Nikita Yu. Pivovarov1, Nataliya P. Shok2
1The Russian State Archive of Contemporary History, Moscow
2I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, The Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation
Using an analysis of archival materials about academic I.P. Pavlov, the authors of the article propose that the historical and biographical information about this leading scientist can present a fuller picture not only of an individual specialization but of medical science in general. The relationship is examined between I.P. Pavlov and the leadership of the Soviet state, which had a particular influence on the development of Russian science in 1920–1930s. The reasons why government representatives allowed him to openly criticize the USSR’s domestic and foreign policies are analyzed. The article reveals I.P. Pavlov’s main personality traits, which influenced his scientific and political views. Academic Pavlov was forthright, and freely expressed his opinion on a variety of issues, including decisions of the Soviet authorities. However, the authors believe that he did not have political goals: his motives were purely scientific. I.P. Pavlov had a significant influence on the formation of a new concept of scientific medicine based on innovative experimental techniques suggested by him. He managed not only to create a new scientific field in medicine but also ensured its development in the first decades of Soviet power. The authors also note that I.P. Pavlov asserted national science priorities at the international level. It is concluded that studying his biographical data, based on a multidisciplinary approach and working with archival materials, can provide valuable data for future medical history analysis.
Keywords: history of medicine, I.P. Pavlov, the history of experimental psychology, the Bolsheviks and fundamental science