oa South African Journal of Science - Boris Ivan Balinsky : 10 September 1905 - 1 September 1997 : history of science

Volume 101, Issue 5-6
  • ISSN : 0038-2353
  • E-ISSN: 1996-7489



On 10 September 2005, we celebrate the centenary of the birth of Boris Ivan Balinsky, one of the best-known and most respected embryologists of the twentieth century. Through his remarkable and painstaking research, he laid the foundation of developmental biology as we know it today. Balinsky was a man whose research was shaped by his time, and for the first half of his working life this was dictated largely by the turbulence of the Russian Revolution and later by the instability of the SecondWorldWar. Soviet life depended on the whims of the man in power at any given time: thus, the course of Balinsky's research was directed according to the situation in which he found himself and the facilities available to him. It is due to his insight, single-mindedness, ability to adapt, hands-on approach and meticulous technique that he managed to achieve the noteworthy research and groundbreaking findings in the years prior to, and after, his move to the West.

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