Statistics, asteroids and dinosaurs

Despite the fact that the majority of lecture halls have closed their doors, some of them are holding online broadcasts. ITMO University is among them. 

Online lecture “Traveling to Asteroids”, March 18, from 7pm 

An asteroid. Credit:
An asteroid. Credit:

Humanity has long been dreaming about unbridled exploration of the Solar System, but most often, this is understood as flying to big planets and their moons. But as the plans to explore the Moon and Mars are being constantly pushed back, earthlings have been moving closer to another cosmic goal – asteroids. 

In a special lecture on March 18, Dmitry Wiebe, a doctor of physics and mathematical sciences, professor, and head of the Department of Stellar Physics and Evolution at the Institute of Astronomy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, will expound on what makes asteroids so interesting, which flights to them have already taken place, and how they’ve enriched our knowledge of space. 

The broadcast will start at 7pm on Facebook, VK, and the YouTube channel of Moscow Planetarium, who organizes the lecture.

Anatoly Karpov’s online lecture “Statistics for Real Life”, organized by ITMO University, March 20, from 9pm


Anatoly Karpov is a lead analyst with and author of online courses on data analysis, which have over 100,000 participants on the platform. In his lecture, he will shed light on why people often encounter unusual distributions and nonlinear correlations when applying statistics in real-life projects, and why classical approaches no longer guarantee reliable results. 

The expert will explain what to do in such situations, and also analyze several cases where even correctly applied statistical methods can lead to errors due to unobvious mistakes made in the process of collecting data. 

Study Dinosaur Bones with a Paleontologist and a Crazy Paleontologist on March 21 from 5pm

Pavel Skutschas. Credit:
Pavel Skutschas. Credit:


Pavel Skutschas, a doctor of biology, expert on mesozoic vertebrates, associate professor at the Faculty of Biology of St. Petersburg State University. The winner of the Hans Rausing Award for the Best Paleontological Work of 2015.

Dmitry Sobolev, host of the Crazy Paleontologist YouTube channel.

What kind of lifestyle did the extinct animal lead? Was it warm-blooded? Did it reach puberty? Was it a boy or a girl? Pavel Skutschas will not only answer these questions but also try to solve a couple of real-life paleontological puzzles together with the audience.

And just in case you haven’t heard, Coursera for Campus has opened the access to over 3,800 courses and 400 specializations from March 12 to July 31. So, use all the distance learning opportunities to the max: combine ITMO lectures with these and other popular science offerings and classes on Coursera. But don’t forget to rest, too!

Online places where knowledge always abounds 

We’ve also prepared a little list of popsci lecture hubs and platforms in case online events aren’t be enough.

A YouTube channel offering a large choice of videos on different topics. It’s worth noting that the hosts never copycat – they themselves find the speakers, record the lectures, and share these with their viewers. As an example, their latest videos include Private Life of Elementary Particles and a no less topical Pseudoscientific Viruses and Their Adaptations

A project dedicated to promoting the scientific approach and opposing paranormal, esoteric, pseudoscientific and all other similarly unsubstantiated attitudes. Their YouTube channel houses scientific lectures, debates, and podcast recordings. 

A YouTube channel of the namesake educational and cultural center, regularly updated with lectures, concerts, performances and other events the center organizes. As a taster, watch Konstantin Mikhaylov’s lecture “Scientific Thinking and the Language of Science”, where the researcher speaks about why humans are prisoners of words, what role terms play, and why we’re prone to experience problems with them.

A scientific and educational project with lecture recordings, scientific standup and a talk show.

An open popular science lecture hub exploring a wide range of topics. Recent video lecture offerings include Super-Telescopes, or How to Glimpse a Flag on the Moon by Igor Tirsky and Adaptive Immunity and Aging by Sofia Kasatskaya. 

Here, you can watch over a thousand lectures by leading Russian scientists and culture professionals. Topics vary from history, anthropology and linguistics to psychology, social studies, natural sciences and technology. For the viewers’ convenience, the lectures are grouped into educational courses. Special sections of 100 Lectures for School Students and over a 100 installments of Obvious – Incredible, a popular 20th century popsci program, are also available. 

The video library of the popular science magazine Elements is a treasure trove of the best lectures by speakers from the Evolution Foundation, Arhe Center, Trajectory Foundation, Gutenberg Smoking Room project and others. Lectures are divided into several categories: from physics, astronomy, maths and computer science to biology, chemistry, medicine and humanities, everyone will be able to find something to their interest.

You can also always find something to your liking on PostNauka, get some motivation and advice courtesy of TED Talks, or delve into humanities on Arzamas, and also continue reading ITMO.NEWS.

Take care and take all precautions!