Arboreum is one of the biggest attractions in Kirovsk. The establishment calls itself “the most northern botanical garden in the world”.
As of recent the Kirovsk Arboreum gained fame thanks to its director Vladimir K. Zhirov, an Orthodox fundamentalist apparetnly, who actively speaks in favour of “Christian taxonomy” and otherwise engages in activity that to you, a logocentric westerner, will not normally expect of a scientist
Although there are materials floating around making Dr. Zhirov look like an (_*_), a few fragments of his work I’ve encountered feel refreshing. One example is that plants are closer to the Christian ideal than are animals. The other one is that carnivores are a bilogical equivalent of theological evil.
The latest scandal involves limiting or severely restricting access to the arboreum’s herbarium. According to our in-house researcher and journalist, he is regarded a bad guy in the nature preservation community, his fault being the turnover from opposing mining in the Khibiny National Park to supporting it.
(See Barents Observer for a detailed and readable coverage of the road through Khibiny story)
- Polar-Alpine Botanical Gardens English page
- The windfall after Zhirov’s creationist publications (just follow the links if you for whatever reason need to look up close into scandals in the Russian academia)