Wspomnienie asystenta o profesorze S. J. Thugucie

Stanisław Małkowski


Profesor S. J. Thugutt - reminiscence of an assitant

These memorial notes have been written by one who, from 1916 to 1921, occupied, though with major breaks, the post of assistant in the Mineralogical Laboratory of the Warsaw Society of Science and Letters. These were years that witnessed the restoration of Poland’s freedom. The Mineralogical Laboratory of the Warsaw Society of Science and Letters owed its existence and its development to Prof. S. J. Thugutt, who was also in charge of the laboratory from its very beginning in 1907 until 1939 when it suffered destruction. The laboratory was not a large one but equipped most adequately and with meticulous care (the description of Laboratory quarters and equipment is given in the Polish text). It was particularly adapted to chemico-mineralogical studies, with special facilities for research work on hydrothermal phenomena and synthesis of minerals originating in aquatic medium under various conditions of temperature and pressure. The group of zeolites and their metamorphism presented the line of greatest attraction to the Head of the Laboratory. His studies were further facilitated by special experimental equipment provided with copper autoclaves. They were operated by Prof. Thugutt — a disciple of Lemberg — who continuously improved the methods handed down to him by that Master. Another line of research work comprised the working out of methods for microchemical determinations (chiefly of zeolites) by means of proper conditions of temperature, concentration of reagents and duration of reactions prescribed with the greatest attainable precision. Water used for chemical treatment was distilled in platinum apparatus. As teacher and guardian of the young generation of mineralogical workers Prof. Thugutt displayed great care in letting them develop their own scientific abilities. He avoided imposing his own themes on the students with whom he had to deal, only with great discretion, making his suggestions. He adhered to the belief that nothing harmed science more than „scientific authorities”. He also imbibed into young scientific workers the understanding for the need of searching knowledge in original works even ancient, believing that they were a source of unadequately known ideas and informations. Finally, Prof. Thugutt was a staunch believer in the independence of science from all outside factors.

Full Text: