Last updated: 2010-11-25
DVT 103, 153
Exile of Scientists and Scholars in the era of the Communist regime. Emigration from the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences
Vědecký exil v období komunistického režimu. Emigrace z Československé akademie věd
The paper’s task is to give basic characteristics of emigration of scientists and scholars from the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences (CSAS) in the era of Communist regime with special emphasis on the wave of exiles in 1968–1970. The paper is based on two information collections. The first is database of CSAS workers who emigrated in between 1953 and 1989; the data were collected as a part of a research project on Czech scientists and scholars in exile 1948–1989 and information is continuously added. The second source is a selection of the most significant scientists and scholars from the database in the soon-to-be published book Sto českých vědců v exilu (Hundred Czech scientists and scholars in exile). The authors succeeded in collecting their comparable and mutually interpretable biograms in that volume.
The data are analyzed quantitatively in the first part of the paper. It focuses on many questions, among them the proportion of emigrants to the number of scientific workers; their numbers before 1968, in 1968–1970, and during the so-called normalization (1971–1989); stratification according to the different disciplines, institutes, or scientific branches; age stratification; career status; and so on. The total number of emigrants was between 760 and 790 persons; it represented 6–7 % of the total number of workers in the Academy. The majority of them left from April 21, 1968, to 1970. A broad spectrum of scientific branches was represented among the emigrants, with the share of chemists higher than average. Prosopographic analysis showed that the core of emigrants were scientists and scholars born in the years 1918–1941 who mostly emigrated at ages 26–40 (rather strong is also a group that left at ages 40–50). Most of them emigrated to U. S. A., others to Canada, West Germany, and other European countries.
In the second part of the article, the emigration of scientists and scholars is evaluated generally and also in separate periods with emphasis on the personal motivation on the one hand and institutional and political conditions on the other. Before their departures, the scientists and scholars were as workers of the Academy loyal to the Communist regime and some of them were also its admirers; however, their loyalty was strongly undermined by invasion of the Soviet army in August 1968. It made them feel acutely threatened existentially, and memories of World War II influenced the intensity of this feeling (many scientists were during the war prisoners from concentrations camps or they had other bad experience), as did persecution from the 1950s (three of them were political prisoners from the period, many others were persecuted in other ways). In their roles, they even exhibited fear of political engagement during the Prague Spring. The possibilities for their future scientific careers abroad also contributed to their decisions to emigrate.
Czech history • Modern history • History of Sciences • History of Humanities • Refugees and Exile
DVT 103, 182
The Most Common Interpretations of Mendelian Notation and their Relation to the Conceptions of Factor in Early Classical Genetics
Mendelovská notace a pojetí faktoru O provázanosti interpretace zápisu křížení s chápáním faktoru v rané genetice
The article deals with the Mendelian notation used in classical genetics for taking down breeding results. It identifies the most frequent meanings assigned to the capital and small letters in different situations in early classical genetics and the most influential conceptions of the nature of factors that are represented in Mendelian formulae by these letters. In 1913 Thomas Hunt Morgan opened a discussion about the adequacy of the notation and its interpretation in accordance with the Absence – Presence hypothesis and in accordance with allelomorphism. Hunt’s critique of Mendelian notation, his proposal for a new one, and the reaction to it constitute the heart of this article.
Mendelian Notation • Classical Genetics • Concept of Gene • Factor • Thomas Hunt Morgan
DVT 103, 198
What Can we Really Say about Science? Reflections on Book of Jan Horský
Co vlastně dovedeme vyprávět o vědě? Několik úvah nad knihou Jana Horského
The author shares the opinion of Jan Horský, the Czech historian, in his book Historiography between Science and Narration that only theory can bring together the researched past and the lived present in the history of science. He believes that narrative without science is blind and history without narrative is blank. Further, he believes that our discipline suffers from backwardness because it supports the “history of ideas” only very little. The history of institutions or prosopography dominates the history of science almost entirely. Nevertheless, our idealists – among them E. Rádl – knew well that ideas are the forerunners of institutions, which is the same conception as that proposed later by the Starnberg group, which was influenced by Marxism and externalism in its conception of finalization of science.
© M. Barvík 2008