JINR Information Centres as a tool for popularizing science

News, 25 April 2021

On 21 April, a Round Table “JINR Information Centres” took place on the sidelines of the 16th International training programme for decision-makers in science and international scientific cooperation JEMS – «JINR Expertise for Member States and Partner Countries» (JEMS-16). Participants of the round table discussed the concept and tasks of the JINR Information Centres, the accumulated experience, and approaches to the establishment of new ones.

Participants of the round table were, in particular, delegations of three Russian universities, namely Irkutsk State University (ISU), Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU), Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU), and Sofia University (Bulgaria). The delegations came to Dubna to learn about the practice of opening JINR Information Centres in the frames of the JEMS training programme. The JINR IC in the South of Russia at North Ossetian State University (NOSU), representatives of the University of Novi Sad (Serbia), as well as representatives of the Committee for Science of the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of the Republic of Armenia and A. Alikhanyan National Laboratory (YerPhi) took part in the event online. On behalf of JINR, the meeting was attended by leaders of the Institute’s laboratories, the JINR University Centre, offices of international cooperation and scientific organization activities engaged in regular training of the staff and information work. Moreover, contact persons of JINR for interaction with interested universities took part in the event.

The round table started with the greeting from Vice-Director Latchesar Kostov. Head of the International Cooperation Department Dmitry Kamanin spoke about the concept of JINR Information Centres, a LIT senior researcher, Director of the International IT School “Data Science” Oksana Streltsova presented the experience of the School’s operation, JINR Chief Scientific Secretary Sergey Nedelko informed participants about the JINR Long-Term Development Strategy and, in particular, about the Institute’s plans for work with associate staff.

The focus of the audience was also on reports by the NOSU delegation where the Information Centre has been operating since October 2018 and has already accumulated significant experience. In particular, NOSU Rector Alan Ogoev in his report noted the following, “The JINR Information Centre in the South of Russia, which has been operating for three years, is now not only an information but also a scientific centre with its own laboratory where research for the NICA accelerator is conducted, workshops on nuclear physics are developed, and the NOSU IT cluster is administrated.

NOSU cooperates with all the JINR laboratories and is a member of the MPD NICA collaboration. The NOSU IT cluster is integrated into the LIT JINR cloud; NOSU takes an active part in the UC JINR educational projects. In April 2021, NOSU joined the FLAP collaboration. And all this is the result of the IC work.

Major fields of the IC operation are the following: work with students, young scientists, schoolchildren, teachers, educational centres of the region, high-tech enterprises of the region and, of course, research work.

Thanks to excursions of schoolchildren to the IC and interaction with them and teachers, the Faculty of Physics and Technology has become popular with university applicants.

The Centre holds a large number of educational events the participants of which are universities of the Republic, universities of the region with which the IC has established close ties. The Centre has become a place of attraction for schoolchildren, students, and scientists of the Republic for acquaintance with JINR, and now it is also a place to get results at the IT cluster.”

During the discussion, participants highlighted the role of JINR Information Centres as tools for the development of the Institute’s international activities. A representative of the University of Novi Sad Miodrag Krmar spoke about the status of work on the opening of the IC according to the Roadmap for the Serbia-JINR Cooperation Development. Dimitar Mladenov, the coordinator of the IC being prepared for opening at the Faculty of Physics of Sofia University under the auspices of the Year of Bulgaria in JINR, informed that the Bulgarian party intends to use it as a platform for spreading information about JINR in the states of the European Union. Head of the Pacific Quantum Center at FEFU School of Biomedicine Alexander Molochkov noted that the IC in the Far East of the Russian Federation is supposed to become a window for the development of interaction of JINR with partners from the countries of the Asia-Pacific region. Representatives of Armenia and Belarus also expressed their interest in the idea of opening a JINR IC.

ISU Rector Alexander Schmidt in his speech highlighted the vital importance of attracting young people to science and training highly qualified staff. He noted that the IC’s opportunities in Irkutsk can effectively complement the initiative on the establishment of a joint with JINR astrophysical laboratory. Head of the TPU Division for Nuclear-Fuel Cycle Alexander Goriunov noted a similar positive experience of operation of the Information Centre of the State Corporation “Rosatom” on the basis of the TPU. Increasing the prestige of natural sciences among university applicants became the leitmotif of all the speeches of representatives of the universities. According to the general opinion of participants, JINR Information Centres can play a positive role in this issue.

JEMS-16 participants expressed their interest in an opportunity for teachers and students to take part in JINR educational training programmes. It was proposed to use IC JINR platforms at universities to modernize the educational process at large, as well as to improve virtual educational programmes of the UC JINR. JINR Vice-Director Latchesar Kostov summed up the results of the meeting and noted in his speech that work on the development of Information Centres can bring to a new level not only the participation of countries that have already opened ICs or that are going to open them, but also the activities of the Joint Institute itself.

Photos by Elena Puzynina