I'm working on a paper about the Belousov-Zhabotinsky-reaction (a chemical oscillator).

I included some information about the history of oscillation reaction, in particular about Boris Pavlovich Belousov and Anatol Markovich Zhabotinskii.

Boris Belousov was the first to discover the Belousov-Zhabotinsky-reaction (BZ-reaction), whilst Zhabotinsky later continued Belousovs research.

My problem now is the year that Boris Belousov died. I have a few contradicting sources. The year is 1970 or 1976.

Some sources that say 1970: Wikipedia, Nature, Handbook on the Physics and Chemistry of Rare Earths.

Source that says 1976: Journal of Biosciences. This source does not have references on where the year 1976 came from.

Do you agree that I should use 1970, because that is what most sources say? Or is it more plausible that it is 1976, because that source has a DOI? But on the other hand, the second source did not include references on the year of death..

  • 1
    hsm.stackexchange.com Jun 6, 2020 at 20:23
  • 4
    How is the discoverer of chemical oscillators related to anything military? Jun 6, 2020 at 20:24
  • In such questions, Russian Wikipedia can be trusted: he dies on June 12, 1970.
    – Alex
    Jun 7, 2020 at 13:25
  • @RodrigodeAzevedo thanks for pointing that SE out, I didn't about that one. Belousov discovered his reaction during work/research for the Russian military. To be honest, when posting this question I didn't really have an idea what tags I should use for it, so when I came across 'military' I decided just to add it because of the above reason.
    – ralphjsmit
    Jun 8, 2020 at 6:41
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    @ralphsmit: No. But this is a rule of thumb for formal biographical data of famous Russians.
    – Alex
    Jun 8, 2020 at 13:15

1 Answer 1


The 1976 date appears to be a transcription error. Not only is the 1970 date more frequent in English literature, the two Russian language sources below (that appear to be independent) agree on a death date of June 12, 1970.

Numerous other Russian language sources also give 1970 as the year of death, but I saw no reason to believe these were independent of the two above. I found no Russian language sources (of about 12) that listed 1976 as the year of death.

  • 2
    Thank you @Pieter Geerkens!
    – ralphjsmit
    Jun 6, 2020 at 18:01

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