• A
  • A
  • A
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
Regular version of the site

Research: It’s a Personal Affair

Researchers from HSE University on their research, essential books and theories, and unusual teaching methods. Part 1

© ISTOCK

Seven researchers and professors answer questions from IQ.HSE about their research interests, their favourite theoretical approaches, the books (both scholarly and mainstream) that have most influenced them, and what advice they have for current and prospective students.

Iuliia Papushina
Associate Professor, School of Management of Faculty of Economics, Management and Business Informatics, HSE Campus in Perm

What are your research interests?

Sociology of culture, consumption, fashion, and intellectual mind maps.

What question are you or your research group seeking to answer at the moment?

At the moment, I’m spending quite a lot of time preparing grant applications to various foundations. When I'm not working on that, I’m preparing lectures for my remote seminar, Worlds of Management, or reading up on theory for an article on alternative Soviet fashion that I’m working on.

What draws you to research on a personal level?

The ability to satisfy my curiosity and create order out of chaos.

What motivates you to go to the laboratory or the archive every day, and what, on the contrary, lessens your motivation?

I don't go to the archive every day, because ‘if you work all the time, then when do you think?’ My motivation is internal: curiosity, the excitement of solving a problem that is harder than the previous one, finding something no one is paying attention to, etc. It’s not that I think low salaries for academics are okay. Low pay for difficult work is an outrage, but money doesn't work as a motivator for me personally. The main demotivating factor is bad management at various levels, from the department to the country.

What scholarly work or popular science book (or article, encyclopaedia, etc.) inspired you to pursue an academic career?

None. Or at least I don't remember. I wasn’t planning on an academic career. I was just trying to get my PhD at a decent institution where I could learn something. By chance, that place turned out to be HSE University. From that, I evolved as a researcher. Even earlier, at Perm State University, where I earned my Bachelor’s degree, I was ‘raised’ by my academic supervisor Lyudmila Gerashchenko. What do books have to do with it? The main thing is the people.

What theory or experiment has made the strongest impression on you or significantly influenced your scholarly views/interests?

Again, none. Or I don't remember. There are works to which I often refer now and think are very important. These are Sergey Zhuravlev and Jukka Gronow’s Fashion Meets Socialism: Fashion Industry in the Soviet Union After the Second World War, Larissa Zakharova's Dressing Soviet: Fashion and the Thaw in the USSR (someone, please, translate this wonderful study from French already!), and Pierre Bourdieu and Yvette Delsaut’s article, ‘The Couturier and His Signature: A Contribution to the Theory of Magic’ (also long overdue for translation).

Please name three works (books, articles — domestic or foreign) that you consider to be fundamental in your field.

I have already answered about Soviet fashion above. For sociology, I won’t say anything original here: Pierre Bourdieu's Distinctions: A Social Critique of Judgment of Taste and American sociologist Richard A. Peterson’s articles on omnivorism in the early 1990s. But in general, I am not in favour of nominating any seminal work. It all depends on the task at hand. The same classic works that I have named are already being actively reviewed and criticised, which does not make them any less important, but they are already being used in research, albeit with reservations. For some tasks, the fundamental works are quite useless, because the world is changing, but what is built on their foundations and even that which criticises them can be very useful.

Do you read (watch, listen to) any popular science resources or publications? If so, which ones?

Sometimes. The latest in this genre is Robert Sapolsky’s Behave: The Biology of Humans and Our Best and Worst. I follow the memoirs of Soviet fashion designers, art critics, and other eyewitnesses; I read them more or less systematically.

What is the most unusual format for presenting the results of a study (presentation, story about it) that you have come across?

The creative agency SALT makes videos using interview footage they have themselves collected. I use this material in my teaching. I think unusual presentation formats are greatly overrated. A good speaker and interesting material will also deliver an engaged audience in a traditional format. 

What advice would you give to students right now who are contemplating an academic career in your field?

Nothing. Giving advice is not a good idea, and it's even worse without knowing all the circumstances. And, by the way, what is an academic career? :)

 


 

Alexander Chulok
Director, Centre for Science and Technology Foresight, Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge (ISSEK), HSE University

What are your research interests?

Foresight, innovation, science and technological policy, and scientific and technological forecasting.

What question are you or your research group seeking to answer at the moment?

We are developing scenarios for the future development of the agro-industrial complex and studying the behaviour of economic agents in this complex.

What draws you to research on a personal level?

The ability to understand the current state of something from different angles and anticipate the future.

What motivates you to go to the laboratory or the archive every day, and what, on the contrary, lessens your motivation?

What motivates — a game of speed with reality: to see who is faster. What makes me less motivated is the need to resolve organisational issues.

What scholarly work or popular science book (or article, encyclopaedia, etc.) inspired you to pursue an academic career?

The book Conversations on New Immunology by Ram V. Petrov.

What theory or experiment has made the strongest impression on you or significantly influenced your scholarly views/interests?

The analysis of the relationship between the placement and protection of property rights to R&D results and innovation, represented by the Grossman-Hart-Moore model, which relates to the theory of incomplete contracts and analyses how the structure of property rights to an intangible asset affects the incentives and intensity of investment. I used it in my dissertation work, and a little later one of the authors of the model, Oliver Hart, won a Nobel Prize.

Please name three works (books, articles — domestic or foreign) that you consider to be fundamental in your field.

The book Forecast of Scientific and Technological Development of Russia for the period up to 2030 is about the forecast, which was included in the top 5 global forecasts according to the OECD in 2018. UNIDO’s Technology Foresight Manual; two volumes detailing organisational and methodological approaches to foresight. Rafael Popper's article ‘Foresight Methodology’ in The Handbook of Technology Foresight, where he presented his ‘diamond’ — a diamond that classifies foresight methods.

Do you read (watch, listen to) any popular science resources or publications? If so, which ones?

‘RBC Trends’. Most often, a professional resource — a section on foresight in the European Commission portal. Harvard Business Review.

What is the most unusual format for presenting the results of a study (presentation, story about it) that you have come across?

At one of the strategy sessions on the future of oil, at the request of Salym Petroleum, I acted as an ‘evil futurologist’ — for all the stories and scenarios told, I gave a forecast built on wild cards — events with low probability but with large-scale effects. More than 100 professionals from around the world who attended the event got a chance to look at their industry with very different eyes.

What advice would you give to students right now who are contemplating an academic career in your field?

Make a personal foresight —make your own road map of development, indicating not only your key goals and the steps needed to achieve them in academia, your salary, and your personal growth, but also identifying the threats, opportunities, and wild cards that create the global trends of the coming decade.

 


 

Georgy Safonov
Associate Professor, School of World Economy, Director, Centre for Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, HSE University

What are your research interests?

Sustainable development, the economics of climate change and the environment.

What question are you or your research group seeking to answer at the moment?

How the economy of Russia and the world can develop in the context of a radical reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and achieve complete climate neutrality by 2050. This is necessary to prevent climate change, which is extremely dangerous for humanity, ecosystems, and the planet as a whole. Goals of deep decarbonisation of the economy have been adopted in the EU, Japan, China, Canada and more than 120 other countries, regions, and cities around the world.

What draws you to research on a personal level?

The ability to find unusual and effective solutions to current problems, for example, with the help of economic and mathematical models, international comparisons, and empirical data analysis. Imagine you have an idea to save a natural object from ruthless exploitation by industrialists. But how can you convincingly show that its preservation will yield more benefits than its destruction? Such tasks are very interesting and important for scientists working in my field.

What motivates you to go to the laboratory or the archive every day, and what, on the contrary, lessens your motivation?

Finding new ideas, analysing and developing solutions, and discussing them with highly qualified colleagues make research worth doing. Overcoming bureaucratic hurdles, which are numerous, is a demotivating factor.

What scholarly work or popular science book (or article, encyclopaedia, etc.) inspired you to pursue an academic career?

The book The Limits to Growth (1972) [by Donella H. Meadows, et al. — ed.]. It showed for the first time that the unrestrained exploitation of natural resources (subsoil, water, air pollution, biological species) is extremely dangerous for humanity. It is necessary to develop more environmentally friendly approaches to developing the global economy. Largely thanks to this book and its discussion in the Club of Rome, the concept of sustainable development was born, which nowadays is a landmark for economic development, taking into account the interests of society (inclusivity) and the conservation of nature and the environment.

Which scientific theory or experiment has made the strongest impression on you or significantly influenced your scholarly views/interests?

The modern theory of the greenhouse effect and climate change, developed by Soviet scientist Mikhail Budyko in the 1970s. Thanks to it, as well as many scientific studies initiated by the international community, today we know with precision the causes of global warming, are able to predict future changes using complex climate models, and can develop measures to combat climate disasters.

Please name three works (books, articles — domestic or foreign) that you consider to be fundamental in your field.

The book The Limits to Growth (1972). Nicholas Stern’s report, The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review (2006). The Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2013-2014). This IPCC panel won a Nobel Prize in 2007.

Do you read (watch, listen to) any popular science resources or publications? If so, which ones?

I have subscriptions to the research networks Scopus and ResearchGate, and I read articles in The Economist.

What is the most unusual format for presenting the results of a study (presentation, story about it) that you have come across?

I have developed my own unique format for presenting and discussing scientific results and finding new ideas for research. Students of my courses at HSE University participate in eco-quizzes: in an interactive format with elements of performance, in costumes of different eras (the 19th century, the 20th century, and the future), we discuss interesting and relevant scientific facts, research results, and look for innovative approaches to solving environmental and economic problems. Not only students participate, but also scientists, eco-activists, and representatives of enterprises, ministries, and departments.

What advice would you give to students right now who are contemplating an academic career in your field?

Studying and finding solutions to conservation and sustainable economic development is a fascinating, interesting, and important endeavour. There are many tasks for a wide range of specialists: economists, engineers, financiers, brokers, lawyers, internationalists, journalists, mathematicians... This area is increasingly in demand in global science. There are great opportunities for cooperation with the world’s leading scientific centres, many scientific grant programmes, international projects, thematic summer schools and internships. Scientific networks and communities are developing, where it is possible to interact with the leading experts of our time. ‘Green’ studies are a leader in the growth of scientific publications, the registration of patents, and innovation development, and this is only the beginning. The future is with the specialists of this field, and there are already unique opportunities for creativity and career development. It is interesting and beneficial work for nature and humanity.

 


 

Anna Zudina
Research Fellow, Centre for Labour Market Studies, Assistant Professor, Department of Applied Economics, HSE University

What are your research interests?

My research interests were formed closer to my fourth year of undergraduate studies at HSE University, when I became interested in economic sociology, a separate branch of sociology that analyses the social foundations of economic activity. The topic of my undergraduate thesis that I defended in my fourth year was about the attributions of poverty — people’s perceptions of poverty.

I decided to continue this topic in my Master’s programme, so I enrolled in the ‘Applied Methods of Social Analysis of Markets’ programme. During my second year there, Vladimir Gimpelson, director of HSE University’s Centre for Labour Market Studies (CLMS), taught a course on labour market analysis, and after a while, when I started to actively contribute to the discussions in the seminars, he offered me a job. That's how I came to CLMS and became involved in the sociological analysis of various aspects of the labour market and labour relations, and I defended my PhD in sociology. It was very important for me that the topic of my dissertation was not only directly related to the project we were then engaged in, but that it was also a logical development of my research interests related to the subjective direction of studying social stratification. By the way, February 1 marked my 11th anniversary of working at CLMS.

What question are you or your research group seeking to answer at the moment?

Currently the team of our Centre is engaged in a very interesting three-year project, which is in line with the latest economic research on human capital — we are studying the influence of its non-cognitive components on the functioning of the Russian labour market. Non-cognitive skills are essential elements of human capital, the formation of which takes place in early childhood and later influences the whole of life, from educational achievements to searching for a job, gaining employment, and one’s salary. Until recently these factors remained beyond the focus of research economists, due to the fact that individual traits such as persistence, motivation, propensity for risk-taking, and self-control are poorly measured and poorly recorded in surveys.

The economic analysis of their influence on people’s behaviour in various spheres only started to become possible with the appearance of special studies, as well as with the inclusion of psychological variables in regular surveys of households and businesses, which are conducted on large samples. The breakthrough in economic research on human capital of this type is mainly due to the most recent scientific work of the Nobel laureate in economics James Heckman and his team.

What draws you to research on a personal level?

The opportunity to learn something new, seek answers to difficult questions, and be continually learning.

What motivates you to go to the laboratory or the archive every day, and what, on the contrary, lessens your motivation?

Doing research requires quite a bit of self-discipline. Being able to get going and organise my work schedule so that I can regularly read colleagues’ articles on a given topic, work with data, write articles, and edit them, while dividing my attention and time between several projects and teaching — all this requires certain skills. However, I developed many of these during my undergraduate and postgraduate studies at HSE University, where there were very clear modular requirements that had to be met. Of course, you also need to stay motivated to work, and it is very important to be interested in what you are doing.

What scholarly work or popular science book (or article, encyclopaedia, etc.) inspired you to pursue a scientific career?

I will name two that I read when I was still preparing to enter HSE University — Anthony Giddens's Sociology and Neil J. Smelser’s Sociology. The science editor of the Russian translation of Smelser’s book was the eminent Soviet and Russian sociologist Vladimir Yadov. I could not even have imagined at the time that one day Mr. Yadov would be present at my dissertation defence.

What theory or experiment has made the strongest impression on you or significantly influenced your scholarly views/interests?

The economic-sociological approach to market analysis in general and Mark Granovetter's concept of the social embeddedness of economic activity, according to which the meaning, goals and means of economic activity, the characteristics of its implementation and the acceptable ways of behaviour of market participants have social origins in the form of institutions, social structures, power interests and cultural contexts. Also significant for me was the sociocultural approach in economic sociology, principally Mitchel Abolafia’s concept of constitutive rules and roles, according to which markets are places of recurrent interaction, and the same market position will contribute to the emergence and reproduction of similar market participant identities, shared meanings and methods of evaluation.

Please name three works (books, articles — domestic or foreign) that you consider to be fundamental in your field.

I will not name books, but authors, foreign classics of sociology, whose works were related to the study of labour relations and professions — Max Weber, Emile Durkheim, Karl Marx, and Pitirim Sorokin.

Do you read (watch, listen to) any popular science resources or publications? If so, which ones?

I read mostly professional foreign literature related to my research projects.

What is the most unusual format for presenting the results of a study (presentation, story about it) that you have come across?

The standards for presenting at an academic seminar or conference are quite traditional, and I have not yet encountered any extravagant forms of presentation among my colleagues. However, when teaching, you have to keep looking for and inventing new ways of communicating with students in order to relate something they know nothing about yet, and get them interested — using examples from everyday life, drawing on the plots of famous movies and books. For example, David Fincher's film Mank about Hollywood’s Golden Era was released recently, and I plan to use some quotes from it when analysing the economic aspects of cultural consumption in the next academic year.

What advice would you give to students right now who are contemplating an academic career in your field?

A academic career assumes that you are interested in what you are doing and want to keep learning new things and sharing them with others. As in any other field, it’s also important to be willing to work hard and maintain a rigorous pace. But if you know it’s really what you want to do, it’s worth the gamble.

 


 

Alena Nefedova
Senior Research Fellow, Laboratory for Economics of Innovation, Institute for statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge, HSE University

What are your research interests?

I’m a sociologist, but my field of interest is quite broad — I'm interested in education, science, and innovation — in general, everything related to the creation and transfer of knowledge.

What question are you or your research group seeking to answer at the moment?

I now lead a research team of five people. As part of the project, we are trying to understand how the experience of mobility affects the future careers of young Russian scholars when they return to Russia. We are trying to measure the extent to which the competencies they acquired abroad are in demand in Russian research, how meaningfully they are integrated into the agenda, how this affects their future publication activity, and much more.

What draws you to research on a personal level?

I love to learn new things. As a child, when I read books avidly, I dreamed of a world where I could get paid for it as well. It seems that academia is perfect for me in this sense.

What motivates you to go to the laboratory or the archive every day, and what, on the contrary, lessens your motivation?

What I really like about research is that you mostly plan your own work. With this freedom comes the responsibility for generating results, so you often end up working long hours: there is no such thing as coming in at 10 am, going home at 6 pm, and then completely switching over to your own personal affairs. In my head there are always thoughts, ideas — this should be done, that should be done — I find it very interesting.

What lessens my motivation is the fact that you often have to wait a very long time for tangible results. For example, you can wait two or three years for a response from a journal, redraft your manuscript five times, and then forget what it was even about. In general, it is very often unclear who will need it and why. There is a debatable opinion that the most valuable knowledge immediately goes into business and does not appear in scientific journals at all; the thought of this makes me feel discouraged.

That is, there is no direct response to your activities. Sometimes I even want to go and work as a street cleaner: work for two hours and everyone can see the results of your labour, your contribution to public welfare. Teaching saves me in this regard: you can get an immediate reaction and feedback from your students as you impart knowledge to them. This is a very important outlet for me.

What scholarly work or popular science book (or article, encyclopaedia, etc.) inspired you to pursue an academic career?

I was inspired not by written sources, but by a specific person, Svetlana Barsukova, HSE University Professor and Doctor of Sociology. In general, at the University I didn’t really understand what I wanted to do, I liked too many different areas — PR, analytics, and consulting. After I defended my Master's thesis, Professor Barsukova (she was the Head of the Commission) came up to me in the corridor and asked whether I wanted to join the Doctoral Programme. I said that it might not be a bad idea. And that’s how it all started. More than once I’ve wondered how my life would have turned out if she hadn’t come along. It definitely would have turned out differently. For that, I am immensely grateful to her.

What theory or experiment has made the strongest impression on you or significantly influenced your scholarly views/interests?

Stanley Milgram’s experiments (on subordination to authority), of course. Not that it affected my research interests, but it made a strong impression. 

Please name three works (books, articles — domestic or foreign) that you consider to be fundamental in your field.

That’s a difficult question. I would rather name titles that I can recommend to everyone to read, because they are written in popular scientific language and are really interesting: Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann’s The Social Construction of Reality; Ulrich Beck’s Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity; and Saskia Sassen’s The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo.

Do you read (watch, listen to) any popular science resources or publications? If so, which ones?

Yes, I subscribe to the Naked Science mailing list. From time to time I read materials from ECONS.ONLINE and IQ.HSE.RU. Sometimes I visit PostNauka. I listen to TED talks and courses on Arzamas. For a while I subscribed to NASA’s Instagram (thanks to my colleague Kostya Fursov).

On the whole, this niche is sadly rather empty. I try to make my own modest contribution, participate in various popular science activities and run my own educational telegram channel ‘Lean Investments’, as a hobby, where, among other things, I share the results of my fellow sociologists about the savings and credit behaviour of Russians, about desired salaries and so on.

What is the most unusual format for presenting the results of a study (presentation, story about it) that you have come across?

For several years now, there has been an international competition called ‘Dance your PhD’, and videos of the dances are posted on YouTube. I don't know how informative it is, but at least it's fun.

What advice would you give to students right now who are contemplating an academic career in your field?

To be a high-calibre sociologist, you need a fairly broad range of skills: to be able both to formulate theoretical concepts and analyse data in order to reasonably explain observable reality. Therefore, I would advise learning as many foreign languages as possible — at least English, German, and French — and to read classical works in their original form. And also learn programming languages to be able to analyse data in R or using Python.

 


 

Denis Shcherbakov
Academic Programme Supervisor, HSE University and Kyung Hee University Double Degree Programme in Economics and Politics in Asia

What are your research interests?

My research interests are primarily related to Japan, which has been my academic focus for many years. My research is not limited to Japan’s economy or its relations with Russia. I also deal with research topics related to the whole of East Asia and the transformation of its position in today’s global economy.

What question are you or your research group seeking to answer at the moment?

My colleagues and I are actively continuing to develop the topic of an expanding Asia and its importance both for Russia and for the world as a whole. Several years ago, we published a monograph on Japan’s role in the Asia-Pacific region, for which I was the team leader. I also follow the development of Russian-Japanese trade and economic relations and periodically write articles and expert commentaries on this topic.

In addition, I am actively working with my fellow specialists in other countries and regions on topics related to Japan’s relationship with new centres of economic and political power, primarily China and Latin America.

What draws you to research on a personal level?

I like doing research at the University, because here you can not only find new knowledge, but also immediately share it with students. That is, you feel that the fruits of your work are needed right here and right now. It's inspiring.

What motivates you to go to the laboratory or the archive every day, and what, on the contrary, lessens your motivation?

The most significant demotivating factor in our reality in terms of research is largely the quantitative methods of assessing scholarly merit blindly copied from the West, which are used everywhere from the Russian Academy of Sciences to universities. After all, quality cannot always be measured by quantity. In pursuit of the desire to please Western research metrics and citation databases, we often forget about the development and promotion of our own. For example, in South Korea, articles indexed in their own national citation databases are often valued more highly than those indexed in WoS or Scopus.

Therefore, of course, it is disheartening that profound and important articles may go ignored because Isaac the robot does not consider them worthy of attention.

What scholarly work or popular science book (or article, encyclopaedia, etc.) inspired you to pursue an academic career?

It is difficult for me to single out one book, because my path to academia has been quite long. Rather, my desire to study Japan was influenced by the whole body of knowledge accumulated in scholarship, popular science, and fiction, in which I have been immersed since secondary school.

What theory or experiment has made the strongest impression on you or significantly influenced your scholarly views/interests?

Foreign regional studies is at the intersection of world economics, international relations, political science, history, and cultural studies, so it is difficult to apply this question to my area of interest.

Please name three works (books, articles — domestic or foreign) that you consider to be fundamental in your field.

It is difficult to answer this question, since there are many outstanding Soviet and Russian scholars of Japan. I would not want to offend any of them.

Do you read (watch, listen to) any popular science resources or publications? If so, which ones?

Among Russian scientific publications, the journal Problems of the Far East, which I read regularly, is fundamental and universally respected in my field.

What is the most unusual format for presenting the results of a study (presentation, story about it) that you have come across?

In our department and, in particular, in our BA Double Degree programme ‘Economics and Politics in Asia’, the foreign postdoctoral fellow Anna Kuteleva has recently joined us. She had students present the results of their research projects in the form of poster presentations. This method allows students to learn how to highlight only the most important things in their results, since the space of a poster is limited. For me personally, this is a really new and unusual format for presenting materials that I have never seen before.

What advice would you give to students right now who are contemplating an academic career in your field?

At meetings with my students, I constantly repeat Beniamin Kaverin's famous phrase, applying it as a motto with which a regional scholar must walk through life: ‘Fight and seek, find and do not give up.’ 

 


 

Leonid Grigoryev
Tenured Professor, Academic Supervisor, Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs, Academic Supervisor of Master’s Programme ‘World Economy’, HSE University

What are your research interests?

The world economy: from the pandemic through recession to finance, inequality and sustainable development goals.

What question are you or your research group seeking to answer at the moment?

How will the lifestyles of the world’s population change after the shakeout of the pandemic, the recession, and the gradual recovery after 2020 at the level of the development of countries and major social groups? This includes, at the very least, the rich quintile, the middle groups, the poor.

What draws you to research on a personal level?

Total brain engagement and fun from formulating and solving problems and creating or destroying solutions.

What motivates you to go to the laboratory or the archive every day, and what, on the contrary, lessens your motivation?

I don't need motivation — it's my normal state. And what demotivates me is bureaucratic nonsense — what will they think of with next?!

What scholarly work or popular science book (or article, encyclopaedia, etc.) inspired you to pursue an academic career?

It was a long time ago, in secondary school. I was entering Moscow State University in 1963 with the intention of studying Brazil and the United States, which, in fact, I do to this day in connection, of course, to Russia. I remember a good book on the history and the country of Brazil. In terms of US-Russia relations, this was the period after Gagarin, the space race, and John F. Kennedy, whom everyone loved.

What theory or experiment has made the strongest impression on you or significantly influenced your scholarly views/interests?

If we take the ‘Soviet times’, then first the inevitable Karl Marx — he was the only one we knew. Then econometrics and Lawrence Klein (Nobel laureate in 1980) — I interned with him at the WEFA in Philadelphia in 1979 for six months. And a large group of 20th century business cycle theorists. And in the cycle, there are fluctuations of everything — very dynamic!

Please name three works (books, articles — domestic or foreign) that you consider to be fundamental in your field.

It is difficult to decide retrospectively over such a long period and in about five or six fields in which I have published: Ronald Coase’s article ‘The Nature of the Firm’, William Ross Ashby’s Introduction to Cybernetics, and Thomas S. Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.

Do you read (watch, listen to) any popular science resources or publications? If so, which ones?

Not really... Though no, I watch old detectives, musicals, and documentaries from around the world on history, nature, and architecture at night when I work (to keep my right hemisphere occupied).

What is the most unusual format for presenting the results of a study (presentation, story about it) that you have come across?

The Musical My Fair Lady.

What advice would you give to students right now who are contemplating an academic career in your field?

Whoever is ‘contemplating’ is already too late... You need an interesting task — in the year of the pandemic and a recession this is not hard to find! After that, dig into the statistics — think of something before other people’s theories have clarified everything and driven you into a rut. And then it’s imperative to read smart people and look at the theories and see how far your guesses and considerations diverge from them. That's how iterations work: you think it over — you come up with something — you read it over! And then something new comes along...

IQ

Author: Svetlana Saltanova, February 16