Creating Networks in Chemistry: The Founding and Early History of Chemical Societies in Europe
Chapter 13: RUSSIA: The Formation of the Russian Chemical Society and Its History until 1914
Published:10 Apr 2008
Nathan M. Brooks, Masanori Kaji, Elena Zaitseva, 2008. "RUSSIA: The Formation of the Russian Chemical Society and Its History until 1914", Creating Networks in Chemistry: The Founding and Early History of Chemical Societies in Europe, Anita Kildebæk Nielsen, Sona Strbanova
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The Russian Chemical Society (Russkoe Khimicheskoe Obshchestvo, RKhO) was first organized in 1868 by a group of young research-oriented chemists in St. Petersburg. Some of the organizers of the society had been advocating its establishment for nearly ten years and a number of them had attended meetings of foreign chemical societies, upon which they modelled their new society. However, as with many aspects of Russian society and culture, the adoption of a foreign model was moulded to fit the Russian conditions. Even though it appears that at least some of the organizers of the society had an expansive vision of what the society could undertake as its mission, the Russian political reality necessitated a narrow, purely scientific, role for the society for most of its existence. Yet even this circumscribed role was new and unusual for Russia at this time. Although the society was organized by St. Petersburg chemists, the organizers clearly had the goal of a nationwide organization that could knit together the largely isolated community of chemists in Russia through regular meetings, a yearly congress and a journal. The society would continue to function as the only nationwide organization of chemists in Russia until after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. This chapter will examine the formation of the Russian Chemical Society in 1868 and very briefly some of its history in the following years.