Evolution of Forms of Science Popularization in Russia: XVIII–XXI Centuries
The article is devoted to the issue, which has not been actually studied in bibliology and culture studies −the origin and formation of nonfiction books and periodicals as an independent genre in Russia. Indeed, today, when the circulation of popular science periodicals dropped by several orders of magnitude compared with the end of the 1980s, it seems highly improbable that in Russia, destroyed by the First World War and the Civil War, that popular scientific literature amounted more than a third (36 %) of total books production. Even political literature noticeably lagged behind this figure. Based on rich archival, bibliographic and statistical material of the second half of the XVIII − beginning of the XXI century, found in the inaccessible primary sources, many of which have become a rarity, the author makes an attempt to reconstruct the social mechanisms of formation of the popular science genre. It is shown that one can not speak about the popular science genre as a once and for all formed phenomenon. The complexity of a clear definition of the genre of scientific popularization is explained by the fact that this genre is essentially historical. The author suggests using a model of the historical dynamics of the popular science genre he has developed – “Popular Science” / “Industrial Education” / “Entertaining Science” / “Nauchpop” (Popular Science 2.0) – in the analysis of the evolution of forms of popularization of science in Russia. It is shown that in our country the development of scientific popularization began approximately a century later than in the West, having bypassed the Popular Science stage. In fact, this stage was combined with the stage of the “Industrial Education”. It is important to keep in mind, at least in order to adequately define the subject in the course of today’s multiple discussions about the place and role of science popularization in society.