Moiseev Nikita Nikolayevich

1917-2000

MOISEEV, Nikita Nikolayevich (b. August 23, 1917, Moscow; d. February 29, 2000, Moscow) – Russian scientist, mathematician, expert on systems theory, Academician of Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1984), member of the International Academy of Astronautics (Paris), President of the Russian branch of the “Green Cross,” President of the Russian National Committee for the un Programme on Environmental Protection, the founder and director of several scientific schools, the author of thirty-five monographs, ten textbooks, and more than 300 scientific and popular articles.

Moiseev’s most famous scientific achievements include the creation of a team of scientists that he led which studied a mathematical model of the probable consequences of a nuclear war for the Earth’s biosphere (developing the concepts of “Nuclear Winter” and “Nuclear Night”).

This model served as a scientific confirmation of the catastrophic consequences of nuclear weapons on the Earth as a whole and had a marked influence on world politics, in particular stimulating negotiations between the major powers on nuclear arms reduction.

In the 1990s Moiseev published a number of notable works on philosophical, environmental, educational, social, and political topics. In particular, they developed the concept of “universal evolutionism,” putting the evolution of inanimate nature, life, man, and society together. He describes the modern type of human society as leading inexorably to a global crisis of civilization and creating fundamental environmental, social, and political threats for mankind.

Studies of the human impact on processes in the biosphere led Moiseev to an original concept of universal evolutionism, under which he came to a new understanding of the principles of coevolution of man and nature, realizing the need for new moral imperatives as the conditions of preservation of the human species on the planet. He saw that possible ways out of the global crisis were based, above all, in recognizing humanity’s threat to its own existence as being a major issue of our time, and the need to gradually move towards a different type of civilization development, based on the coevolution of society and nature.

The key to this transition, he believed, was the development of education, which should put forward a new view of the world, coming from an understanding of the fundamental relation between nature, man, and society. The idea of coevolution of nature and society, primarily the biosphere and man, was launched as a direction of development that would settle particular environmental problems. Moiseev was interested in the possible changes in the biosphere and its characteristics that were taking place because of human activity.

Moiseev believed that there was only way out of this situation – to achieve harmony in the relationship between society and nature:

 

I want to call the twentieth century not the century of disasters, as it is sometimes called, but a warning century. Events of this century have allowed us to look beyond the horizon, we saw the face of reality, which we can expect – expect all of us, all of humanity. Endured years and events warn us. But at the same time, they give us a chance, because we have realized there is much to do that is not too late. But this requires collective decisions and collective will! ... If a person does not find the necessary key in his relationship with nature, then he is doomed, no matter what the policy, democracy, government, the desires, and the ambitions of the powerful!” (1995).

 

Analyzing the concept of the noosphere, Moiseev was inclined to believe that this is not a new sphere, the sphere of the mind, but a qualitatively new era in the development of the planet, in which the coevolution of humans and the biosphere is taking place in tandem. Coevolution of man and the biosphere isa development of humanity, which does not disturb the stability of the bio- sphere, its homeostasis, preserve evolutionary channel necessary for mankind” (1998).

Entry into the era of the noosphere, according to Moiseev, should not happen as a “bifurcation leap,” for any bifurcation mechanism can develop in a completely unpredictable direction and lead ultimately to the destruction of mankind. Mankind from the beginning should control this transition, develop a specific strategy; a strategy of Mind.

 

We need to say that society can provide mode of coevolution with the biosphere only if the activities of the people will not allow the new bifurcation, transition of the biosphere into a new channel of its evolution” (1999).

 

A special place in the works of Moiseev is taken by questions about the des- tiny of Russia in a globalizing world. He interprets the processes taking place in Russia in the 1990s as catastrophic, posing a threat to its very existence. In or- der to transform these conditions, firstly there must be awareness of the depth of the crisis and a common search which may be a support for the forces of the people in its quest to prevent the degradation of the country. Such a support, according to Moiseev, might become human potential and collective intelligence, creating centers of high technology, “the organization of the North of Eurasian supercontinent.” The Russian experience of interaction between peoples belonging to different types of civilization can inspire populations to make concerted and vigorous efforts.

Works: Modern Rationalism (Moscow, 1995); Agony of Russia (Moscow, 1996); The International Community and the Destiny of Russia (Moscow, 1997); With the Thoughts on the Future of Russia (Moscow, 1997); Time to Define National Goals (Moscow, 1997); In Thought about the Future (Moscow, 1998); The Fate of Civilization. The Way of Reason (Moscow, 1998); Reflections on Contemporary Political Science (Moscow, 1998); Mankind: To Be or Not To Be? (Moscow, 1999); Universum. Information. Society (Moscow, 2001).