Stanford Scholar opens PSU International Forum, Raises Discussion

How does our brain look, when making social-based, moral decisions? Can we speak of morality if we mention animals, let’s say, rats? May we introduce the holy commandments into such tests, and why?

Today, the International Forum “Science and Global Challenges of the 21st Century” started at Perm State University, uniting PSU scholars with those national and international ones, aiming to incorporate cross-discipline research, smart technologies and innovations into pragmatic, problem-applied decisions.

At the start of the Forum, the opening report “Manipulation of Brain States” by Dr. Luis de Lecea, Stanford University School of Medicine (Stanford, USA) was presented to on- and offline audience.

Concentrating on a problem of brain cells manipulation within the optogenetics’ approach, Dr. Luis de Lecea drew on the example of a rat leaving a ‘safe’ dark chamber into ‘unsafe’ light. Along the use of a neuron signal, the rat learned to ‘calm down’ its neighbor locked in a shadow zone, causing less stress for both and heading to a more balanced co-existence, establishing ‘moral’ principles of behavior. 

The test raised discussion among the audience. First, a definition of morals and its division from a mere instinct was requested. Then, the question of a goal/hypothesis of such experiment was asked. Finally, Dr. Oleg Pensky, Professor of the IT Department, PSU proposed assimilation of commandments, shared by believers and regarded as true morals, to be introduced into the experiment.      

Technically, optogenetics is known as a biological tool that involves light to control neurons that have been genetically modified to express light-sensitive ion channels in living tissue and, remarkably, within freely-moving animals. The appearance of additional philosophical notions, such as understanding, compassion, or morals brings a new dimension into a strictly ‘natural’ academic approach.   

Optogenetics had been previously announced by academic research journals as a breakthrough in science. On the clinical side, optogenetics-driven research led to insights into Parkinson’s disease and other neurological and psychiatric disorders, including autism, Schizophrenia, drug abuse, anxiety, and depression, and more – like experimental treatment for blindness.

Meet PSU Scholars Through Springer Publications!

Interested in international science and research? Ever thought of studying in Russia, or collaborating with Russian colleagues? Looking for relevant phenomena to explore, or make money from?  

Students, scholars, teaching fellows are getting ready for the start of the international forum “The Science and Global Challenges in the 21st Century“, taking place on 18 October23 November at Perm State University (Perm, Russia). 

The Forum is an international event aiming to comprehend the tasks and problems faced by science and education, as well as the society in general – within the context of globalization, proposing solutions, targets and opportunities, regarding possible challenges and risk management. The Forum scholars aim to form end-to-end innovation chains, enabling fundamental and applied research, technology development, practical applications and widespread use of IT.

For the Forum, an impressive set of 99 reports have been published under the Springer series “Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies”. The Forum proceedings, with a full translation into English, cover all the disciplines studied at 12 PSU Faculties, and beyond.

The “Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies” book series publish research on such topics as knowledge, intelligence, innovation and sustainability – solving global problems in industry, ecology and society. The publication addresses the challenge of modern science and humanities, technology and business – revealing common challenges, looking for intelligent tools of their resolution.

Israeli Scholar Offers a Brand New Course for PSU

What is innovation? What skills should an engineer in innovations possess? Dr. Klimenty Levkov, Tel Aviv University (Israel) delivered a series of online lectures on innovative engineering for graduate students of the Department of Information Technology, PSU. This is one of the first courses of the kind, taught in Russia.

While studying the course, students were introduced into technical systems’ life cycle, and the innovative stage, in particular. They also acquired new competencies required from an innovative engineer to successfully perform his/her duties.

“Here, Doctor Levkov has stated the basic principles of creating innovative projects – aimed not only at young innovators, but also members of various competition juries, evaluating innovative projects. So, we hope that cooperation between the departments of Tel Aviv University and Perm State University will grow further,”

says Professor Oleg Pensky, Department of Information Technologies, PSU.

At his lectures, Dr. Klimenty Levkov spoke about the basic principles of innovative engineering, the process of training and self-preparation, as well as discussed the structural and functional synthesis of specific devices. He also considered the basic principles, the theory of inventive tasks has do deal with.

“The course content has been completely new to me. There is recently a lot of talk about innovations, yet, for the first time I learned about the whole science behind it, incorporating dialectics and its laws, among many,”

comments Anzhelika Rudakova, graduate student, Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics PSU.

International Forum “Science and Global Challenges of the 21st Century”: Call for Papers

Which tasks and challenges do science, education and society have to deal with in the face of globalization? How do we eliminate threats and manage risks? From 18 October till 23 November, 2021, PSU will host the autumn session of the Perm International Forum “Science and Global Challenges of the 21st Century” – in search of these and many more answers.

“The main advantage of the Forum is its cross-disciplinary character, enabling the joint research and overcoming obstacles between scientists – the principle incorporated since its very start. Back in the days, the first Forum launched with a round table on the origin of the Universe – inviting philosophers and theologists to take part along with mathematicians,”

comments Andrey Kuznetsov, Dean of the Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics, PSU.

The Forum program feature events of various scale: international conferences and lectures, scientific and research schools, pop-sci talks. In 2021, young scientists are to discuss artificial intelligence, development of natural processes, bioinformatics, innovation and technology.

“Another feature of the Forum is that articles meeting the Springer Proceedings Guidelines for Authors, will be published in its “Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies” series, as well as submitted for indexing in Scopus. The articles in English must be submitted by 1 June, 2021”,

reminds Andrey Kuznetsov.

The full Forum program and additional information can be found on official Forum website. For further questions about the program, please contact Alexander Shkaraputa at For the Springer Publishing Project, please contact Natalya Petrova at Feel free to address your questions in English to Ekaterina Isaeva at

Held in 2016 for the first time, on the Centennial of Perm State University, the Forum united thousands of participants attending symposia, conferences, exhibitions, workshops, round tables, seminars, open lectures – both formal and informal, online and live, including digital art exhibitions and championships in robotics.

Please, see a Call for Papers letter attached.

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