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With and Without Galton

Nikolai Krementsov

Note on Names, Transliterations, and Translations

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1This book deals with more than a century and a half of Russian history, especially the history of medicine, science, education, and journalism. During this period the very name of the country (to say nothing of its borders or its political, economic, administrative, and social organization) changed radically several times. To avoid an unnecessary confusion and clattering of the text, throughout the book I often use its colloquial name, Russia, to refer to the Russian Empire (before 1917), the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic (1917-1922), the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (1922-1991), and the Russian Federation (after 1991), even though strictly speaking it is not historically accurate. Furthermore, numerous Russian cities, regions, and municipalities also repeatedly changed their names. To give but one example, St. Petersburg became Petrograd in 1914, Leningrad in 1924, and regained its original name in 1991. Throughout the text I use that name for a particular locale, which was in use at the time I describe, occasionally noting its current name and administrative subordination. Similarly, many institutions described in this book have also been renamed multiple times. Thus the St. Petersburg Imperial Academy of Sciences became the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1917, the USSR Academy of Sciences in 1925, and once more the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1991. Again, to avoid an unnecessary clattering of the text, I use the generic name “Academy of Sciences” throughout, unless its proper full name is called for by a particular context.

2In rendering various Russian names and words in the Latin alphabet, I use the Library of Congress’s transliteration system, except for the commonly adopted spellings of well-known names, such as, for example, “St. Petersburg,” “Alexander,” “Leon Trotsky,” and “Fedor Dostoevsky,” instead of “Sankt-Peterburg,” “Aleksandr,” “Lev Trotskii,” and “Fedor Dostoevskii,” respectively. Except for the names of the country’s two major newspapers, Pravda and Izvestiia, and a popular-science magazine, Priroda (Nature), I translated into English the titles of various periodicals in the text, but preserved their Russian names in the references.

3Although some of the original Russian (and, occasionally, French and German) sources I cite are available in English translations, all of the translations in the book are my own. Indeed, a correct translation of various Russian texts became a major challenge in writing this book and an essential part of my analysis of its subject. So much so, that I felt compelled to write an extensive essay on translations as a requisite part of the historian’s craft and to include it in the “Apologia” appended to this book.


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