Popular Lectures in May

This month’s Popular Lectures series from Popular Mechanics magazine marks the start of a new series of talks on psychology that will look at ways to cope with heavy traffic and examine the structure of human consciousness. The lectures will be held on May 14, 21 and 28 at 7:30 p.m. in the 35MM movie theater at 47 Pokrovka Street in Moscow.

On May 14 psychologist Ignaty Zhuravlov answers the following questions: What is consciousness? What are its basic functions? How and why do we draw a distinction between the self and the rest of the world? Does consciousness remain the same throughout our lives, and can it develop?

On May 21 Yuri Dorn, master of applied mathematics and researcher at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology’s laboratory of predictive modeling and optimization, will explain how to deal with traffic jams. What causes traffic jams? Is it always preferable to build new roads, or is it sometimes better to close old ones? Are toll roads a solution to the traffic problem or a form of highway robbery? Which should take priority: improving public transportation or building new roads? The lecture will include answers to these and other questions concerning ways to improve the traffic situation in Moscow.

A series of lectures by psychologist Sergei Mats begins on May 28. The first, “What can and cannot be known about the human psyche?" will consider the fact that physicists, biologists and researchers in other natural sciences sometimes claim that the methods of psychology are unreliable, even while Pauli, Bohr, Wiener, Lorenz, Watson and many other scientists tended to give more weight to psychology as they got older. If advances in technology from the steam engine to the computer have had a major impact on our lives, how have they affected the psychology of modern man? Can the professional techniques used in the study of the psyche find application in everyday life?

Tickets are available at the movie theater box office and online at the sites popmech.ru and kino35mm.ru. More information can be found at www.popmech.ru.

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