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Submitted
2020-12-30
Signed to print
2020-12-31
Published
2020-12-31
How to Cite
Kharchenko, P. N. (2020). Life in Science and the Science of Life by Aleksandr Shmuk. Heritage of Centuries, (4), 94-98. https://doi.org/10.36343/SB.2020.24.4.009

Life in Science and the Science of Life by Aleksandr Shmuk

  • © Kharchenko Petr N. Dr. Sci. (Genetics), Academician, Russian Academy of Sciences, Scientific Adviser, All-Russian Research Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology, Moscow, Russian Federation






Abstract

The reviewed book by A.N. Eremeeva, Dr. Sci. (History), and by A.Kh. Sheudzhen, Dr. Sci. (Biology), academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, is devoted to the life and scientific work of Aleksandr Shmuk (1886–1945), the famous Soviet agrochemist and biochemist, full member of the All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences named after V. I. Lenin. The analysis of Russian and foreign literature, scientific and sociopolitical periodicals of the first half of the twentieth century, documents from nine central and regional archives allowed the authors to reconstruct the biography of the scientist and consider it in the context of sociopolitical and economic transformations. The authors describe in detail Shmuk’s way to science in the New Alexandria and Moscow Agricultural Institutes, and note the role of his teachers in choosing a scientific specialization. Special attention is paid to the period in Krasnodar, where Shmuk realized himself as an internationally renowned scientist and an organizer of science (he headed the All-Union Institute of Tobacco) and education (as the founder and head of the Department of Agrochemistry of the Kuban Institute of Agriculture). The authors describe in detail Shmuk’s works on the chemical composition of tobacco, soil chemistry, and methods of agrochemical research. They note that the methods of obtaining nicotine, citric and malic acids from raw materials, which were developed by Schmuk and provided import substitution, were strategically important for the Soviet state in the pre-war period and especially during the years of the Great Patriotic War.The reviewed book by A.N. Eremeeva, Dr. Sci. (History), and by A.Kh. Sheudzhen, Dr. Sci. (Biology), academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, is devoted to the life and scientific work of Aleksandr Shmuk (1886–1945), the famous Soviet agrochemist and biochemist, full member of the All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences named after V. I. Lenin. The analysis of Russian and foreign literature, scientific and sociopolitical periodicals of the first half of the twentieth century, documents from nine central and regional archives allowed the authors to reconstruct the biography of the scientist and consider it in the context of sociopolitical and economic transformations. The authors describe in detail Shmuk’s way to science in the New Alexandria and Moscow Agricultural Institutes, and note the role of his teachers in choosing a scientific specialization. Special attention is paid to the period in Krasnodar, where Shmuk realized himself as an internationally renowned scientist and an organizer of science (he headed the All-Union Institute of Tobacco) and education (as the founder and head of the Department of Agrochemistry of the Kuban Institute of Agriculture). The authors describe in detail Shmuk’s works on the chemical composition of tobacco, soil chemistry, and methods of agrochemical research. They note that the methods of obtaining nicotine, citric and malic acids from raw materials, which were developed by Schmuk and provided import substitution, were strategically important for the Soviet state in the pre-war period and especially during the years of the Great Patriotic War.

Keywords: Aleksandr Shmuk, biography, scientific and pedagogical activity, Institute of Tobacco, Kuban Institute of Agriculture, scientific discoveries, agrochemistry, biochemistry