Towards the fifth anniversary of the release of the second edition of The Complete Collected Works by M. V. Lomonosov

The paper reviews the 255-year history of publishing the collected works of M. V. Lomonosov. It maintains that the evolution of assessments of the scholar’s works has affected the content of different editions as well as the research goals of the compilers. Thus, the first, 18th century editions primarily portray Lomonosov as a poet and linguist, and only include the published works. With an increasing interest in Lomonosov’s natural science works, these began to take up increasingly more space in his collected works while his contribution to the development of various sciences was being exaggerated. This trend is particularly reflected in the content of the academic edition of “The Collected Works” (1888–1948) and the content of “The Complete Collected Works” (1950–1959) that were published in the times of the upsurge of national pride and the fight against “cosmopolitanism”, respectively. At the same time, there was a tradition of using abundant archival materials in the studies on Lomonosov’s creative work and his activities related to organization of science, which enabled a modern assessment of the scholar’s contribution to the development of science in the new edition of “The Complete Collected Works” (2011–2012). It was demonstrated that Lomonosov could not have been decades ahead of the contemporary development of world science. This had not, and could not have, been the case, as any scholar, albeit a genius, lives and acts within their own socio-cultural framework. Lomonosov was a scion and a representative of the early 18th century German science with all its strengths and weaknesses. This does not detract from Lomonosov’s merits to Russia, his contribution to the development of Russian science and culture, the widely recognized civilization phenomena.


Recommended bibliographic description

, Towards the fifth anniversary of the release of the second edition of The Complete Collected Works by M. V. Lomonosov, Voprosy Istorii Estestvoznaniia i Tekhniki [Studies in History of Science and Technology], , p.  94-115

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