Vsevolod And Olga Bederson
Our super power is generating ideas to unite people
Masterminds and inspiration of educational projects, organizers of Perm Science Battles, an event where young scientists present their research to general audience, organizers of the popular science parties Yuri's Night and Neuroparty, lecture club Big Bang Witnesses Club. Were born, met and married in Perm. Graduates of the Perm State National Research University: Vsevolod as a political scientist, Olga as a lawyer.
- Olga Bederson: Piece of advice that helps me through life, 'If you are afraid of heights, go one more step higher, and then go back. You'll see that it doesn't scare you anymore and you will be able to continue walking.
- Olga Bederson: Movement makes me happy.
- Vsevolod Bederson: Striving for fame is a good means for treating laziness.
- Vsevolod Bederson: My guide book is «Harry Potter». It is about complexity, variety of life, and freedom. It works not only as identifier of age, but also of values.
Vsevolod and Olga: When we created Science Battles, we created the field of popular science in Perm. Due to this, we have people in the city today who are ready to organize lecture clubs, discussion platforms both in universities and beyond. We have many interesting new ideas ourselves, including thoughts on the format of Science Battles. For sure, we'd like to see how our initiatives develop without their creators, how they depersonify. If we conduct a mental experiment and count us out of the popular science scene, activities there won't stop. It means, not only new projects have been developed on the basis of Science Battles, but they became basis for the whole community
Vsevolod: I would love to organize a «battle» between astrophysicist Laurence Krauss and biologist Richard Dawkins in Perm. In one way or another, I think it is possible.
Olga: With scientists of such scale, it wouldn't be Battles but talks with the most interesting, well respected men. That's why we take orientation on young scientists. It creates a competitive element. Besides, it helps to discover new people who have things to tell. For some of them it is an opportunity to overcome stage fright, make sure they can reach out and tell audience what their hearts bleed for. It often happened that a participant of the battles afterwards would become a recognized expert of the lecture club.
Vsevolod: Academic community is full of introverts, shy and reserved people. When we had the idea of Science Battles, we were afraid there won't be any participants, but we were wrong. For some of the scientists such a «battle» is a wish of taking in the city. Satisfying vanity of a sort, which appears when discussions in the student auditorium and professional community are not enough anymore, when you need to bring that knowledge to the general audience.
Vsevolod: Most of all I am moved with situations when someone goes and does something that amazes people, especially when no one expected it from him. When a person overcomes obstacles and appears to be better and stronger, more complicated that he seemed. Watching this makes me happy. For some people Science Battles became exactly such an opportunity to open up.
Olga: Perm is a university town. It's true, some young scientists leave the place when their career calls but many of them return after acquiring new competencies. They come to lecture again, and it is a pleasure to present them in a new capacity. For example, one of the «graduates» of the Science Battles got her Master's degree in Oxford, and now she is back to Perm and works here.
Olga and Vsevolod: Yuri's Night project is wonderful because we do it together with a big team. It formed gradually: first, our friends came to our aid, then acquaintances from the Science Battles, friends of friends, etc. Every time we need someone with a specific skill, he or she appeared. Yuri's Night team is not a group of people we meet every Friday, it's a group of people with very low social connections in-between. They efficiently work together, and each Yuri's Night gets a lot of positive feedback.
Olga and Vsevolod: We have a super power to generate ideas that fascinate others and make a hit and also to gather interesting people around. It's difficult to say how it happens but it seems, we wouldn't be able to do any of it without each other. It's our tandem that brought us boldness to create something new and gravity force driving other people to our projects.