British chemist told about the secret ingredient for success by British scientists

© Illustration RIA Novosti . Alina Polyakova / Periodic VideosМартин, Poliakoff, a chemist from great BritainBritish chemist told about the secret ingredient for success by British scientists© Illustration RIA Novosti . Alina Polyakova / Periodic Videos

Sir Martin Poliakoff, a chemist from the University of Nottingham and Vice-President of the Royal society of London, told the RIA «Novosti» about the importance of the individual scientists in modern history, the secrets of the success of the British scientists, and about why Britain is actively developing scientific relations with Russia.

Professor Poliakoff is one of the most famous chemists in Britain and abroad. He is the son of Russian-British engineer Alexander Polyakov, who migrated to the UK in 1924 with his father, the famous inventor Joseph Polyakov, who created Russia’s first line of automatic telephone connection and many devices to assist the hearing impaired.

His fame and knighted Martin Poliakoff received through the Internet channel and the television show Periodic Videos, in which he accessible language tells about the properties of all the elements of the periodic table, various inorganic and organic compounds and the basics of chemistry. In his «boring» research Polakoff has been studying green chemistry, supercritical fluids and lasers.

— I think that science itself is an international thing. This applies to all of science and is characteristic of all levels. There are a set of large, almost unsolvable problems, such as climate change, for which need certain people, certain chemists, mathematicians and other professionals, some of whom live in the UK and others in Russia, China, Australia or other countries.

In addition, it is possible to say that science has always been international. Already in the 17th century founders of the Royal society wrote letters in Dutch and German and sent them to my colleagues and friends in other European countries, discussing common problems and latest achievements. It is essential that science continued to be international today.

Therefore, we can say that the potential audience of scientists of the past were very small. Today, science is becoming more public and popular, and I like that during my career in science the link between science and society became more and more durable.

For example, a member of our society is Brian Cox. In the past, he was a pop star, a keyboardist in bands D:Ream and Dare, and now he became a physicist, periodically lectures on popular science topics. When this happens, on the street outside lecture hall, a queue length of several hundred meters.

— In Russia, British scientists have a peculiar reputation – when people hear about the opening of your colleagues, they are always thinking about something interesting, unusual and sometimes useless. Are there any similar stereotypes about Russian scientists in Britain?

— I can assure you that the Russian science has no such reputation in Britain. Furthermore, I similar to British scientists just like, and to some extent, I think it is actually correct. The strength of British science, apparently, is its portocannone, thanks to which she manages to achieve such a high success.

Of course, sometimes this attitude is somewhat unfair to our scientists. However, the first man, who is also the winner of the Nobel prize and IG Nobel prize is Andre Geim who received the last for the unusual and amusing experiments. And I think that it is a symbol of the Union of Russian and British science.

— Speaking at the Russian-British round table on science diplomacy, you talked about how scientists have helped us to avoid a nuclear catastrophe during the cold war. Where Russian and British scientists could cooperate?

— Today we are facing new threats – the problem of providing humanity with food, the emergence of superbugs, resistant to antibiotics, global warming. We have a scheduled meeting with Russian colleagues, in which we discuss the problem of thawing permafrost.

Another problem that maybe is not so important for Russia, but which many other countries rapid growth in population and inefficient use of resources. We plan to work together on creating materials and chemical reagents, which would help us to solve this problem.