By Yevgeniya SIDOROVA, journalist
Different visitors - from three-year old children with their parents to outstanding scientists - come to the State Darwin Museum, which is located in the south-west of the capital. All of them leave its hospitable walls enriched, where they join in the world of science about wildlife so organically. The first museum of evolution in the world celebrates its centenary in its prime: its exposition is broadened; show-rooms were opened in the new archive building in 2007; popular books, catalogues, works are issued; and ecological holidays organized here gather audience of many thousands.
In 1907, the graduate of Moscow University Alexander Kots brought his collection of stuffed animals and natural-scientific preparations to the premises of Moscow Higher Woman's Courses, where he read the course of evolutionary theory to demonstrate at lectures. Thus, the Darwin museum was born.* Its founder was an exceptional man, who appreciated "originality of lifestyle and freedom of individual creative work" more than the guaranteed career. He loved his work devotedly and, evidently, was a genius of museum management studies, as the exposition so attractive for our contemporaries, is, in the end, implementation of his ideas.
In the spring of 1913, Alexander Kots and his wife and companion-in-arms Nadezhda Ladygina-Kots went to Europe in order to get acquainted with the largest zoo-
* See: "New Life of the Darwin Museum", Science in Russia, No. 1, 1997. - Ed.
logical institutes, museums and preparation companies. They thought there was a gap between true science and its representation in displayed collections, that is, the latter were not fit to be used as a source of generalizing knowledge for population. Alas, what they saw confirmed those doubts. "Everywhere the same monotonous rows of stuffed animals or birds, at best, colored by biological groups, as if the m ... Read more