Dembowski, Jan


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Dembowski, Jan

 

Born Dec. 26, 1889, in St. Petersburg; died Sept. 22, 1963, in Warsaw. Polish zoologist; public and government figure. Foreign member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1958).

Dembowski graduated from the University of St. Petersburg in 1912. In 1922 he became head of the biology department at the M. Nencki Institute in Warsaw and was the institute’s director from 1933 to 1934. From 1934 to 1939 he worked at the University of Wilno. From 1944 to 1947, while serving as an attache in the Moscow embassy of the Polish People’s Republic, he worked in the Institute of Experimental Biology of the Academy of Medical Sciences of the USSR. In 1947 he was appointed a professor at the University of Łódź, and from 1952 to 1960 he served as director of the Institute of Experimental Biology in Warsaw. Dembowski was president of the Polish Academy of Sciences from 1951 to 1956, and from 1952 to 1956 he was marshal of the Sejm of the Polish People’s Republic. He was chairman of the Polish Peace Committee from 1948 to 1952.

Dembowski’s main works were devoted to the behavior and zoopsychology of various groups of animals, in particular to the phenomena of “memory,” the rhythm of cell division, and tropism in infusorians. In his experiments on crabs he studied certain instincts. Dembowski was awarded the State Science Prize of the Polish People’s Republic (1949, 1955), and he received four orders of the Polish People’s Republic.

WORKS

Psychologia zwierzqt. [Warsaw] 1946.
Nauka radziecka. Warsaw, 1947; 4th ed. Warsaw, 1949.
Psychologia małp, 2nd ed. Warsaw, 1951.

REFERENCE

Rasza Szlep. “Jan Dembowski prezes Polskej Akademii nauk.” Nauka polska, 1955, vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 73-88.
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