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Federal Research Center 
"Krasnoyarsk Science Center of the Siberian
Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences"

 Федеральный исследовательский центр «Красноярский научный центр Сибирского отделения Российской академии наук»

Federal Research Center 
"Krasnoyarsk Science Center of the Siberian
Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences"

“We are paid for our curiosity”: Krasnoyarsk scientists speak about their work, life at home and income

11 November 2019 г. FRC KSC SB RAS

«Нам платят за любопытство»: красноярские ученые о работе, жизни дома и заработках
On November 10, the world celebrates World Science Day for Peace and Development. The journalists of NGS.News had a talk with scientists of the Krasnoyarsk Science Center SB RAS about what they do in science, what they dream about and how they spend their free time.

Olesya Kormiletz (Makhutova) – Candidate of Biological Sciences, Senior Research Associate of the Laboratory of Experimental Hydroecology at Institute of Biophysics, SB RAS, Associate Professor at the Department of Water and Terrestrial Ecosystems, of the Siberian Federal University.

I became a scientist because ... I wanted to study biology. In the secondary school, I did not think about working as a scientist, but really wanted to become a biologist. When I came to this laboratory, they asked me: “What do you want to do?” I replied that I wanted to study brain-specific proteins in animals living in prides - lions, tigers etc. These proteins are responsible for the behavior and role distribution in prides. So, they answered: “We don’t have lions or tigers here, but as you are interested in animals, you will be engaged in zooplankton” - these are small animals which live in water bodies.

I dream ... to create in Krasnoyarsk a large, prosperous laboratory of international level so that foreign students could come to us to study and do their scientific work. This goal is quite achievable, since all our laboratory is working in this direction.

Scientists, unlike other people ... do not take anything on trust, but verify information and facts. Now it is very difficult for me to communicate with people from the generation of our mothers and grandmothers when they talk about horoscopes, Zodiac signs or news from the field of pseudoscience. It’s useless to explain them, but it’s impossible to listen to and agree with their ideas or information.

Denis Gokhfeld - Senior Research Associate of the Laboratory of Strong Magnetic Fields at the L.V. Kirensky Institute of Physics KSC SB RAS.

What I do in science, is …. research of different materials, mainly superconductors, I deal with computer modeling of these materials and calculate their properties. Nowadays, all electronic equipment is built on semiconductors. All electrical appliances, telephones, wires are heated and can burn out when overheated. This is not the case with superconductors, where current flows without resistance, and there is no heating at all. Now the use of superconducting materials is very limited, because they function only at very low temperatures. Liquid helium - 269 degrees Celsius, liquid nitrogen - 196. There are no superconductors which would work normally at room temperature, but in recent years we have come closer and closer to this limit.

My dream is ... to achieve outstanding results so that some effect or theory should be named after me.

The funniest case at work happened when ... I was a young student and came to the laboratory. One of the first tasks that I was given was to fasten the doorknob; students are constantly asked to do such type of work: to pull out heavy machines or so. So I screwed it so tightly that it couldn’t be torn off for several years, but, unfortunately, you could occasionally injure  your knuckles when using it. After that I was sent to deal with computers.

Alexander Kirdyanov - Senior Research Associate at the V.N.Sukachev Institute of Forest KSC SB RAS, Senior Research Associate at the Siberian Federal University, and Research Associate at the University of Cambridge (UK).

In science, I am concerned with ... studying the response of radial growth of trees to changes in the environment and climate. It sounds rather boring, but in fact it is a vast field of knowledge, requiring a wide outlook, interest, ability to work in the "field" and much more. In addition, it is a direction which allows us to look into the past and possibly to find ways to provide a comfortable environment in the future.

If it weren’t for science, I would be engaged ... most likely, in economics. My business acquaintances say that I can do this and that a good financier would come out of me.

The main scientific discovery in the history of mankind is ... First of all, the scientific discoveries of such people like Newton, Maxwell, Bohr, Einstein, Landau, Kapitsa come to my mind ... But after a second you recall other natural sciences and works of Darwin, Mendeleev, Vernadsky, Pavlov , Watson and Crick ... Then, other names come to mind from areas of knowledge closer to what I do, namely, Humboldt, and Sukachev. But there are still great discoveries of antiquity and modernity, including sociology, psychology, medicine. And what about the discoveries for which the Nobel Prize and similar awards are given! For example, I admire the relatively recent registration of gravitational waves. In other words, all findings, whether small or large, are principal because they serve a single purpose.

Full text: NGS. News