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Dějiny věd a techniky, No. 2, Vol. XXXVII (2004)


K. Stibral–S. Komárek

The Influence of Natural Science on the Modern Perception of Nature

(Význam přírodních věd pro estetické vnímání přírody)

The Influence of Natural Science on the Modern Perception of Nature The article focuses on the history of the influence of natural science on the aesthetic perception of nature. This type of perception is not very traditional. As a cultural phenomenon it developed in Europe in modern times—in the 17th century—due to changes in the approach to nature and the early development of modern natural sciences. Natural sciences, in fact, from the very beginning (Renaissance, 17th century/Shaftesbury, then Enlightenment) helped change these perceptions. In the 18th century, reflection on the aesthetic perception of nature culminates in texts on philosophy—aesthetics such as Kant’s Critique of Judgement. Although aesthetic appreciation soon vanishes from philosophy, this trend continues to deepen throughout the 19th century, now under the influence of art and natural science. The text points out interesting parallels and mutual influences between natural science and art in various eras, including Romanticism—Naturphilosophie, Realism—Positivism, or Art Nouveau—Vitalism.


Eugen Strouhal

Czechoslovak Paediatrician and Anthropologist, University Professor MUDr. et RNDr. Jindřich Antonín Valšík (1903—1977)

(Československý antropolog a pediatr J. A. Valšík)

After his early youth spent in Pula (nowadays Croatia) and Trieste (nowadays Italy) Valšík continued preparatory studies in Prague. In 1920 he started in anthropology with professor Jindřich Matiegka, from 1922 to 1927 he studied and graduated in medicine, both at Charles University in Prague. He specialized in paediatrics, but in the same time finished his studies of anthropology (1930) and habilitated in the same discipline in Brno with professor Vojtěch Suk (1938). During his activities in paediatry he became school physician in Prague in 1933, from 1941 he was appointed director of the section for care of mother and child of the Prague Central Health Institute and from 1948 to 1953 director of school health service in Brno. After retirement of professor Suk in 1949, he was appointed “external head” of the Institute of Anthropology, Masaryk University in Brno. In 1950, after premature death of professor Jiří Malý, he resumed also his lectures in anthropology in the Chair of Zoology, Comenius University in Bratislava. In school year 1953—54 Valšík decided to change full-time for Bratislava making hard efforts to establish anthropology as independent scientific branch in the Faculty of Natural History. He succeeded in 1957, founding the first Slovak Chair of Anthropology and Genetics, of which he became director and professor. There, he richly developed his pedagogic, scientific and public activities. In 1965 he reached scientific grade Doctor of biological sciences. Valšík represented Czechoslovak anthropology in many congresses and took part in several expeditions, among which two Czechoslovak–Egyptian expeditions to Nubia (1965, 1967) have been dealt with in detail. By his lectures, publications and social activities he became one of the leading representatives of Czech and Slovak biological anthropology of the 20th century.


Jiří Jindra

Fuel Galvanic Cells in Czechoslovakia. Chapter From the History of the Czech Electrochemistry in the 20th Century

(Palivové galvanické články v Československu)

The research and development of fuel cells in Czechoslovakia was focused on the study of non-platinum catalysts. Functional modules of hydrogen—oxygen fuel cells operated with output up toven 1 kW.

Experience with the construction and operation of fuel cells working with dissolved fuels (hydrazine, methanol, formic acid) was gained at Czechoslovak academic as well as industrial research institutions.

© M. Barvík 2004