М. М. Barna, L. S. Barna


In 2021, the Chernivtsi publishing house «Bukrek» published a book of memoirs of a famous Ukrainian scientist, physiologist, plant biochemist and ecologist, academician of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, doctor of biological sciences, professor, honoured worker of science and technology of Ukraine, honorary doctor of law of the University of Saskatchewan (Canada, 2010), former rector of Yurii Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University – Stepan Stepanovych Kostyshyn – «Stepan Kostyshyn. The melody of the old physharmonica. Life at the turn of centuries.». The book of memoirs is dedicated to the life and creative career of its author, his ups and downs, losses and victories. Stepan Kostyshyn wrote his book to parents, fellow villagers from the village of Zvyniach, Ternopil region, and graduates of Yurii Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University. Young Stepan Kostyshyn dreamed of becoming a geologist, but fate decided otherwise and in 1950 he became a student of the Agrobiology Department of the Faculty of Biology of Chernivtsi University. Work in a student research group, qualified lecturers instilled in the gifted student a thirst for knowledge and scientific research, and six years after graduation from the university Stepan Kostyshyn became a post-graduate student of the Department of Plant Physiology. The scientific supervisor of the young post-graduate student was a well-known scientist, Professor Molotkovskyi H. Kh. After defending his Candidate's dissertation, Stepan Stepanovych began his teaching and research activities at the university, firstly at the Department of Botany, later – Plant Physiology; he headed the problematic research laboratory of plant heterosis, and he worked as Vice Rector for Research for 15 years. In 1987, for the first time on a competitive basis, Kostyshyn S. S. was elected as a rector of Chernivtsi University and headed this famous university for 18 years. The life of two world geniuses of genetic science – Erwin Chargaff and Mykola Vavilov – is connected with the city of Chernivtsi. The world-famous discoverer of the DNA structure – the most outstanding discovery of the twentieth century – Erwin Chargaff was born on August 11, 1905 in the city of Chernivtsi and lived there until the First World War. And Mykola Vavilov, who gave the world the concept of centres of origin of cultivated plants and the law of homologous series of hereditary variability, ended his life in our city. This was his last expedition devoted to the search for relict spelt. From there he was taken directly to the NKVD cell in Lubianka. The author of the book was directly involved in perpetuating the memory of these world-famous scientists. The reviewed book will be extremely interesting for young people as life and the creative career of S. S. Kostyshyn is an example of how one’s hard work can bring great success in science and professional activity. It is of great interest to biologists, lecturers of higher educational establishments, as it contains invaluable information about the development of biological science in Bukovyna, the main milestones of the leading university of Ukraine – Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University. In the book of memoirs, the author successfully interweaves events from his own biography in the outline of the development of Bukovyna University.


book; memoirs; biology; Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University; rector; plant physiology; plant biochemistry; genetics; heterosis; Bukovyna


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