“…There is so much history in Russia, a cultural legacy for the world. Its splendor is overwhelming. The fantasy in the architecture of its cathedrals and palaces; the colors of joy on its paintings; the ballerinas dancing in the snow at the tempo of always original music; the transcendent prose and verse of its writers, above all –to me– the perfection of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. A nation of great contrasts like all mega homelands. Of imposed extreme inequality and oppression by its past ruling Tsars, shamelessly sheltered by the co-conspirator Orthodoxy, the Church and its wicked Patriarchs, enticers of the populous. Its 1917 Revolution was inevitable, as it later was the Cold War with the West, which sequels still mark the divide between the peoples of Russia and ‘the capitalists.’ But what impresses me most of Russia is its capacity to have rebuilt itself after the significant obliteration of its land during World War II. Only a collective mind that treasures culture could reconstruct it, despite its 27-million casualties while battling Nazism. — One day, in the distant future, just before the subversive cells of my skin take over the rest of the organs and inflict their final harm, I would like to see the Russian Cathedrals again. Not because an Atheist needs conversion before death; that will never happen, I will always reject Fraud. But because these ‘now museums’ represent the saturation of art-beauty that I have been looking for…” — GPC.
We just returned from Russia after attending the Moscow Forum Protists – 2016 held at Lomonosov Moscow State University, from June 6th to 10th. The program, sponsored by the International Society of Protistologists (ISOP), included five plenary sessions with keynote speakers, general oral presentations, two symposia (integrative co-evolution between mitochondria and their hosts, and protists of marine sediments), and poster presentations (two sessions with about 50 posters each) on diverse topics, including: evolution and phylogeny, taxonomy, systematics and DNA barcoding, genomics and molecular biology, cell biology, organismal biology, parasitology, diversity and biogeography, ecology of soil protists, ecology of aquatic protists, bioindicators and palaeoecology. The 200 participants had time to exchange ideas during informal, social gatherings.
Avelina Espinosa and I participated with a poster (something we have not done in years, perhaps since we were postdocs, although our students present posters often) titled “Aggregative Behavior, Cell Signaling and Morphometrics: Entamoeba Discrimination Studies.” It summarized our latest papers (2016) featured on the Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology (for details and links to articles see Symposium Kin-Discrimination in Protists just featured on JEUK). Here is the poster, you can click on the image to enlarge:
The meeting included a pre-conference trip to Saint Petersburg and a post-conference tour to the Golden Ring of Russia; we joined both. Plus three excursions, two of which we did on our own (the Armoury Chamber and the Moscow Kremlin), and a visit to the State Tretyakov Gallery, which we missed due to a conflict on our schedule.
Below, I include some of the images of our trip, in no particular order. On purpose, I often use a phone-camera to document our traveling. Most images are in low definition and have little or no editing (click on them to enlarge). Please note that images are copyrighted, all rights reserved, enjoy watching them! — EvoLiteracy © 2016.
Above: Our book, Measuring the Evolution Controversy (2016), at the downtown campus of Lomonosov Moscow State University. Quite a stop to start our official visit. The old campus is located nearby the Kremlin. The new campus is located South of the city’s center.
Above: Opening at Moscow Forum Protists – 2016. The Faculty of Biology Building, Lomonosov Moscow State University.
Above: Main Building Lomonosov Moscow State University. There are seven identical buildings in Moscow, one of them belongs to the University.
Above: VDNKH Metro Station in Moscow. Tiles covering an entire wall (18 x 6 feet). While we were admiring this “tile-mosaic,” a young couple, plus a boy with his mother, stopped by to take pictures, an indication that this was an appreciated spot.
Above: Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin in Suzdal, Russia. My favorite; blue is the right color.
Above: Inside the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin in Suzdal, Russia.
Above: The Senate and The Secret Gardens, Kremlin, Moscow.
Above: The iconic Kremlin Wall with tower, Moscow. The Kremlin buildings (government and museums) are enclosed by the wall.
Above: The Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow.
Above: Our book, Measuring the Evolution Controversy, planning the next day’s activities in Moscow. The Metro system is quite efficient to explore the city’s historic buildings, monuments and museums.
Above: Russian State Library, Main Hall, Moscow. An old palace in current renovation.
Above: Marble stairs at the Russian State Library; history polished on marble, perhaps by millions of people over the years, Moscow.
Above: View of the Kremlin from the Russian State Library in Moscow.
Above: Fyodor Dostoyevsky statue at the Russian State Library, frequented spot by pigeons and birdlife. Quiet, little explored by pedestrians now that the surroundings are in renovation.
Above: Detail of façade at the Russian State Library, Moscow.
Above: Book Museum at the Russian State Library. Its collection of old books is impressive, hundreds of volumes.
Above: Darwin’s SURVEYING VOYAGES (1839) at the Book Museum of the Russian State Library, Moscow.
Above: The original HUMANI CORPORIS FABRICA by Andreas Vesalius (1543) at the Book Museum, Russian Sate Library, Moscow. I have seen this book twice, the first time at the Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, in the US.
Above: DON QVIXOTE OF LA MANCHA (1616), Book Museum, Russian State Library, Moscow.
Above: 1867 edition of Das Kapital by Karl Marx, Book Museum, Russian State Library, Moscow.
Above: Our book, Measuring the Evolution Controversy, enjoying a lovely day outside the Library of Lomonosov Moscow State University. MTEC was not allowed in the Library due to lack of proper “pass,” which was required for visitors. In any event, the book took some time for selfies and promotion.
Above: Modern Moscow at sunset, a view from our hotel.
Above: Moskva River and Kremlin (on the right), Moscow.
Above: Saint Basil’s Cathedral (night), Moscow.
Above: Saint Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow, panoramic view.
Above: Saint Basil’s Cathedral, close up, Moscow.
Above: Orthodox Moscow, next to Saint Basil’s Cathedral.
Above: The Historical Museum at Red Square, Moscow. It has an excellent collection of artifacts related to Russian history, starting from Homo erectus (the first archeological discoveries in Russian landscapes) up to the 20th Century.
Above: The GUM Building at Red Square, Moscow.
Above: Annunciation Cathedral, side-view, Kremlin, Moscow.
Above: Annunciation Cathedral in B&W, Kremlin, Moscow.
Above: Ivan The Great Bell Tower, Kremlin Moscow.
Above: Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, Moscow.
Above: Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow.
Above: Bolshoi Theatre’s stage, Moscow. We were fortunate to get tickets for the Opera Katerina Izmailova, an adaptation of Shostakovich’s opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District.
Above: Bolshoi Theatre Central Balcony, Moscow.
Above: Beautiful Moscow by night.
Above: At the MEMORIAL MUSEUM OF COSMONAUTICS, Moscow.
Above: Our book, Measuring the Evolution Controversy, at the MEMORIAL MUSEUM OF COSMONAUTICS, Moscow.
Above: Back view of Lenin’s Mausoleum, Kremlin, Moscow.
Above: Karl Marx monument in Moscow.
Above: Handcrafted Nature Boxes, St. Petersburg.
Above: Casual Moscow… fast-food style.
Above: Kazan Cathedral, Red Square, Moscow.
Above: Our book, Measuring the Evolution Controversy, posing before The Senate, Kremlin Moscow.
Above: STONE FLOWER FOUNTAIN in Moscow.
Above: The Friendship of People Fountain, Moscow.
Above: Architectural detail, Central Pavilion, Moscow.
Above: Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg.
Above: Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, St. Petersburg.
Above: Close up of Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, St. Petersburg.
Above: Church on The Spilled Blood, St. Petersburg. The church is so colorful that even in B&W the viewer can imagine the colors.
Above: Close up of The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg.
Above: The Royal Throne at The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg.
Above: Wooden Floor at The Winter Palace, The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg.
Above: The old building of the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg.
Above: Main Entrance to The Summer Palace, St. Petersburg.
Above: Meet me at the bridge, St. Petersburg.
Above: The last red phone, St. Petersburg.
Above: Dormition Cathedral in Vladimir, Russia.
Above: Matryoshkas from the 1920s, Trinity Church, Vladimir, Russia. In the old(er) days, the dolls were of pale colors, which changed over the years to a more colorful design.
Above: A Fowl at the Trinity Church in Vladimir, Russia.
Above: Lenin and Stalin on glass, Trinity Church, Vladimir, Russia.
Above: Town of Suzdal, Russia.
Above: Traditional old-house in the town of Suzdal, Russia.
Above: Colorful Russia, the town of Suzdal.
Above: Saint Euthymius Monastery, Suzdal, Russia.
Above: Detail of ceiling at Trinity Church in Vladimir, Russia.
Above: The Former KGB building in Moscow.
Above: Water reflection of Convent Bogolyubovo in the Vladimir region, Russia.
Above: Old Village in the town of Suzdal, Russia.
Above: Saint Euthymius Monastery, Suzdal, Russia.
Above: Golden Gate, Vladimir, Russia.
Above: Church of The Transfiguration, Suzdal, Russia.
Above: The Church of The Transfiguration is completely built on wood, Suzdal, Russia.
Above: Convent Bogolyubovo, Vladimir region, Russia.
Above: Matryoshkas in color, St. Petersburg.
Above: Our book, Measuring the Evolution Controversy, enjoying a visit to one of the reading rooms at the Russian State Library in Moscow.
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Paz-y-Miño-C, G & Espinosa, A. 2016. Measuring the Evolution Controversy: A Numerical Analysis of Acceptance of Evolution at America’s Colleges and Universities. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle, United Kingdom. ISBN (10): 1-4438-9042-1, ISBN (13): 978-1-4438-9042-7.
Measuring the Evolution Controversy can be ordered directly from Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Amazon US, or Amazon CA . The publisher has made available a “VIEW EXTRACT” (in PDF), which includes the first 30-pages of the book: Cover, Table of Contents, Acknowledgments, Preface, Chapter ONE and the beginning of Chapter TWO. For PDF of color illustrations go to Image Resources of Didactic Relevance.
“The great contribution of ‘Measuring the Evolution Controversy’ is the rich content of data and analysis that asks detailed questions about the social, economic and political backgrounds of those who tend to reject evolution vs. those who accept evolution as science. Paz-y-Miño-C and Espinosa deftly analyze their data drawn from institutions of higher learning in the United States and particularly New England —which stands as a microcosm of the rest of the country, and indeed elsewhere in the world. It is their scientific approach to these issues which makes this book stand out as a uniquely original contribution.” — Niles Eldredge, PhD, Curator Emeritus of Paleontology at The American Museum of Natural History, New York.
“Pro-science activists and educators constantly bemoan the resistance to the teaching of evolution in the United States. All of us have anecdotes about encounters with the public, parents and students who are misinformed by their churches, Religious-Right groups, and creationist organizations. Paz-y-Miño-C and Espinosa present hard data that support the anecdotal evidence. They also show that although anti-evolutionism typically begins with religion, it is a multi-faceted problem that intersects with political and cultural ideologies. Gathered through careful research over a period of years, their data will enable scientists and defenders of science education to comprehend the roots of the evolution controversy and counteract resistance to evolution more strategically and effectively.” — Barbara Forrest, PhD, co-author with Paul R. Gross of Creationism’s Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design (2007), and expert witness for plaintiffs, Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District (2005).