Public science as a network: the congresses of Russian naturalists and physicians in the 1860s-1910s
The paper examines a changing audience present at the major academic conventions in the Russian Empire in the second half of the 19th century – the congresses of Russian naturalists and physicians. Like similar national academic congresses in other European countries of the same age, the congresses of Russian naturalists and physicians served as important sites of academic socialisation, exchange and public dissemination of knowledge. The paper provides a detailed analysis of the dynamics of gender, regional and professional background, and institutional affiliation of registered participants. In this way it is able to demonstrate social and geographic expansion of public science in the late imperial Russia, and the role of the imperial universities, as the principal organisers of the conventions, in the process. In particular the paper focuses on the geography of science in the Russian empire, by tracing and analysing the involvement of different regions of the country, with their varied ethno-cultural background and traditions of scholarship, in the events.