Ukrainian Scientific Society

Image - The journal Ukraina (1917).

Ukrainian Scientific Society [Українське наукове товариство; Ukrainske naukove tovarystvo, or УНТ; UNT). The first Ukrainian-language and openly Ukrainophile learned society in Russian-ruled Ukraine. It was founded in Kyiv on the initiative of Volodymyr Naumenko in 1907, after tsarist restrictions on Ukrainian publishing were lifted following the Revolution of 1905. Its structure and activities were modeled on those of the Shevchenko Scientific Society in Lviv, with which it maintained close ties. In 1912 the executive council members were Mykhailo Hrushevsky (president from 1908), Orest Levytsky and Ivan M. Steshenko (vice-presidents), Oleksander Cherniakhivsky (secretary), Oleksander Shramchenko (treasurer), Mykola Biliashivsky, Mykola Lysenko, and Ivan Feshchenko-Chopivsky. The UNT was divided into historical, philological, natural sciences, and, later, technical, medical, archeological, pedagogical, and art sections and commissions on ethnography, linguistics, statistics-economy, and, from 1917, economic history, law, archeography, botany, and 11 other natural sciences. It maintained a library, an archeology and art museum, and the Museum of Ukrainian Personages in Kyiv. The UNT held biweekly lecture meetings, organized scholarly conferences and public lectures, and published original research, surveys, reviews, and some primary-source materials in its serials Zapysky Ukraïns’koho naukovoho tovarystva v Kyievi (18 vols, 1908–14, 1917–18), Ukraïna (quarterly, 1914, 1917–18 [see Ukraïna (1914–30)]), and Ukraïns’kyi naukovyi zhurnal (2 vols, Moscow, 1915–16), a symposium dedicated to Taras Shevchenko (1915), and several publications of the natural sciences, technical, and medical sections and the Ethnographic Commission. The UNT's activities were interrupted by the First World War and consequent tsarist restrictions, persecution, and censorship until 1917. After the Revolution of 1917 the UNT was instrumental in the founding of the Ukrainian State University (see Kyiv University) and the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences (now the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine) in Kyiv. It organized the first congress of Ukraine's natural scientists (1918), created the Ukrainian Meteorological Service, and prepared many scientific terminological dictionaries.

The UNT grew from 54 members in 1908 to 98 members in 1912. In its first decade it elected 161 full members. Most of them lived in Kyiv and elsewhere in Russian-ruled Ukraine, with only a few in Galicia. Among the members were Volodymyr Antonovych, Kateryna Antonovych-Melnyk, Dmytro Bahalii, Jan Baudouin de Courtenay, Boris Bukreev, Vasyl Danylevych, Vasyl Domanytsky, Volodymyr Durdukivsky, Ivan Dzhydzhora, Fedir Ernst, Ivan Franko, Dmytro Grave, Martyrii Halyn (chairman of the medical section), Borys Hrinchenko, Oleksander Hrushevsky, Ivan Kamanin, P. Kholodny (chairman of the natural sciences and technical sections), Bohdan Kistiakovsky, Mykhailo Komarov, Oleksander Kolessa, Ovksentii Korchak-Chepurkivsky, Fedor Korsh, Olha Kosach, Vasyl Kostiv, Pylyp Kozytsky, Mykhailo Kravchuk, Ahatanhel Krymsky, Klyment Kvitka, Oleksander Leontovych, Andrii Loboda, Ivan Luchytsky, Volodymyr Luchytsky, Vadym Modzalevsky, Kostiantyn Mykhalchuk, Volodymyr Naumenko, Ivan Nechui-Levytsky, Hryhorii Pavlutsky, Volodymyr Peretts (chairman of the philological section), Mykola I. Petrov, Mykola Porsh, Volodymyr Riznychenko, Oleksander Rusov (chairman of the Statistical-Economic Commission), Danylo Shcherbakivsky, Volodymyr Shcherbyna, Aleksei Shakhmatov, Mykola Sharleman, Yakiv Shulhyn, Stepan Smal-Stotsky, M. Stadnyk, Liudmyla Starytska-Cherniakhivska, Mykola Sumtsov, Stepan Tomashivsky, Pavlo Tutkovsky, Yevhen Tymchenko, Mykola Vasylenko (chairman of the historical section), Volodymyr Vernadsky, Fedir Vovk, Mykhailo Vozniak, Andrii Yakovliv, N. Osadcha-Yanata, Oleksander Yanata, Dmytro Yavornytsky, Aleksandra Yefymenko, Mykola Zerov, Dmytro Zerov, and Pavlo Zhytetsky. In 1918 the UNT had nearly 300 members. In 1921 the UNT sections, commissions, library, and museums were forcibly incorporated into the All-Ukrainian Academy of Sciences (VUAN). Its Zapysky Ukraïns’koho naukovoho tovarystva v Kyievi and Ukraïna were revived in 1924 as the annual Naukovyi zbirnyk and quarterly/bimonthly Ukraïna (1924–30) [see Ukraïna (1914–30)]) of the VUAN historical section.

Roman Senkus

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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