The International Society for Intelligence Research (ISIR) is scientific society focused on research in the field of human intelligence and cognitive abilities, educational achievement. ISIR holds an annual conference for 17 years, each time it is held in a different country. For the first time Russia was a host for the conference from 15 to 17 July 2016 in St. Petersburg.
Conference attendees had a unique opportunity to meet leading researches from different parts of the world. Robert Plomin, Philip Dale, Douglаs Detterman, Linda Gottfredson, David Lubuniski, Xinlin Zhou, MIchael McDaniel and Michel Boivin were ready to share their research experience not only through lectures and workshops, but also in personal communication outside auditorium.
Yulia Kovas, Tatiana Tikhomirova and Sergey Malykh were local hosts for the conference. Yulia Kovas, the co-director of the International Centre for Research in Human Development at Tomsk State University is also a member of the ISIR Board of Directors.
The conference was preceded by the International Summer School for students and early career researchers: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Study of Intelligence (12–14 July 2016, 3 days of lectures, seminars and workshops). The goal of the school was to promote intelligence research among the scientific community, and to provide support and training to early career researchers. The summer school brought together about 50 scientists. School was devoted to current research in intelligence and gathered specialists in psychology, genetics and neuroscience.
The team of the Laboratory for Cognitive Investigations and Behavioral Genetics from Tomsk State University has attended the Conference and now shares their experience with you.
Maxim Likhanov notes that the conference was a unique opportunity to get acquainted with new research methods and study results during the summer school. “It also was a nice way to build networks and communicate in informal settings. I was able to talk with Lars Penke, Douglas Detterman and Ulrike Basten. The conference helped me to broaden my knowledge in the area of neuroscience and behavioral genetics and studies of intelligence in general” — says Maxim.
Svetlana Leshchinskaia mentions that the summer school and the conference were very helpful for her work as the researcher as well as for her university studies. “This event gave me a great opportunity to get acquainted with the latest research in the fields of cognitive psychology, neuroscience and behavioral genetics. I listened to the talks by famous scientists such as Robert Plomin, Douglas Detterman, Linda Gottfredson, Michel Boivin and other experts and this helped me to learn more about the various aspects of intelligence”.
Anna Budakova – “Summer school programme included lectures from the leading researchers in the field of intelligence and also informative workshops, where they convincingly showed importance of strong and reliable research and its impact on society. School provided various opportunities for future career seeking around the world. ISIR Conference highlighted new directions for our further studies and provided a new perspective on our current study, gave a chance to develop new collaborations. I would like to mention an interesting workshop on publishing by Adam Fraser who provided steps and specifics of the publishing process in Elsevier journals for young career researchers. ISIR 2016 and summer school, which take place in one of the best cities in Russia — Sankt-Petersburg, were amazing events not only in terms of science, but also in terms of cultural programme. I would like to thank Ekaterina Kolienko who organized fascinating events to see the beauty of night Saint-Petersburg and Petergof’s gardens”.
Mikhail Zalesin tells that “more than one hundred people from different countries participated in the Conference to share their achievements in the field of intelligence research. Works were focused on the study of intelligence and also on development of the methods for the study various cognitive abilities. There were talks and presentations about using mobile applications and game-designed interfaces for data collection. The conference showed that scientific methods are undergoing major changes. In my opinion, the talk by Professor Michel Boivin, which emphasized the need to study the developmental processes at the level of cognitive ability in preschool age, was interesting. It was the first conference in English for me, I’m sure it was a significant event that helped to meet with wonderful and enthusiastic people!
Organizers of the Conference and local hosts Yulia Kovas, Sergey Malykh and Tatiana Tikhomirova also share their view on the Conference: “We are very pleased with the event. Holding the ISIR conference in Russia for the first time and the pre-conference International summer school has provided Russian scientists, and in particular early career researchers and students, with unique opportunities to learn from the world leading experts and to network with scientists from all over the world”.