MOIP (Moscow Society of Naturalists) is a unique social phenomenon in Russia’s life. The Society was founded under the auspice of the Moscow University in 1805, and throughout its history neither abandoned its activity nor cut off its connection with the University. And all this was despite the wars and revolutions, country’s economy slowing and recovery.
Throughout its existence, the Society has survived three social and economic periods changing in the country’s life (czarist regime, Soviet government and modern era). The Society has celebrated two-hundredth anniversary, so it is quite natural it had a lot of members from different generations. The Society together with the whole country has passed through two World Wars and dozens of small ones (though no war can actually be called small), several revolutions and quite a lot that was going on. The history of the Moscow Society of Naturalists is the history of the whole country and any matters that were happening.
Great scientists and thinkers such as academicians V.I. Vernadskiy and N.D. Zelinskiy presumed that MOIP acted in Moscow as the Academy of Sciences up to the Saint-Petersburg (Russian) Academy moving to the capital in the thirties of 20th century. In the course of all these years, the Moscow Society of Naturalists united and coordinates almost all scientific potencies in the sphere of natural science. It seems rather difficult to think of a sphere of academic and research or organizing activity where MOIP and its members failed to take part.
We may with good reason consider MOIP a Russian national endowment, a unique phenomenon in today’s reality that is used to deny our past and neglect human values spreading all over the country. By its mere existence, the Society reminds us that the country’s history is an abyss to get inspiration and ideals to fight with the modern pop culture imposed by the West.
MOIP used to have distinguished Russian people among its members, so no wonder that the Society took part in founding a lot of country’s scientific and cultural institutions. As from the end of the 19th century and during the 20th century a pleiad of brilliant scientists worked in Moscow; they were physicist P.N. Lebedev and N.A. Umov, L.D. Landau and P.L. Kapitsa, aerodynamics founder N.E. Zhukovskiy and his successor S.A. Chaplygin, chemists N.D. Zelinskiy and I.A. Kablukov, geochemist V.I. Vernadskiy, geologist A.P. Pavlov, geographers D.N. Anuchin and V.A. Obruchev, physiologists I.M. Sechenov and I.P. Pavlov, medical men N.I. Pirogov, S.P. Botkin, N.V. Sklifosovskiy, N.F. Filatov, F.F. Erisman and ect. And here is only quite a moderate list. All mentioned people were full and honorary members of the Moscow Society of Naturalists, were actively involved in its operations, published their research papers in the Society’s transactions. All of them put themselves on the country’s record. Their names were given to scientific institutes, hospitals, streets, islands, straits, mountain peaks, volcanic vents not only on Earth, but on other planets.
MOIP members created and increased country’s scientific and cultural values, strengthened its military potential. The Moscow Society of Naturalists and its members facilitated the development of the Museum of Zoology, Museum and Institute of Anthropology, MSU Herbarium, Nikitskiy Botanic Garden in the Crimea, Botanical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Saint Petersburg), Mineralogical Collections in the Geologic Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Karadagskaya Biologic Station in the Crimea, State Historical Museum, Polytechnic Museum, Pushkin Museum, All-Russia Research Institute of Minerals (http://vims-geo.ru/).
MOIP initiated the Moscow Zoo foundation. We can go on and on with the list. MOIP is engaged in public awareness campaign, environmental knowledge promotion, scientific conferences holding, children and young people creativity competitions, publishes research papers collections. In the course of their operations, MOIP keeps in touch with hundreds and thousands of specialists from universities and academic institutions both in Russia and abroad.
In 2015 the Moscow Society of Naturalists celebrated 210 years’ anniversary, and during all these years the Society seeks to provide benefit to our country since its motto is “…We are serving Russia”.
Anatoliy Pavlovich Sadchikov
Vice President of MOIP
Professor at the Lomonosov Moscow State University