sometimes dramatic, in the recent history of Russian science, looking at them and their participants in the context of development of world science.
The author of the book holds the post of director of the RAS Institute for Theoretical and Experimental Biophysics (Pushchino, Moscow Region). He is known in the scientific circles in connection with the implementation of major science-intensive projects which won the Lenin and State prizes and other top awards of this country. Working in conjunction with the German Carl Zeiss Jena company, he produced the world's first electronic automatic instrument for analyzing microstructures which helped achieve the theoretical limit of resolution of optical microscopy. He and his coauthors discovered and studied a new class of autowave processes in distributed excitable biological systems. They were the first in the world to produce perfluorane - the world's first gastransport blood substitute. The scientist is the author of more than 400 research publications. But in the Krugovorot he appears in a new light which is unusual even for him. An introduction to the book points out that the genre of memoirs for him is not a hobby, but hard work even when he is dealing with matters of science and the lives of his close associates. And his efforts have not been in waste-his book is arousing unslackening interest. This being so, we try to give our readers at least some ideas about that work.
"Society and Science"-this subtitle on the cover of the book is very appropriate, especially bearing in mind the axiom that every scientist, irrespective of his field of knowledge, is linke ... Read more