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Laurentius Blumentrost

 

Laurentius Blumentrost (Lavrentii Lavrentyevich Blumentrost, 1692 – 1755) was the first President of the Academy of Sciences.  He was born into the family of the Chief Physician of Tsar Alexis (Akeksey Mikhailovich) Romanov. He got his medical education at Leiden University where he defended his thesis in 1713.  Upon return to Russia in 1714, he served as chief or court physician for the royal family, and since 1718, for Peter I.  He participated in the establishment of the first Russian museum, the Kunstkamera, and since 1718, he was the director of the Museum and the Imperial Library, up until his appointment as President of the Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg.  On January 1, 1724, L.L. Blumetntrost signed a contract with Johann Daniel Schumacher to administer the Library and the Kunstkamera.   

By Peter I’s order, collectively with J.D. Schumacher, he prepared a draft statute on the establishment of the Academy of Sciences and Arts.  In 1725-1733, he served as President of the Academy of Sciences. After death of Catherine I, together with Peter II’s court, Blumetntrost moved to Moscow and ceased to work as President of the Academy of Sciences.  After Peter II’s death, the authority of Blumetntrost’s started to plummet.  In 1733, he was relieved of his position and sent out of St. Petersburg; he lived in Moscow engaged in private practice.  He served as Chief Physician of the Moscow General Hospital since 1738. When Empress Elizabeth acceded to the throne, he got back in favor at the court.  In 1754, he was appointed curator of the newly established Moscow University.