Last updated: 2009-10-22
DVT 093, 137
Attempts to Reform Technical Universities in Czechoslovakia in the 1st half of 20th Century
Pokusy o reformu technických vysokých škol v Československu v 1. polovině 20. století
Attempts to Reform Technical Universities in Czechoslovakia in the 1st half of 20th Century The turn of 1920s and 1930s saw the most consistent of all interwar Czechoslovak attempts to reform technical studies along with the whole educational system. Initiators of reforms reacted to an unsatisfactory situation and negative processes that had developed over a long period of time. Basic problems included the unbearable length of studies (15 semesters/terms or more), low success in the completion of studies (only 36 % of enrolled students passed the 2nd state examination), a deepening disjuncture between the subject of studies and the needs of practice, and the untenable status of technical intelligentsia in society. Reform of secondary education was connected with reform of technical universities. Secondary schools were asked to prepare students better for studies at technical universities. In 1929 the Broader Advisory Committee at the Czech Technical University (CTU) was established to discuss common problems. Delegates of the professorial staff and students from all CTU faculties and representatives of the Masaryk Academy of Labor, chambers of Civil Engineers, the Association of Czechoslovak Civil Engineers, and other institutions were among its members.
The Committee issued protocols from its proceedings as well as substantial contributions and specialist studies. A wide-ranging survey represented the peak of reform efforts in 1930. It contained 125 queries and was organized by the Association of Czechoslovak Civil Engineers in response to suggestions that had arisen in earlier discussions. The questionnaire was sent to more than 300 addresses, and 97 of questionnaires were completed and returned. The survey addressed technical universities, their staff, and their student associations as well as technical-economic institutions, authorities, associations, and civil engineers engaged in practice.
The positive climate for reform ended with the Great Depression of the 1930s. When the Ministry of Education asked CTU in March 1933 about the status of the survey and reform of technical studies, the CTU Academic Senate responded with statements from individual faculties about small modifications that had been made in the organization of study, with the supplement that the financial environment was not positive for reforms of any kind. Nevertheless, although technical universities did not pass substantial reform in the interwar era, they did succeed in continuing to provide education, albeit without suitable rooms, proper appropriations, support staff, and sometimes even without professors.
Education at technical universities • 1910s–1930s • Czech lands • reform efforts • relations of education to practice and society
DVT 093, 153
Council of the Mutual Economical Aid (CMEA) and Pharmaceutical Industry of Czechoslovakia
Rada vzájomnej hospodárskej pomoci a farmaceutický priemysel ČSR
Richard R. Senček
Council of the Mutual Economical Aid (CMEA) and Pharmaceutical Industry of Czechoslovakia The paper evaluates, from the point of view of Czechoslovakia, the scientific-technological cooperation of CMEA in the pharmaceutical industry approximately three years after the founding of the pharmaceutical industry group of the CMEA Stable Commission for cooperation in the chemical industry in 1957. It was expected that Czechoslovakia, as one of the most developed countries in the Communist Bloc, would help other countries in their scientific and technological progress. Czechoslovakia fulfilled this task. Nevertheless, there was a problem that Czechoslovakia also was more advanced than the leader of Communist countries – the Soviet Union. Archival documents show that the exchange of individual projects, documentation, information, and other scientific knowledge was badly balanced in favor of the USSR, although the exchange could have been equally profitable for both countries.
From this point of view CMEA was founded more as an organization with the special purpose of helping the Soviet Union gain valuable knowledge from other countries for its own benefit. Analysis of archival documentation deals with concrete aspects of collaboration and measures them according to both quantitative and qualitative indices.
Industry for health care • research of ailments • Council for the Mutual Economic Help • pharmaceutical industry • Czechoslovakia – Communist Bloc • scientific-technological cooperation • chemical industry • Ministry for the Health Care • 1957– 1960
DVT 093, 173
Emanuel Purkyně – the first expert in water hygiene at the National Institute of Public Health
Emanuel Purkyně – první pracovník hygieny vody ve Státním zdravotním ústavu
Emanuel Purkyně – the first expert in water hygiene at the National Institute of Public Health The article deals with the life of a promising Czech scientist Emanuel Purkyně, MSc (1895–1929), a great- grandson of Jan Evangelista Purkyně, the renowned Czech biologist. Emanuel Purkyně graduated from the Faculty of Science, Charles University, in Prague, where he specialized in zoology. Still as an undergraduate, he worked as an assistant at the National Museum, dedicating himself to paleozoology. After his graduation in 1921, he and his wife moved to the countryside in the region of České Budějovice to be farmers. However, after 3 years of farming, they moved back to Prague and Emanuel Purkyně worked briefly at the Institute for Breeding Biology. After gaining the post in open competition, he entered the newly established National Institute of Public Health on January 1, 1926. Soon he was awarded a 2-year Rockefeller Foundation fellowship in hydrobiology. His training at the Harvard Engineering School in the USA focused not only on comprehensive methods for drinking and waste water analysis, technical aspects of drinking water treatment and sewage treatment but also on medical parasitology and public health. After his return to Czechoslovakia, Emanuel Purkyně continued his activities in the laboratory of the National Institute of Public Health. He was already considered as the Czech leading expert in the field of water hygiene when he died unexpectedly in October 1929 after a traffic accident.
Emanuel Purkyně • biography • Státní zdravotní ústav (National Institute of Public Health) • Jan Evangelista Purkyně • water hygiene
© M. Barvík 2008