Winogradsky, Microbiologie du Sol; Problèmes
et Méthodes--Cinquante ans de Recherches
(Paris: Masson, 1949).
In 1949, at the age of 93, Sergei Nikolaevich
Vinogradskii made one final effort to establish
his legacy in the history of science. He concluded
his scientific career by synthesizing his life's
work in a 900-page compendium entitled (in French)
Soil Microbiology: Problems and Methods, Fifty
Years of Investigations. He entitled his book
Soil Microbiology, but, revealingly, he structured
it as a history of his contributions to ecology.
Organizing it thematically, according to research
subject, he consistently directed his readers
to the ecological significance of his work.
As a final statement of this, he ended his tome
with an essay on "The Principles of Ecological
Microbiology, A Synthesis." Writing in
1945, Vinogradskii traced "the remote origin
of this new branch of the grand microbiological
science" to Louis Pasteur's concept of
"the role of the 'infiniment petits' in
nature." Vinogradskii understood what historians
of science have only begun to understand-that
ecology owes a substantial debt to microbiology.