History of Biospherics

Biospherics is an exciting and essential new science, first envisioned in the 1920’s by Vladimir Vernadsky. Vernadsky is the highly venerated father of several geo-based disciplines, including geochemistry, biogeochemistry, and radiogeology. He wrote the first scientific theory about the “biosphere,” the life zone of the Earth, and in the process laid the groundwork for planetary thinking.

It was further developed by Evelyn Hutchinson (USA), Eugene and Howard Odum (USA), James Lovelock (UK), Lynn Margulis (USA), by many dedicated Russian researchers, including M. Kamshilov and Evgeni Shepelev (Russia), Josef Gitelson (Russia) , John Allen, William Dempster, Mark Nelson, (USA), Kenjii Nitta (Japan) and Tyler Volk (USA).

John Allen and his team designed and built Biosphere 2, with architects Margaret Augustine and Phil Hawes, to test the hypothesis that Biospheres were self-organizing systems, and the Japanese team led by Kenjii Nitta developing Biosphere J.

Biospheric science, is the largest scale possible to study within the life sciences, differing from systems ecology in that it deals with basically materially closed systems and thus complete cycling. Biospheres, as a class of objects to study, are defined as an energetically open, materially closed life systems, natural or artificial, capable of long term self-renewal under the proper conditions. [The Earth’s biosphere is over three and a half billion years old, a trillion tons in weight, with over 10,000,000 species and certainly to a great extent self-organizing.]

The name Biospherics was agreed upon as the name for this new science by those gathered at the Second International Conference on Biospherics in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Russia, September, 1989, which was co-sponsored by the Institute of Biophysics (Russia) and the Institute of Ecotechnics (UK).


Closed Systems

Shepelev was the first man to live for 24 hours in a closed system with an algae species, Chlorella, at the Institute Biomedical Problema, Moscow, with Maleshka as his assistant on the outside of the system in 1961.

John Allen was the first man to live for three days in the pioneering test module chamber at Space Biospheres Ventures in 1986 with complex ecological systems. The three experiments of Shepelev, Gitelson, and Allen laid the foundation for the 2.3 acre Biosphere 2 experiment.

Key Scientists

Vladimir Verdnasky

Shepelev & Gazenko

Eugene Odum

Howard Odum

Gazenko & Allen

Space Biosphere Ventures Test Modules Experiments

Bios3 (Krasnoyrsk)

Clair Folsome Ecospheres