Луганський національний університет імені Тараса Шевченка

Interviews with Women Scientists

Students majoring in “Human Health” and “Physical Rehabilitation” interviewed women scientists of our University.

The world needs science and science needs women. In order to achieve full and equal access of women and girls to science, and to ensure gender equality, empowering women and girls, in 2015 the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution, which declared February 11 as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

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On the eve of this day, students of the Educational and Research Institute of Physical Education and Sports majoring in “Human Health” and “Physical Rehabilitation” interviewed women scientists of the University.

Olena M. Klimochkina, Vice-Rector for Scientific and Pedagogical Work, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor.

klimochkina

  • What motivated you personally do science?  
  • It began at the University. As a student, I was engaged in a scientific circle of the Department of Medical Chemistry and realized how much fun it was. So a student hobby has grown into the business of life.
  • What do you think about Ukrainian representation of women in science? Is there gender discrimination in science?
  • Today, women are actively involved in science. There are traditional areas of scientific research, where women hold leading positions: pedagogy, philology, psychology, but it should be noted that over the past 15 years the range of scientific interests of women in science has expanded. We see them in the traditionally “male” areas. We can say that gender policy is bearing fruit, but a few women are in leadership positions. Let us hope that the situation will change in the next 10 years.
  • What are the specific problems of women scientists would you have identified?
  • In creativity, originality of scientific thinking women are not inferior to men, but the problem is emotions, softness, and sympathy – integral features of female nature.
  • What are you doing in your free time?
  • Free time is sorely lacking, but if happens, I try to read something new.
  • What is your favorite book?
  • Hans Selye “From Dream to Discovery.”
  • What would you advise young girls who have decided to do science?
  • Seriously check your intentions, test yourself. Because, the way science is not easy, this is the way of constant work and dedication, frustrations and new ideas, and a wonderful way of knowing the great discoveries. And let this road will bring you joy and satisfaction. It is written in an ancient book that there are no miracles, the miracle of all this is just a new stage in human cognition. Be engaged in scientific research, make new discoveries and reveal the essence of what previously was considered a miracle!

Svitlana O. Vovk, head of the Department of Postgraduate Study, Ph.D., Associate Professor.

vovk

  • What motivated you personally do science?
  • An example of my teachers, who in difficult 90 years showed a devotion to science. We saw that despite difficult conditions for our society, teachers not only taught us the profession, but also tried to cultivate our desire to explore the unknown pages of history.
  • What do you think about Ukrainian representation of women in science? Is there gender discrimination in science?
  • Women really are less represented in the Ukrainian science. I think this is not the result of discrimination, but rather that a woman above all is devoted to her family.
  • What are the specific problems of women scientists would you have identified?
  • It is important for a woman scientist to find a “middle ground” between research activities and a family.
  • What are you doing in your free time?
  • I like to read, watch movies. If I stay in Kiev, Odessa or Lviv visit theaters, realize “journey” around historic streets of cities.
  • What is your favorite book?
  • “Heart of a Dog” by M. Bulgakov
  • What would you advise young girls who have decided to do science?
  • Young girls should immediately realize that the way of science is quite heavy and you can only achieve results through patience and hard work.

Olena Boyarchuk, head of the Department Of Anatomy, Physiology of Human and Animals, Ph.D., Associate Professor.

boyarchuk

  • What motivated you personally do science?
  • I always liked to do science. I was fond of chemistry at school. At the University I has been actively engaged in research in biochemistry from the third year of studying. I was studying the level of nucleic acids in plant and animal tissues under the influence of heterocyclic compounds. So after graduation I was happy to receive an invitation to the postgraduate study.
  • What do you think about Ukrainian representation of women in science? Is there gender discrimination in science?
  • I believe that our country has a fairly high percentage of women who defend the postgraduate or doctoral theses. Another question that later they, for various reasons, disappear from the scientific horizon. Regarding discrimination, it is all relative. In the past century, women were even forbidden to do science. So we should be grateful and remember that, for example through perseverance of Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910) women can study at Medical Universities. One of the first women scientists is Hypatia of Alexandria (370-415). By the way, she is the patroness of women in science.
  • What are the specific problems of women scientists would you have identified?
  • According to statistics women in science is 6 times less than men. It is possible that one of the reasons of such data is that young women, who are currently faced with a choice whether to do science, do not have plenty of examples to follow. We must be proud of our outstanding women scientists. The first is our Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine L.M. Hrinevych (Candidate of Pedagogical Sciences); Professor O. V.Bogomolets (Doctor of Medical Sciences); neuromorphologist, Prof. H.H. Skibo (Doctor of Medical Sciences); neurophysiologist, Professor S.A. Fedulova (Doctor of Biological Sciences); Biophysicist, Professor O.O.Lukyanets (Doctor of Biological Sciences); Pathophysiologist, Professor I.M. Mankovska (Doctor of Medical Sciences). Our University has talented scientists: Vice-Rector for Scientific and Pedagogical Work, microbiologist and biochemist, Professor O.M. Klimochkina (Doctor of Medical Sciences), Director of the Institute of Pedagogy and Psychology, Professor O.L. Karaman (Doctor of Pedagogy) and many others.
  • What are you doing in your free time?
  • I have not so much free time that is why I am engaged in sports, sometimes play the guitar.
  • What is your favorite book?
  • I have a very large home library. I can not say that this or that book is my favorite. Recently I fond of Japanese literature.
  • What would you advise young girls who have decided to do science?
  • Confidence in their choice, perseverance, be prepared for hard but interesting work.

Olena I. Sokolenko, head of the Department of Theory and Methodology of Physical Education, Ph.D., Associate Professor.

sokolenko

  • What motivated you personally do science?
  • I love intellectual activity, dynamics and movement, like creativity and discussion. I like when you put your work, gives wings and joy, when your word weighs something for someone. Everyone choosing a profession has to look for his way, his place in life, his calling. Research for me is new horizons, constant new goals, new deadlines, constant dynamics, new people, and new opportunities.
  • What do you think about Ukrainian representation of women in science? Is there gender discrimination in science?
  • Science and gender equality is an integral part of the achievement of objectives for social development. Women in Ukrainian science are not lost on the general background. There is even an area that could be called “female kingdom” – Philology. But this is only one unique example. There is gender parity in the humanities. Men dominate in mathematics and natural sciences, but there are loud female names. According to statistics in 2016 in Ukraine women scientists are about 45%. Although more women enter universities, relatively few of them make a career in science. There are many reasons – ranging from the stereotypes faced by girls, ending the presence of family responsibilities and prejudice with which women can face when choosing a profession.
  • What are the specific problems of women scientists would you have identified?
  • First of all, it is difficult to combine scientific work and family. Science takes a long time, and the family needs a lot of attention.
  • What are you doing in your free time?
  • Free time is not enough. I grow indoor plants and paint the pictures.
  • What is your favorite book?
  •  I love the classics, poetry.
  • What would you advise young girls who have decided to do science?
  • Learn new things. In fact, science not only contributes to this, but also reveal your creative talents and allow to join the small discoveries. Science for girls is a great attempt to realize their intellectual potential and be on the level.

Marina I. Karpenko, Associate Professor of the Department of Physical Rehabilitation and Human Health, Ph.D.

karpenko

  • What motivated you personally do science?
  • Many years ago, I was a young student-graduate and saw the book (one of many, I do not remember what kind) and for some reason I liked it, something trembled inside. In the future, I wanted to be the author of the same book – useful for someone, interesting for someone, and maybe not important for another. I do not know whether it was the motivation, but when entering the Master’s courses of the University, I was acquainted with great teachers, sincerely loving their profession, their work, pedagogical science, and I decided to take the path of “the eternal search.”
  • What do you think about Ukrainian representation of women in science? Is there gender discrimination in science?
  • In Ukrainian and in the world science there are many examples of successful, important and absolutely brilliant women scientists. Our predecessors: Maria Montessori, Sofia Rusova, Christina Alchevskaya, Lydia Bozhovich and our contemporaries, for example, Valeria S. Mukhina, Julia Gippenreiter, Olga Sukhomlinskaya, Natalia V. Gavrysh – those people who have successfully implemented not only in theoretical science, but also in daily practice. The concept of “gender discrimination” is not quite correct in this matter. In my personal opinion, solely to the fact that women, because of the circumstances and natural destinations, have less opportunities to fully surrender to science. If a man can devote his life to science, a woman must dedicate to someone else.
  • What are you doing in your free time?
  • It is my deep conviction that it is not correct to be a fan of something, make loud accents on any one side of your life. Human activity should be diverse, multifaceted and full-blooded. In my life, apart from science, there is a family, meeting with friends, leisure, fascinating hobbies, and a book, which is not connected with my profession or science in general.
  • What is your favorite book?
  • “Difficult Fate” by V.A. Suhomlinsky. By the way, anyone associated with the education of children (a parent or a teacher ) should read the works of classics teachers and become familiar with psychology, because work with children of different ages is specific and methodically completely different.
  • What would you advise young girls who have decided to do science?
  • I would advised to analyze themselves, namely their personal characteristics and abilities. Obviously, it will be very difficult to engage in scientific activities for a person who bored with himself and who, by virtue of their temperament, cannot sit still doing some work. If your middle name – perseverance and persistence, if you notice that when reading a book, listening to a lecture or just thinking about something, ask questions, seek and do not find the answers, you should chose science. I would advise today’s students to try themselves in science now. Try to write a really good essay, article or course work. Let your life be a cult of good books and the joy of visiting the science library. And I would wish a young scientist to meet a wise mentor, who honestly and sincerely loves science, and will be able to guide you in the vast world of search.

The interviews were conducted by students
majoring in “Human Health” and “Physical Rehabilitation”

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