Berlin hosted a reunion of St Petersburg University alumni who live abroad. The meeting was attended by University graduates from various academic programmes and years of study.
The event was held on the campus of the Free University of Berlin, with which St Petersburg University has long-standing partnership relations. The first day of the reunion began with a presentation of the University’s current work. It was delivered by Sergey Andryushin, the Deputy Rector for International Activities of St Petersburg University. Then Andrey Yakunin, President of the St Petersburg University Alumni Association, spoke about the activities of the organisation that unites University graduates.
The programme of the event also included public lectures by distinguished scholars of the University: Associate Professor Andrei Astvatsaturov, the author of four novels, repeatedly included in short and long lists of high profile literary awards; and Associate Professor Pavel Skuchas, a palaeontologist who described two new species of dinosaurs.
Andrei Astvatsaturov devoted his speech to belles-lettres written in Russia in recent years. Additionally, he outlined the basic strategies of form and language that Russian writers use to try to recreate the reality of the past and modernity.
‘Connecting and separating continents: the evolutionary history of dinosaur fauna’ was the topic of the speech of Pavel Skuchas, a palaeontologist of St Petersburg University. During his lecture, Mr Skuchas spoke about the biodiversity of the Mesozoic era. He also explained what the filmmakers of Jurassic Park had been wrong about. ‘Everyone remembers that the film’s logo depicts a tyrannosaurus that actually lived after the Jurassic period – in fact, in the Cretaceous period.’ At the end of the lecture, the palaeontologist demonstrated a short film shot by University students during the last field season. He answered all kinds of questions from the meeting participants: from climate change and lithospheric plate motion to the general approach to organising expeditions.
The international reunion has become an opportunity not only to meet fellow alumni, but also to get acquainted with University graduates from other academic programmes and different years of graduation and to expand the network of their professional and friendly contacts.