HUI, XII, 2021, 199-209

Historia Universitatis Iassiensis 12, 199–209

Petronela Buruiană | Biology Higher Education in the 1970s and the Impact of the “Reform”. Projects, Debates, Reactions

Abstract. Education in the 1970s evolved in close connection with the development of science and technology, the requirements of the economy and culture, and in line with party policy. In this respect, school and university curricula were established and drawn up by the Ministry in accordance with the ideological imperatives. By the mid-1970s the political power wanted to abandon foreign educational models and sought to focus on the national foundations of science and culture. Thus, the curricula of some disciplines were merged, aiming, for example, to eliminate the morphological disciplines in the Faculty of Biology-Geography, for the biology specialization. The Ministry of Education wanted a reform of university biological education at a time when attention was focused on the dismantling of institutes and faculties. In this regard, several professors from Iasi (Petre Jitariu, Olga Necrasov, etc.), Cluj (Emil Pop) and Bucharest submitted memoirs regarding the reintroduction of some courses (Human Ecology, Anthropology of Romania, and Paleoanthropology) and the substitution of classes for other disciplines (Cytology-Histology-Embryology), as a reaction to the "reform" initiated by the Ministry. Most letters were submitted by Olga Necrasov, Professor of Morphology and Anthropology at the Faculty of Biology-Geography in Iasi, who advocated the continuation of morphological disciplines and argued the importance of maintaining a fully grounded concept in the evolution of biological education. This paper represents an incursion into the history of science by analyzing the projects which came from the authorities and the reactions that followed these initiatives. We are interested both in those who had proposals for maintaining the disciplines in the school and university curricula, the position in which they were at the time, and the finality of the debates, the extent to which their proposals were included in the biological research plan, for the period 1974-1980.