Alexandre T. Basilevsky
The 2000 Runcorn-Florensky Medal is awarded to Alexandre T. Basilevsky for his pioneering work in planetary sciences and for his outstanding contributions to comparative planetology.
Alexandre T. Basilevsky studied geology at the Voronezh State University and received a master’s degree in this scientific field in 1959. He finalized his PhD thesis in 1968 with a doctoral degree in geochemistry and received a second doctoral degree in 1986, which corresponds to the Western European professorship. After a professional career of nearly 10 years in field geology and the exploration of ore deposits, he joined the Soviet Institute for Space Research to start his pioneering work on the geology of planetary bodies in 1968. He was deeply involved in the site selection and image analysis of all Soviet lunar sample return and robotic rover missions. From 1975, he has continued his planetary research at the Vernadsky Institute of Geochemistry and Analytical Chemistry until today. He was heavily engaged in the planning and execution of the Soviet Venus exploration programme including photogeologic and soil mechanics studies as well as the analysis of chemical measurements. Venus remained a major topic of his research work during the Venera and Magellan radar mapping missions. But more and more important became the aspects of comparative planetology covering impact structures and geologic processes on the terrestrial bodies Mars, Venus, earth and the earth’s moon as well as the icy satellites of the outer planets and the Martian moons.
Alexandre T. Basilevsky has an outstanding reputation in planetary geology. He has been very active in international science collaboration between the east and west and plays a leading role in planetary research in Russia. Once a close collaborator of Florensky, Alexandre T. Basilevsky has made outstanding contributions to establishing planetary sciences in the general field of geosciences during his career, and has promoted planetary science in international cooperation, also as an active member of the EGS.