Ivan Antonovich (real patronymic Antipovich) Yefremov, sometimes spelled Ivan Antonovich Efremov (Ива́н Анто́нович Ефре́мов; April 22, 1907–October 5, 1972) was a Soviet paleontologist and science fiction author. He originated taphonomy, the study of fossilization patterns.
Born in the village of Vyritsa in St. Petersburg's province on the 22nd (old style 9th) of April, 1908. Yefremov includes the year 1907 in his biography in order to begin his labor activity earlier. His parents divorced during the Russian Revolution
. His mother married a Red Army
commander and left the children in Herson
to be cared for by an aunt who soon died of typhus. He then joined a Red Army company as a "son of the regiment" and reached Perekop
with it. In 1921 he was demobilized and went to Petrograd
(today's Saint Petersburg
) to study. There, he managed to complete his education. He later commented that "the Revolution was also my own liberation from philistinism
" ("Революция была также и моим освобождением от мещанства").
During his young years he had to combine his studies with different kinds of labour. In 1924 under the influence of academician Sushkin he became interested with paleontology. Yefremov was admitted into the Leningrad State University but did not graduate. From the middle of 1930 he took part in several paleontological expeditions on Volga region, Ural, Central Asia. He became a Laboratory Head in the Institute of Paleontology. 1935 he passed an external exam in Leningrad Mining Institute. In the same year he became a Candidate of biological science, and in 1941—a Doctor of biological science.
In the 1940s Yefremov developed a new field of science called taphonomy: the monograph "Taphonomy" was published in 1950 and many regulations of it were successfully employed during his expedition on Gobi desert in Mongolia. In these years he became a famous scientist and won the State Prize.
The first belles-lettres story of Ivan Yefremov was first published in 1944. In 1949 the historical novel The Land of Foam (Great Arc, 1946) was published. But he became most famous with his novel Andromeda Nebula (Andromeda: A Space-Age Tale, 1957). This book is the hymn to a whole-hearted world of communist future of mankind that reached the stars and changed the Earth into blooming garden. There is no more inequality between people, the social structure of the society allows each person to reach elevations of self-development. The all-Universe communication system called Great Circle includes mankind in the interstellar family of rational creatures. This book became a moral guiding line for many soviet people.
A minor planet 2269 Efremiana
discovered in 1976 by Soviet
astronomer Nikolai Stepanovich Chernykh
is named after him.
Ivan Efremov has written more than 100 scientific works. Unfortunately, only few of them were published in languages other than Russian. Below is a list of the works published in German or English. Source - the book "Ivan Antonovich Efremov" by Petr Tchudinov (issued in 1987 by the Publishing House "Nauka
- Bentosaurus sushkini ein neuer Labirinthodont aus den Permo-Triassischen Ablagerungen des Scharchenga-Flussess, Nord-Duna Gouvernement , Izvestia Akademii Nauk SSSR (Proceedings of Acad. Sci. USSR. Phys. and Math.), N. 8, P. 757-770 (1929)
- Uber die Labyrinthodonten der UdUSSR. II. Permische Labyrinthodonten des fruheren Gouvernement Wjatka, Trudy Paleozoologicheskogo Instituta (Proceedings of Paleozoological Institute), Vol. 2, P. 117-158 (1933)
- Some new Permian reptiles of the USSR, Comptes Rendus (Doklady) Acad. Sci. USSR. Paleontol., Vol 19, N 9, P. 771-776 (1938)
- Die Mesen-Fauna der Permischen Reptilien , Neues Jahrb. Min. Geol. Pal., Bd. 84. Abt. B, S.379-466 (1940)
- Kurze Ubersicht uber die Formen der Perm- und Trias Tetrapoden - Fauna der UdUSSR, Centralbl. Min. Geol., Abth. B. N 12, S. 372-383 (1940)
- Taphonomy: a new branch of Paleontology, Pan.-Amer. Geol., Vol. 74, P. 81-93 (1940)
- Ulemosaurus svijagensis Riab. - ein Deinocephale aus den Ablagerungen des Perm der USSR, Nove Acta Leopold. (N. F.). Bd 9, S. 155-205 (1940)
- The Godwana system of India, and the live history in the later Paleozoic, J. Paleontol. Soc. India, Lucknow D.N. Wadia Jubilee number, Vol. 2, P. 24-28 (1957)
- Some consideration on biological bases of Paleontology, Vertebr. Palasiatica, Vol 2, N. 2/3, P. 83-99 (1958)