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St. Petersburg scientist. Part 2

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Studying pre-revolutionary lifestyle in one’s own flat. Studying the issue of aging today – to make us feel more comfortable when we ourselves turn old. And prove a theory that the life on our planet fully depends on forestation. Extraordinary discoveries by our women prove once again – sometimes you have to take the most extraordinary path to achieve your goal.

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Pavel Nikiforov, reporter: “Sofya Kovalevskaya, Tatyana Klado, Natalya Bekhtereva, Tatyana Chernigovskaya. You could form a separate city with only the great women scientists of St. Petersburg as its residents. And it will constantly have population growth. From its very inception, St. Petersburg has been a scientific center of both the world and the country. And women have always been on its forefront, always making their mark. At times, in order to achieve an important result, they have used the most extraordinary and non-obvious means”

From the 1960s onwards, women across the country have been actively involving themselves in science. Today there are more of them than men in such spheres as chemistry, biology and medicine. And only physics, mathematics and astronomy see male dominance. So let’s begin with physics.

Head researcher at St. Petersburg’s Institute of nuclear physics, Anstasiya Makaryeva, is quietly creating a revolution in her modest apartment in the city’s north. She has justified a complex theory that the state of environment suitable for humans is generated by nature, more precisely – by forests. Deforestation is the main reason for climate change, not the greenhouse gases as it has been claimed for several decades. It began with a simple observation – trees emit a lot of moisture.

Anstasiya Makaryeva, Head researcher at St. Petersburg’s Institute of nuclear physics: “When plants emit moisture, they initiate condensation. Pressure falls, and when it falls – that’s when air gets in, wind starts to blow. And if the wind is blowing from the sea, it brings additional moist, which vaporizes off the sea surface”

In other words, the level of the global ocean and all water arteries on Earth depends on forest ecosystem. No forests – no water.

Anstasiya Makaryeva, Head researcher at St. Petersburg’s Institute of nuclear physics: “Our forests operate seasonally. It works when its warm, it sleeps in the winter. And it’s a perfect test for biotics. We see that in the warm times precipitation spreads evenly, and mostly inland. When the forest falls asleep, we see that precipitation concentrates above the Atlantic and less of it here”

Pavel Nikiforov, reporter: “Here is how it works in practical terms. By accumulating moisture, the forest works like a natural pump. And if you switch it off, the wind would start blowing in the opposite direction – which would at first turn rivers dry and then would make Earth uninhabitable. Its been established that if reserves are not constantly replenished, potable water in the world would run out in six months, food – in three months. And the forest would not be able to grow back quickly – a brand new forest would reconstruct its ecosystem for 200 years”

Without forests our country would turn into a desert – just like it happened to Sahara, which once had trees growing there. So this is our main treasure, the one which we really have to preserve.

Professor at European University, Elena Zdravomyslova, researches aging – what would it be like in the future and why there’s more talk in our city nowadays of “fashionable senility”? Our civilization is aging fast, and the number of older people will imminently exceed the number of the young.

Elena Zdravomyslova, Professor at European University: “You encounter senility much earlier than actually becoming old. Its related to the fact that the core of the middle-age generation these days takes care of the old. And if you start thinking about the better ways to organize the lives of the older ones, the pressure on your lives grows exponentially – and this will happen all of a sudden”.

And older generation aside, middle-age people also have to take care of the younger generation and their own children. That’s why Zdravomyslova calls them the “sandwich generation” – literally pressed between the older and the younger generations. And also, we lack the infrastructure for the old, which we shall need. We all know of children’s playgrounds and toy stores, but we are not hearing much about playgrounds and stores for the elderly.

Ekaterina Yukhneva is not your average historian. She studies pre-revolutionary St. Petersburg lifestyle in her own apartment – where six generations of her family had lived. This is the building at Kirochnaya – serving as a case study and a museum altogether. Ekaterina claims that pre-revolutionary lifestyle had survived up until 1960s in Leningrad, while those carrying it were alive. And now its important to study it – at least because it lies within the genetic code of every single St. Petersburg resident.

Ekaterina Yukhneva, historian: “There are different dwellings. Here’s a hut, here’s an iglu. And here’s St. Petersburg’s dwelling. And it pains me because we live in St. Petersburg. Its almost like an empty shell. These buildings which have nothing in it. That’s how capital renovation is done today – the outer wall remains, while the insides are being totally refurbished. And in order for our souls not to suffer the same fate, some of us live in that shell. And I really want the future generations to grow up knowing all this”

Knowing that there were separate apartments for men and women. That one should cover the windows above doors – those illuminate the whole apartment in daytime and visually enlarge it. That furniture can be both male and female. And many other things

Studying pre-revolutionary lifestyle in one’s own flat. Studying the issue of aging today – to make us feel more comfortable when we ourselves turn old. And prove a theory that the life on our planet fully depends on forestation. Extraordinary discoveries by our women prove once again – sometimes you have to take the most extraordinary path to achieve your goal.

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