Graduated from the Agricultural University in Ivanovo, USSR in 1955, and specialized in agricultural chemistry. From 1955-1963 he was working as a scientific researcher in the Research Institute for Soil Sciences and Agricultural Chemistry, Budapest, Hungary.
Between 1963-1970 he was employed as an executive secretary in the Office of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, at the Section of Biological Sciences and took part in the organization of the Biological Research Center in Szeged.
In 1970 he was elected as Deputy Secretary General of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and was reelected in 1975 and 1980. In this period the main field of his activity was the organization of international scientific collaboration.
The General Assembly of the Academy elected him as Secretary General in 1985 for five years and in 1990 for the next three years.
Between 1986-1990 he served as chairman of the Hungarian Research Fund. He was member of the World Commission on Environment and Development (Brundtland Commission), and member of the Advisory Committee on the Environment of the International Council for Science (ICSU). He was Senior Advisor to the chairman of the Global Environment Facility (1996-2003).
From the early 1970s his scientific interest has been related to the rational use of biological resources and environmental studies. He has managed several projects in the interest of improving the environmental conditions in Hungary. He is author of ten books and more than hundred scientific publications. He is honorary chairman of the Hungarian National Council on the Environment.
He has also been the leader of the research project: Impacts and Responses concerning Global Climate Change in Hungary (VAHAVA project).