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This article appears in the October 30, 2009 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Vernadsky Museum Marks
250th Anniversary

[PDF version of this article]

Oct. 17—One of the oldest science museums in Russia, the V.I. Vernadsky State Geological Museum (SGM) of the Russian Academy of Sciences, celebrated its 250th anniversary this week with a conference on "Contemporary Geology: History, Theory, and Practice."

Lyndon LaRouche's greeting to the Oct. 14-16 conference was transmitted in English and in Russian. Its text follows.

To Dr. Sergei Cherkasov, Prof. G.B. Naumov, Academician D.V. Rundqvist; Vernadsky State Geological Museum of the Russian Academy of Sciences:

My congratulations to the Museum on this occasion of the 250th anniversary of its founding. My own work, and that of relevant associates of mine, places special emphasis on the need for opening up broader dimensions of the implications of the work of Academician V.I. Vernadsky in the field of physical economy, both on Earth, and as expressed in the extended field of work on manned travel to and from Mars.

The present, global economic breakdown-crisis forces us to re-examine what had been formerly considered fundamental questions of physical economy, for the same motives which caused the putting aside of such crucial important matters, during the recent period of the 1968-2009 shift into the anti-scientific trends toward utopian pursuits of "post-industrial" notions of monetarist utopianism.

Now, if we can presume that the presently onrushing global physical-economic breakdown-crisis does not bring on a planetary 'new dark age' on our planet, the postponed scientific questions of physical economy will be returning to the head of the agenda, both for life on our planet itself, and the broader issues of the conditions of life bearing on human life, and life itself, in nearby regions of our Solar system.

             With best regards,
Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr.
October 7, 2009

Positive Factors in Russia

The SGM is the institution, whose work LaRouche has often cited as crucial for advancing the frontiers of Eurasian development. In May 2007, a correspondent from web TV asked LaRouche during an interview in Moscow, what he would "identify as genuinely positive factors in Russia, that the West lacks?" LaRouche replied:

[Vladimir] Vernadsky. [Dmitri] Mendeleyev and Vernadsky. Look at the area of what was formerly the Soviet Union in Siberia. Look at the Arctic, the sub-Arctic region of Siberia. Under the tundra, you have vast valuable resources. You have to have the knowledge that the Vernadsky [State Geological Museum], for example, in Moscow typifies, in its archives. In the Academy of Science, you have buried talent and knowledge. Nobody, no other country but Russia, knows how to develop that area in a rational way. And with the most populous areas of the world typified by China and India, 2.5 billion people, who are hungry for technology and for raw materials. Without a cultural revolution toward high-technology in China and India, the world can not survive. You can not have this area looted, you have to have it developed. You have nations like Russia, Kazakstan, and so forth, which have this territory.

You have knowledge in Russia, that goes from Peter the Great, with the development of mineralogy, to the end of the Soviet period. The other parts of the world would go into that territory and loot it, which would be a catastrophe for all Eurasia, if they did that. You can't go in the area to loot it, you must develop it.

In 2001, Lyndon LaRouche and Helga Zepp-LaRouche toured the Vernadsky State Geological Museum as the guests of its deputy director, Prof. Georgi Naumov. In April 2004, LaRouche took part in the conference "Science and the Future: Ideas Which Will Change the World," held at the Museum. Director Academician Dmitri Rundqvist and SGM geologist Dr. Sergei Cherkasov contributed a paper on "Raw Materials and Russian Infrastructure" for the September 2007 Kiedrich conference of the Schiller Institute, "The Eurasian Land-Bridge Becomes Reality." It was published in EIR of Sept. 28, 2007, and their complete slide show is available on the Schiller Institute website.

The Circles of Benjamin Franklin

The year 1759 is considered to be when the future Vernadsky SGM was founded. In the context of the start-up of mining and industrialization of the Ural Mountains, and after his own studies of mining in Germany, the Russian scientist Mikhail Lomonosov—who also founded Moscow University, and who was a correspondent of the American circles of Benjamin Franklin—called for establishing a collection of minerals, to allow the "study of natural objects," not only books. The core of the collection was a large donation from the Demidov family, leading industrialists in the Urals. After the Museum and much of its collection were destroyed during the burning of Moscow in the War of 1812, although some key objects were evacuated to Nizhny Novgorod, another Demidov helped to reconstitute it with more donations.

"Full-fledged systematization" of the holdings, a press release for the conference noted, occurred only when the future founder of biogeochemistry, V.I. Vernadsky, arrived at the Museum in 1892, as curator of the mineralogy section. "The idea of using minerals not only as museum exhibits, but for scientific and pedagogical purposes, belongs to him." Today, the Museum contains exhibits on the relationship of Earth to the Solar system and the Universe.

In 1988, this main collection was unified with others into a single State Geological Museum under the Academy of Sciences, and the Museum was named after Vernadsky.

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