A fatal choice: T. I. Rainov between history of science and oriental studies

This paper reviews the life and activities of T I. Rainov, the most prominent Russian historian of science and thinker in the 20th century, during the period from 1940 to 1947. In harsh conditions of the Soviet reality, the scientist continued to look for the ways to pursue his creative interests and aspirations. His path ran between history of science (history of scientific thought) and oriental studies, between the Institute for the History of Science of the USSR Academy of Sciences that was created in 1944/45 and the Institute of Oriental Studies of the USSR Academy of Sciences. The administrative prohibition of holding jobs at more than one institution simultaneously threw Rainov into a dilemma that turned out to be fatal for him. Previously unexamined activities of Rainov, associated with the creation of the Center for Oriental Studies in Moscow, were reconstructed based on the documentary evidence. In parallel, in the 1940s, the scientist devoted much effort and energy to the biggest archeographic project, the Scientific Heritage series, and to the organization of a Commission on the History of Historical Sciences at the History and Philosophy Division of the USSR Academy of Sciences. This paper addresses Rainov’s relationships with academicians V. L. Komarov, I. Yu. Krachkovskii, N. I. Konrad, S. I. Vavilov and others.


Recommended bibliographic description

, A fatal choice: T. I. Rainov between history of science and oriental studies, Voprosy Istorii Estestvoznaniia i Tekhniki [Studies in History of Science and Technology], , p.  540-586

    © Studies in the History of Science and Technology: Quarterly scientific journal of the Russian Academy of Sciences (2015)
    ISSN 0205-9606. Индекс 70143