Naturalists’ societies

Naturalists’ societies. Learned societies active in the fostering of knowledge in the natural sciences. Societies of naturalists were first formed in Ukraine in the mid-19th century on a regional basis. The Kyiv Society of Naturalists and the Kharkiv Society of Naturalists were formed in 1869; they were followed by a comparable group in Odesa in 1870. Regional naturalists groups were established at later dates in Podilia, Volhynia, the Crimea, and the Kuban. Commonly affiliated with a local university, the groups organized conferences, published scholarly collections, and established scientific research institutions. They were active until the late 1920s, when their functions were taken over by republican or all-Union institutions, such as the Ukrainian Botanical Society, and placed under the jurisdiction of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR. In Western Ukraine a Polish naturalist society (named after Copernicus) was active in Lviv from 1886, and the Shevchenko Scientific Society’s mathematical-natural sciences-medical section engaged in natural studies until the Second World War.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]

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