A Tribute to Boris Mescheryakov


On July 24, 2021 Boris G. Meshcheryakov passed away. Doctor of psychology, professor at the Dubna State University, deputy editor-in-chief of the Cultural-Historical Psychology journal, our dear friend and colleague. His mother a centenarian, in less than a month he would have turned 68; but then, heredity is no more a safe-conduct in the contemporary world. It was with and around Boris that everybody felt safe and confident and at ease.

Boris did not work in the field of psychology: he devoted himself to psychology completely. The fruits of his labour were out there for everyone, even for those who have ‘knocked’ on the door of psychology for the first time, reaching for the Great Psychology Dictionary written by V.P. Zinchenko and B.G. Meshcheryakov. And this was just one of the many contributions made by Boris to psychological science.

Like our teachers (to whose legacy Boris dedicated many of his own works), he was the constructor, the architect of psychology, unwilling to join any ‘modern trends’, of which he could be – despite his kind and delicate nature - at times quite skeptical. At the same time being meticulously competent in all the latest and newest sentiments. That said, his nature was fundamentally incompatible only with triviality and aggressive inanity in science, even more so if it was ‘converted’ into some kind of status and material well-being.

He was tireless in creating spaces in which psychology could thrive and exist with dignity: countless editions and periodicals, conferences, workshops to which he would draw the best of the best. Our journal, Cultural-Historical Psychology, became one of such spaces in large part due to Boris’s everyday work as the deputy editor-in-chief. Modesty prevented him from displaying his unique erudition and diverse scientific talent in public; he preferred to exercise them ‘along the way’. And the scope of his scientific explorations was extraordinarily wide: from the studies in history and theory of psychology to the ethnopsychological discourses and experimental studies in psychology of perception.

In the forthcoming issue of the Cultural-Historical Psychology journal we will publish Boris’s last paper. Comprehensive, critical and uncompromising.

When an untimely death occurs, it is common to say: “left this life full of plans and intentions”. But who are we to know? Even man himself does not always have a clue as to what he proposes and disposes. In Ancient China the worst curse one person could place on another was: “Let all your plans be fulfilled!” This meant a living death.

Boris Meshcheryakov left this life full of life which he so generously shared with those around him.

Editorial Office of the Cultural-Historical Psychology Journal

We welcome your condolences and reminiscences about Boris G. Meshcheryakov. Please send them to the editorial e-mail address: kip@mgppu.ru. The messages will be published or passed to Boris’s family and friends.

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