Paris: Félix Alcan, 1924.
1st Edition. Soft cover. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. Very Good. Item #003687
8vo (186 x 120 mm). , iii , 403  pp., including half-title and first blank. Original printed wrappers (light marginal dust-soiling, short split of front wrapper at foot, slight peeling at head of spine, lower front corner creased). All pages uncut and partially unopened. Light browning of text at margins, title-page creased at lower gutter. Provenance: illegible ownership inscription to first blank. ----
FIRST EDITION (2nd or later printing) OF A FOUNDATION WORK OF GEOCHEMISTRY AND OF SURPRISING RARITY NOWADAY. The front wrapper states "Quatriéme mille" as print run. Vernadsky (1863-1945) was a geologist, geochemist, and mineralogist, and one of the founders of geochemistry, radiogeology, and biogeochemistry. He is considered a theorist of the doctrine of the biosphere and noosphere. He also studied the structure of silicates, the role of organisms in geochemical processes, and the radioactivity of minerals. From the spring of 1922 to the summer of 1925, Vernadsky was invited to Paris by the Rector of the Sorbonne, Paul Appell, where he gave seminars and conferences which appeared in 1924 in the form of a book in French entitled La Géochimie. Starting from dynamic mineralogy, Vernadski and one of his students, Alexandre Fersman, developed geochemistry as a new branch of science, dealing with the chemical composition of organic matter and analyzing the geochemical process and its effects in which organisms are involved. He also frequented the laboratory of Marie Curie. During the same period, the Norwegian chemist Victor Goldschmidt developed similar concepts and published in 1926 Geochemische Verteilungsgesetze der Elemente (Laws of geochemical distribution of the Elements).
Vernadsky also first popularized the concept of the noosphere and deepened the idea of the biosphere to the meaning largely recognized by today's scientific community. The word 'biosphere' was invented by Austrian geologist Eduard Suess, whom Vernadsky met in 1911. In Vernadsky's theory of the Earth's development, the noosphere is the third stage in the earth's development, after the geosphere (inanimate matter) and the biosphere (biological life). Just as the emergence of life fundamentally transformed the geosphere, the emergence of human cognition will fundamentally transform the biosphere. In this theory, the principles of both life and cognition are essential features of the Earth's evolution, and must have been implicit in the earth all along. This systemic and geological analysis of living systems complements Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection, which looks at each individual species, rather than at its relationship to a subsuming principle. Vernadsky's visionary pronouncements were not widely accepted in the West. However, he was one of the first scientists to recognize that the oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere result from biological processes. During the 1920s he published works arguing that living organisms could reshape the planets as surely as any physical force. Vernadsky was an important pioneer of the scientific bases for the environmental sciences (Wikisource). - Visit our website to see more images!
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