Mineralogy in all the space of this word – this motto of the
Russian Mineralogical Society (RMS) perfectly reflects its general purpose of
uniting under its umbrella not only professional mineralogists but also those
who are interested in minerals from the standpoint of their beauty, their
relevance to other sciences (biochemistry, archeology, materials research,
etc.), or their practical use.
The RMS was founded in 1817 as the Mineralogical Society of
Saint Petersburg and is the oldest of the existing national mineralogical
societies. Since 19th century the RMS undertook the geological mapping of the
Russian Empire, and published the voluminous Materials on the Geology of Russia.
In the 1860s, the society became Imperial and moved its headquarters to Saint
Petersburg Mining Institute, Russia’s first geological and mining school. In the
1950s, the society, then known as the All-Soviet Mineralogical Society
(Vsesoyuznoe Mineralogicheckoe Obshchestvo, VMO) was involved with the
International Mineralogical Association and opened its first Republic branches
in Ukraine, Uzbekistan and elsewhere. Some of these daughter organizations now
continue to function as national societies.
Some of the members of the RMS who achieved international fame
include Nikolai I. Koksharov, Evgraf S. Fedorov, Vasili V. Dokuchaev, Dimitri I.
Mendeleev, Alexander P. Karpinsky, Vladimir I. Vernadsky, Alexandr E. Fersman,
Alexander N. Zavaritsky, Anatoly G. Betekhtin, Nikolay V. Belov, Dmitri S.
Korzhinsky, Dmitri P. Grigoriev, Vladimir S. Sobolev, I. I. Shafranovsky,
Vladimir I. Smirnov, G. B. Bokiy, and Viktor A. Frank-Kamenetsky. Today, the
society is 900 members strong and has 25 regional branches spanning nine time
zones! The current president is Yury B. Marin, who is assisted by three
vice-presidents: Nikolay V. Sobolev, Yury L. Woytekhovsky and Sergey V.
Krivovichev (IMA President during 2014–2015). The RMS activities are coordinated
by 17 special commissions focusing on a wide range of topics (mineral
processing, mineral museums, organic mineralogy, to name but a few). The
society’s library is a unique collection of literature on mineralogy and related
disciplines, including rare editions of classic works published between the 16th
century and the 19th century.
The RMS organizes 10 – 15 conferences on mineralogy, petrology,
geochemistry, and crystallography annually. Its general meetings are held every
five years and include elections of honorary fellows, award presentations, and
A prominent scientist anywhere in the world can be nominated
for an Honorary Fellowship. Since 1817, more than 140 foreign scientists have
been elected as honorary fellows, including Charles Lyell, Alexander von
Humboldt, Jöns J. Berzelius, René-Just Haüy, Roderick I. Murchison, Victor M.
Goldschmidt, William H. Bragg, Max T. F. von Laue, Norman L. Bowen, James D.
Dana, Reginald A. Daly, Paul A. Ramdohr, Alfred E. Ringwood, and seven past IMA
Since 1830, the RMS has published its own journal, which was
initially entitled Transactions of the Mineralogical Society, then became the
Proceedings of the Imperial Mineralogical Society of Saint Petersburg, changing
again during the Soviet era to Zapiski VMO. The journal is presently published
six times per year as the Proceedings of the RMS (Zapiski Rossiiskogo
Mineralogicheskogo Obshchestva, or Zapiski RMO, ISSN 0869-6055).
The RMS website (minsoc.ru) offers o wide number of services
for professionals in mineralogy, geology and adjacent areas: news and events
alerting service, world listing of upcoming scientific conferences, e-prints
database incl. abstracts of RMS conferences and Zapiski RMO contents (abstracts
and full papers, access for registered RMS members only), online conference