Russian women at the beginning of human genetics
This paper reviews the studies on human genetics, carried out by Russian women in the 1920s and 1930s. Its main objective is to determine the contribution of women scientists to the development of different fields of human genetics. Particular attention is given to reconstructing women geneticists’ research work, reviewing the content of their publications, and analysing the theoretical and methodological approaches they employed to tackle different scientific problems. The biographies of the pioneers in Russian “anthropogenetics” (knowledge of human heredity), R. I. Serebrovskaya, G. V. Soboleva, and N. N. Malkova, were restored on the basis of archival sources. The first women geneticists received their higher education at the Higher Women’s Courses, as, in the Russian Empire, it was prohibited for women to study at the universities. These women came into genetics from traditional biological sciences or medicine at the time when human genetics as a discipline began to emerge in Russia in the 1920s. The first works in the field of anthropogenetics, conducted by these women on their own, began to appear in 1923. By the mid ‒ 1920s, women geneticists began to use genealogical and twin methods for studying human heredity extensively. The number of women’s publications peaked in the late 1920s. Studies in the field of population genetics and medical genetics gained popularity and new biochemical and cytological methods of analysis were added to the repertoire of analytical techniques. In the 1930s, with the beginning of attacks on eugenics, studies in human genetics were rapidly wound down to be completely arrested by the 1940s. The results of the studies carried out by the Russian women anthropogeneticists in the 1920s ‒ 1930s included demonstrating hereditary nature of premature graying (R. I. Serebrovskaya), hemorrhagic diathesis and inguinal hernia (N. N. Malkova), deaf-mutism and stutter (G. V. Soboleva); determining the incidence of different genes in the populations; organizing large-scale twin studies to elucidate the role of heredity and environment in the manifestation of psychological traits; and introducing new methods for hereditary disease diagnostics and the effective practices for teaching preschool and school age children.
Adams, M. (1990). Eugenics in Russia, 1900‒1940. M. Adams (Eds.), The Wellborn Science. Eugenics in Germany, France, Brazil and Russia. (p. 153‒216). New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press [in English].
Arkhiv Moskovskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta (AMGU) [Archive of Moscow State University]. Lichnoe delo Serebrovskoi Raisy Isaakovny [Private affair of Raisa I. Serebrovskaya]. Fonds. О/К. Series 2. File 8188. P. 1‒9 [in English].
Babkov, V. V. (1998). Avgust 48-go i sud᾿by meditsinskoi genetiki [August 48 and the fates of medical genetics]. Meditsinskaya gazeta ‒ Medical newspaper, 62, 5th August 1998, 3 [in Russian].
Babkov, V. V. (2001). Meditsinskaya genetika v SSSR [Medical genetics in the USSR]. Vestnik Rossiiskoi akademii nauk ‒ Bulletin of Russian Academy of Sciences, 71(10), 928‒937 [in Russian].
Babkov, V. V. (2006). Moskva, 1934: Rozhdenie meditsinskoi genetiki [Moscow, 1934: Birth of medical genetics]. Vestnik VOGiS ‒ Bulletin of VOGiS, 10(3), 455‒478 [in Russian].
Babkov, V. V. (2008). Zarya genetiki cheloveka. Russkoe evgenicheskoe dvizhenie i nachalo genetiki cheloveka [Dawn of human genetics. Russian eugenic movement and the beginning of human genetics]. Moscow: Progress-Traditsiya [in Russian].
Breslavets, L. P. (1923). Geterokhromosomy u cheloveka Heterochtomosomes of human. Uspekhi eksperimental᾿noi biologii ‒ Success of Experimental Biology, 1‒2, 14‒23. [in Russian].
Bunak, V. V. (1922). Evgenicheskie opytnye stantsii, ikh zadachi i plan raboty [Eugenic pilot stations, their goals and working plan]. Russkii evgenicheskii zhurnal ‒ Russian eugenic journal, 1(1), 82‒97 [in Russian].
Bunak, V. V., Soboleva, G. V. (1925). Issledovanie elementov okraski raduzhiny u cheloveka [Investigation of the elements of iridescent color for human]. Zhurnal eksperimental'noi biologii ‒ Journal of experimental biology, 5(3‒4), 145‒172 [in Russian].
Fando, R. A. (2014). Die Anfänge der Eugenik in Russland: Kognitive und soziokulturelle Aspekt. Berlin: Logos [in German].
Graham, L. (1977). Science and Values. The Eugenics Movement in Germany and Russia in the 1920’s. The American Historical Review, 82(5), 1133‒1164 [in English].
Harper, P. S. (2018). Human genetics in troubled times and places. Hereditas, 155 (7), 1‒14.
Koltsov, N. K. (1922). Uluchshenie chelovecheskoi porody [Improvement of human race]. Russkii evgenicheskii zhurnal ‒ Russian eugenic journal, 1(1), 3‒27 [in Russian].
Korochkin, L. I. (2004). Genetika povedeniya i neirogenetika i ih stanovlenie v Rossii [Genetics, behavior and neurogenetics and their becoming in Russia]. Genetika ‒ Genetics, 40(6), 725‒731 [in Russian].
Krasovskaya, O. V., Popov, N. P. (1925). Sluchai samoubiistva v degenerativnoi sem᾿e [A case of suicide in degenerate family]. Russkii evgenicheskii zhurnal ‒ Russian eugenic journal, 3(1), 67‒71 [in Russian].
Krementsov, N. (2010). Eugenics in Russia and the Soviet Union. A. Bashford & P. Levine (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Eugenics. (pp. 413‒419). New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press [in English].
Krementsov, N. L. (2014). Ot “Zverinoi filosofii” k meditsinskoi genetike: evgenika v Rossii i Sovetskom Soyuze [From “Beastly Philosophy” to Medical Genetics: Eugenics in Russia and the Soviet Union]. Istoriko-biologicheskie issledovaniya ‒ Studies in the History of Biology, 6(2), 24‒56 [in Russian].
Krementsov, N. L. (2015). Mezhdunarodnaya evgenika i Rossiiskoe meditsinskoe soobshchestvo, 1900‒1917 [International Eugenics and the Russian Medical Community, 1900‒1917]. Istoriko-biologicheskie issledovaniya ‒ Studies in the History of Biology, 7(1), 7‒40 [in Russian].
Krementsov, N. (2018). With and Without Galton. Vasilii Florinskii and the Fate of Eugenics in Russia. Cambridge: Open Book Publishers [in English].
Krytova, N. A. (1929). Sluchai semeinoi mioklonii [Case of familial myoclonia]. Russkii evgenicheskii zhurnal ‒ Russian eugenic journal, 7(2‒3), 113‒114 [in Russian].
Lass, D. I. (1927). Brak i detorozhdenie [Marriage and child-bearing]. Russkii evgenicheskii zhurnal ‒ Russian eugenic journal, 5(2), 90‒92 [in Russian].
Levit, S. G., Malkova, N. N. (1929). Novaya mutatsiya u cheloveka (geterogemofiliya) [New mutation of human (heterohaemophilia)]. Russkii evgenicheskii zhurnal ‒ Russian eugenic journal, 7, 106‒112.
Lyublinsky, P. I. (1926). Rozhdaemost᾿ i problema naseleniya v sovremennom obshchestve [Birth-rate and a population problem in the modern society]. Russkii evgenicheskii zhurnal ‒ Russian eugenic journal, 4(3‒4), 144‒177 [in Russian].
Malkova, N. N. (1929). Kratkie predvaritel'nye dannye o rabote po statsionarnomu izucheniyu populyatsii cheloveka [Brief initial data on the work on stationary study of human populations]. Mediko-biologicheskii zhurnal ‒ Medico-biological journal, 5, 72‒78 [in Russian].
Malkova, N. N. (1930). Statsionarnoe izuchenie populyatsii cheloveka. Opyt geneticheskogo analiza gryzhi [Stationary study of human population. Experience in genetic analysis of hernia], Mediko-biologicheskii zhurnal ‒ Medico-biological journal, 4‒5, 403‒426 [in Russian].
Martynova, R. P. (1948a). Genetika novoobrazovanii u cheloveka [Genetics of human’s neoformations], Vestnik MGU ‒ Bulletin of MSU, 4, 34‒42 [in Russian].
Martynova, R. P. (1948b). Novye eksperimental'nye dannye o mutagennom deistvii kantserogennykh veshchestv [New experimental data on the mutagene action of cancerogenic substances]. Doklady Akademii nauk ‒ Papers of the Academy of Sciences, 60(9), 1569‒1572 [in Russian].
Rudling, P. A. (2014). Eugenics and Racial Biology in Sweden and the USSR: Contacts across the Baltic Sea. Canadian Bulletin of Medical History / Bulletin canadien d'histoire de la médecine, 31(1), 41‒75 [in English].
Serebrovskaya, R. I. (1929a). K voprosu o matematicheskom analize populyatsii cheloveka [On the question of mathematical analysis of the human population]. Mediko-biologicheskii zhurnal ‒ Medico-biological journal, 5, 51‒71 [in Russian].
Serebrovskaya, R. I. (1929b). Nasledovanie rannego posedeniya [Inheritance of early graying]. Mediko-biologicheskii zhurnal ‒ Medico-biological journal, 5, 83‒89 [in Russian].
Serebrovsky, A. S. On Mendelism in Policarpicae human. Proceedings of Institute of experimental biology. 1921. Issue 1 [in Russian].
Serebrovsky, A. S. (1923). O zadachakh i putyakh antropogenetiki [On the goals and routes of anthropogenetics], Russkii evgenicheskii zhurnal ‒ Russian eugenic journal, 1(2), 107‒116 [in Russian].
Serebrovsky, A. S. (1929). Anthropogenetics and eugenics in socialist society [Antropogenetika i evgenika v sotsialisticheskom obshchestve]. Mediko-biologicheskii zhurnal ‒ Medico-biological journal, 5, 3‒19 [in Russian].
Soboleva, G. V. (1924). Iz posemeinykh issledovanii v Zvenigorodskom uezde [Investigations for families in Zvenigorod uyezd]. Russkii evgenicheskii zhurnal ‒ Russian eugenic journal, 2(2‒3), 168‒170 [in Russian].
Soboleva, G.V. (1926). Rezul᾿taty obsledovaniya 105 par bliznetsov Moskvy [Results of 105 twin pairs’ exploration in city Moscow]. Russkii evgenicheskii zhurnal ‒ Russian eugenic journal, 4(1), 3‒22 [in Russian].
Soboleva, G. V. (1929a). Vrozhdennoe otsutstvie zubov [Inherent absence of teeth]. Russkii evgenicheskii zhurnal ‒ Russian eugenic journal, 7(4), 144‒146 [in Russian].
Soboleva, G. V. (1929b). Zaikanie kak nasledstvennoe zabolevanie [Stuttering as a hereditary disease]. Russkii evgenicheskii zhurnal ‒ Russian eugenic journal, 7(2‒3), 88‒105 [in Russian].
Soboleva, G. V. (1931). Genetika glukhonemoty [Genetics of deafness and dumbness]. Zhurnal eksperimental᾿noi biologii ‒ Journal of experimental biology, 7(5‒6), 480‒496 [in Russian].
Soboleva, G. V. (1937). Evgenika i evgenicheskie tendentsii v antropogenetike [Eugenics and eugenic tendencies in anthropogenetics]. Antropologicheskii zhurnal ‒ Anthropological journal, 3, 3‒15 [in Russian].
Strogaya, E. Z. (1926). K voprosu o nasledovanii muzykal᾿nykh sposobnostei [On the problem of inheriting talent for music]. Russkii evgenicheskii zhurnal ‒ Russian eugenic journal, 4(2), 85‒88 [in Russian].
Teulina, S. E. (1929). Sem'ya s famil'nym gigantskim rostom [Family with the family of giant growth]. Russkii evgenicheskii zhurnal ‒ Russian eugenic journal, 7(1), 59‒62 [in Russian].
Tsentral᾿nyi gosudarstvennyi arkhiv Moskvy (TsGAM) [Central State Archive of the City of Moscow]. Fonds 363. Series 4. File 6639. p. 1‒8 [Personal file of Raisa Isaakovna Galperin].
TsGaM. Fonds 363. Series 4. File 6639. p. 1‒15 [Personal file of Nina Nickolaevna Malkova].
TsGAM. F. 363. S. 4. F. 23536. p. 1‒18 [Personal file of Galina Vasilievna Soboleva].
Volotskoy, M. V. (1923). O polovoi sterilizatsii nasledstvenno-defektivnykh [On asexualization of hereditary defective man]. Russkii evgenicheskii zhurnal ‒ Russian eugenic journal, 1(2), 201‒222 [in Russian].
Abstract views: 408 PDF Downloads: 295
Copyright (c) 2020 History of science and technology
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
License terms: authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License International CC-BY that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
The scanned copy of the "Agreement” on the authors" copyright transfer on the manuscript publication and the subsequent posting of the paper on the Internet (in * .pdf or * .jpg format) is to be attached to the manuscript of the paper.
By this agreement the author certifies that the submitted material:
- does not infringe the copyright of other persons or organizations;
- was not previously published in other publishing houses and has not been submitted for publication in other editions.
The author passes the editorial board of the journal "History of science and technology" rights to:
- publication of the article in Ukrainian (English and Russian) language and distribution of its printed copy;
- translation of the article into English language (for articles in Ukrainian and Russian language) and distribution of its translated printed copy;
- distribution of the article electronic copy, as well as electronic copy of the article English translation (for articles in Ukrainian and Russian), via any electronic means (placing on the official web-site of the journal, electronic databases, repositories, etc.) printed copy of the translation.
The author reserves the right without the consent of the editorial board and founders:
- Use the materials of the article in whole or in part for educational purposes.
- Use the materials of the article in whole or in part to write their own dissertations.
- Use the materials of the article for the preparation of abstracts, conference reports, as well as oral presentations.
- Place electronic copies of the article (including the final electronic copy downloaded from the official web-site of the journal) to:
- personal web-resources of all authors (web-sites, web-pages, blogs, etc.);
- web-resources of institutions where authors work (including electronic institutional repositories);
- non-commercial web-resources of open access (for example, arXiv.org).
In all cases, the availability of a bibliographic link to an article or hyperlink to its electronic copy on the official website of the journal is compulsory.