I am deeply honored and very grateful to the Mineralogical Society of America for this high recognition for three reasons.
First, I checked the list of the MSA awardees and medalists over the whole history of the Mineralogical Society of America and found out that I am only the second Russian citizen who was ever honored by any MSA medal. The first was Academician Dmitry Sergeevich Korzhinskii, who received the Roebling Medal in 1980. In fact, I knew his name from my childhood since my father, Professor Vladimir Krivovichev, is a mineralogist as well and was in correspondence with Korzhinskii on thermodynamics of metasomatic reactions in granites. I remember picking up a thick envelope handwritten by Korzhinskii and addressed to my father from our postbox on the first floor of our communal apartment building in downtown Leningrad sometime in the early 1980s. To be in the company with Dmitry Korzhinskii is itself a great honor. I am extremely grateful to my parents for raising me in the spirit of Russian scientific geological and mineralogical traditions. In fact, the first geologist in our family was my grandfather Gerasim Krivovichev, who had a difficult life, including spending three years in a Gulag after the Second World War.
Second, the name of James Dwight Dana was known to me again from my school years. His Handbook of Mineralogy was translated into Russian and published in several volumes. In the 1980s, as a member of the Young Geologist Club in Leningrad Palace of Pioneers, I studied mineralogy by reading books of Fersman, Betekhtin, Dana, and others. Later I read the biography of Dana by Gilman (published in 1899) and even wrote a paper (in Russian) on his theological writings. He was one of the greatest American naturalists of the 19th century, a polymath, and a correspondent of Darwin. To be associated with his name engraved on the Medal is a deep and historical honor.
Third, the Mineralogical Society of America and its members played and continue to play an extremely important role in my scientific life. My dear teacher and Ph.D. advisor Professor Stanislav Filatov specialized in high-temperature crystal chemistry, and the names of Hazen and Finger, Shannon and Prewitt, as well as the white-covered books of Reviews in Mineralogy were famous and loudly acclaimed in our lecture classes. I could never imagine that I myself would publish my papers in American Mineralogist and even serve for this journal as an Associate Editor. My NSF-NATO-sponsored fellowship in the University of Notre Dame in 1999–2000 was a great step in my scientific career. Peter Burns was extremely generous in allowing me to pursue my own research directions, simultaneously introducing me to the magic world of uranium mineralogy and crystal chemistry. Peter also acquainted me with his Ph.D. advisor Frank Hawthorne, who is my citationist today. It is a great privilege for me to collaborate with such great and honorific members of MSA as Peter Burns, Frank Hawthorne, Robert Hazen, Ed Grew, and Thomas Armbruster. I also wish to thank Nikolay Sobolev, Giovanni Ferraris, and Dmitry Pushcharovsky, as well as the late Friedrich Liebau, Vadim Urusov, and Nikolay Yushkin for their support at different stages of my career.
I owe very much to my (mostly younger, former and current) colleagues at the Department of Crystallography of St. Petersburg State University and Kola Science Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, including Sergey Aksenov, Margarita Avdontceva, Sergey Britvin, Anastasiya Chernyatieva, Liudmila Gorelova, Vladislav Gurzhiy, Ilya Kornyakov, Vadim Kovrugin, Evgeniy Nazarchuk, Anna Pakhomova, Taras Panikorovskii, Elena Popova, Oleg Siidra, Darya Spiridonova, Elena Zhitova, and Andrey Zolotarev. Collaboration with them was both challenging and fruitful, leading to many interesting results and achievements.
Finally, I would like to say some words as a current President of the Russian Mineralogical Society. We scientists understand each other much better than politicians. In times of political coldness, it is our task to keep both the high level of science and the high level of human relationships, remembering that we share the same planet and the same Universe.