Boris B. Damaskin
Professor, PhD, DSc
Tribute to Boris Borisovich Damaskin
(from Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry 552 (2003) 1)
With this volume we celebrate the 70th birthday of Professor Boris Borisovich Damaskin and honor his long and distinguished career in electrochemistry. His career is closely linked to the Chemistry Faculty of Moscow State University (MSU) which he entered in 1951 at the age of 19 after graduating from high school with a gold medal. He turned 70 on May 16, 2002.
The main field of scientific interests of Damaskin became clear in 1952 when he met academician Aleksandr Naumovich Frumkin who convinced the talented second year student to do research in the field of the electrical double layer (EDL). He defended his candidate thesis (Ph.D.) in 1959, and doctoral dissertation (D.Sc.) in 1965. Damaskin became a professor in 1967 and later Head of the Department of Electrochemistry at MSU (1976-1998).
The main direction of his scientific work has been associated with different aspects of the fundamental problem of the structure of charged interfaces. His work in this field is held in very high regard all over the world. The outstanding scientific contributions made by Damaskin to studies of the EDL and adsorption phenomena include numerous experimental studies and model concepts developed on their basis. He started with the development of an adsorption theory for organic molecules, which is now presented in textbooks as the Frumkin - Damaskin theory. Damaskin later extended these concepts to the adsorption of ions and coadsorption of organic molecules and ions. Damaskin’s work on computeraided simulation in the theory of interfaces and on the development and application of modern statistical methods for the determination of the adsorption layer parameters in the analysis of experimental data have gained wide acceptance.
Professor Damaskin is the author of over 600 publications, including 10 books. His best known monograph, Adsorption of Organic Substances on Electrodes (with O.A. Petrii and V.V. Batrakov, 1968), was later translated into English and German. Other important textbooks in Russian include The Basis of Theoretical Electrochemistry (with O.A. Petrii, 1978), An Introduction to Electrochemical Kinetics (with O.A. Petrii, 1975), and Electrochemistry (with O.A. Petrii and G.A. Tsirlina, 2001). The majority of Damaskin’s scientific activity took place during the Soviet period when travel to the West from Russia was extremely difficult. For this reason he was not able to meet most of his peers in the West. In addition his scientific work was only available to the majority of western scientists if it was translated from the original Russian or published in a Western journal.
Professor Damaskin is an outstanding lecturer at the Chemistry Faculty of MSU, and still lectures on electrochemistry within a general course of physical chemistry, and in a special course on the EDL and electrochemical kinetics. These lectures are attended by postgraduate students and researchers from different research institutes and universities of Moscow. Damaskin has been invited to lecture at universities in Riga, Tartu, Alma-Ata, and Dnepropetrovsk and also in Bulgaria, Poland, and Germany. Under his supervision, over 40 students have obtained higher degrees. In addition, nine of his pupils received the D.Sc. His pupils and visiting coworkers now work in the USA, the Czech Republic, Poland, France, Israel, India, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Georgia, Estonia, and Ukraine.
Professor Damaskin is a member of the International Society of Electrochemistry and Vice Editor-in-Chief of the Russian Journal of Electrochemistry. His scientific achievements and pedagogical activity were marked by the highest state awards of Russia, namely ‘‘Honoured Scientist of the Russian Federation’’ and ‘‘Honoured Professor of Moscow State University’’. In 2002 he also received the Award of the President of the Russian Federation in the field of education.
Professor Damaskin’s activities are in keeping with the best creative traditions of the Frumkin School of Electrochemistry. He holds very closely to particular but important experimental details even when dealing with theory, and never forgets the related theory when proposing a new experiment. His unique knowledge of the history of science is the source of extremely systematic and complex consideration of electrochemical phenomena. Additionally, he is the author of numerous poems relating to the Russian electrochemical community and the Chemical Faculty of MSU. No celebration is complete without the folksongs and verses of Boris Borisovich. In addition, he is an avid and skilled skier.
We conclude by wishing Boris Borisovich many more years of fruitful scientific work, the realization of all of his creative ideas, and more new verses and songs!
W. Ron Fawcett
Oleg A. Petrii
Galina A. Tsirlina