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Alexander Leonidovich Chizhevsky, February 7 (January 26 O.S.), 1897 – December 20, 1964 (Александр Леонидович Чижевский) was a Belorussian interdisciplinary scientist variously described as physiologist, biophysicist and cycles researcher. He was the son of a Russian general and spent his early years in Kaluga where his memorial museum is housed. He was a younger friend of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky (1857-1935) who was himself a pioneer of the problems of rocket travel and space research. This gave Chizhevsky a broad cosmic view in his research which has influenced the Russian scientific outlook to this day. His name is also sometimes spelled Tchijevsky.
His career was spent at various research institutions in Moscow and centered on the study of biological effects of the sun and cosmos. He performed research on the influence of ionized air on animals. In 1926 Chizhevsky worked with Konstantin Tsiolkovsky in the world’s first experimental research in the field of space biology.
 Sunspots and War
He analyzed sunspot records and proxies as well as battles, revolutions, riots and wars in Russia and 71 other countries for the period 500 BCE to 1922 CE. He found that 80% of the most significant events occurred around sunspot maximum. This data was also reported and further analyzed by Raymond Wheeler and Edward R. Dewey in America, and Dewey reported various cycles in the battles index including 11 and 22 years, both related to sunspot activity. He noted that the Russian Revolution of 1917 occurred during a sunspot activity peak and as a result spent long years in Soviet prisons (Gulag) because his theory challenged the communist belief system. He considered that solar activity triggered existing grievances and complaints rather than causing them.
- "Life is a phenomenon. Its production is due to the influence of the dynamics of the cosmos on a passive subject. It lives due to dynamics, each oscillation of organic pulsation is coordinated with the cosmic heart in a grandiose whole of nebulas, stars, the sun and the planet."
- Alexander L Chizhevsky
 Continuation of Chizhevsky's work
Chizhevsky's work was published in Russian and French and has generally not been translated into English and so his work has been little known in the English speaking world. Much of his research was ahead of its time and it has taken decades for other researchers, using space weather research and the like, to reach similar conclusions to his. Even now, the extent of cosmic effects on biological systems is much more accepted in Russia than in the west.
Prof. S Ertel, who has made insightful studies of contentious scientific research writes "Soon I found myself looking, with due sense of duty, at unconventional claims of disrespected authors. Is there anything at Alexander Chizhevsky's claim that variations of solar activity and dependent geomagnetic oscillations have any impact on human mental life? Is there any evidence of his claim that changes of minds among masses of people are triggered by solar magnetism manifesting themselves as upheavals, revolts, civil wars, revolutions, and other forms of 'power from below'?". His conclusion was "To my surprise, however, my scrutiny of this hypothesis based on own data corroborated the gist of his results. Fortunately, representatives of mainstream science in the West where tolerance is decreed by law could not simply react to this finding by jailing the researcher".
In 1996 a cycles conference attended by some 500 researchers was held in Stavropol in Russia to honour the centenary of Chizhevsky's birth. With the collapse of communism it was finally acceptable to say that cosmic influences, and not just the struggle of the working class, affected human behaviour and revolution.
 See also
- Alexander Chizhevsky The Terrestrial Echo of Solar Storms, 366 pp. 1976, Moscow, (First published in 1936 in Russian: А.Л.Чижевский. Земное эхо солнечных бурь. full text in Russian ).
- John T Burns Cosmic Influences on Humans, Animals and Plants: An Annotated Bibliography, 1997, Magill Bibliographies, ISBN 0-8108-3313-1.
 External links
- Some biographical information
- S Ertel's analysis of Chizhevsky's work
- Physical Factors of the Historical Process Cycles January 1971 reprint of an earlier article discussing solar effects on human behaviour, especially relating to war and other disturbances.
- Transcending frontiers I: Solar activity (Chizhevsky references)
- A. L.Chizhevsky’s claim of solar-human connections
- Scientific problems
- Journal of Circadian Rhythms article
- Transdisciplinary Chronobiology article
- Cycles Research Institute includes an article on Chizhevsky.
- VII International Crimean Conference "Cosmos and Biosphere", October 1-6, 2007, Sudak, Ukraine