Mark Shirchenko Was a Guest of “Brunch with a Scientist” at the Polytechnic Museum

News, 05 July 2021

This Sunday, the researcher of the Dzhelepov Laboratory of Nuclear Problems Mark Shirchenko took part in the popular event of the Polytechnic Museum “Brunch with a Scientist”. We were eager to know how it went on.

“Brunches with Scientists” is one of the formats of the outreach programme “Polytech in the City”. It is a series of Sunday gatherings in bars of Moscow where attendees get to know at first hand what is going on in scientific laboratories.

Although the Polytech announced the meeting with Mark Shirchenko first of all as the opportunity to speak to a translator and scientific editor of the TV sitcom “The Big Bang Theory”, questions were asked about other things during brunch as well. He was asked about physics, about the area of his research interests and merely about life. As Mark said, the questions were the same which speakers usually get after lectures.

They asked, “Which experiment in physics is the most beautiful in your opinion?”, “How much do you earn?”, “How did it happen that you became a teammate of the “The Big Bang Theory” translators?””, “What was your motivation to become a scientist?” and about many other things.

Mark liked the brunch audience. “They asked cool questions. I felt they were really interested, and this encouraged me a lot. Over a decade, everything has greatly changed – people are really interested in science. Earlier, I felt that I did something behind the fence on my own and it was only me who needed it, and at present, people understand that science is being done here and now and that it is important and intriguing. And credit must go to science communicators, to all the popular science festivals and events”.

At first, the question about the most beautiful experiment made Mark feel somewhat perplexed. Then, he recalled the story about a spider which the participants liked a lot. We will not retell it to you. You will have the opportunity to listen to it in the video which will be available later. Certainly, we will post the link.

What is more, Mark recited a poem by the astrophysicist Boris Komberg (1936—2016) “Young was once the Universe”. These lines, written in 1967, encouraged Mark to became a physicist.


Вселенная тоже была молодою,
И бился в груди её пламень творенья!
Как женщина, власть потеряв над собою,
Она отдавалась на волю мгновенья.
И в огненной пляске Пространства и Времени,
Доверившись слепо неведомым силам,
Она разрешилась от тяжкого бремени,
Даруя начало мирам и светилам…
Дыханье горячее Тайны Великой
Потоками квантов к тебе прикоснётся,
И Космос огромный чужой многоликий
Сквозь мрак мирозданья тебе улыбнется.
И тот, кто увидел улыбки той отблеск,
Кто вздрогнул на миг и застыл ослепленный,
Тот будет всю жизнь, позабыв сон и отдых,
Искать её снова в просторах вселенной.

Boris Komberg

Physicists commenting on jokes from “The Big Bang Theory”//Neutrino secrets||Brunch with a Scientist No.9 – Mark Shirchenko, Video by Polytechnic Museum

Photos by the Polytechnic Museum