I have now been working here in St. Petersburg for 3 months, and am happy that 6 months still remain. I chose to work here at the Institute of Experimental Medicine (IEM) in Russia because of the institution's amazing history and because of shared interest in research on interactions between the brain and the immune system during development.
The IEM is famous because Ivan Pavlov performed his conditioning experiments here. In fact, I work in the "Ivan Pavlov Department of Physiology." You can take a tour of the premises to visit Pavlov's office like I once did and see some of the equipment he used for his experiments. Pavlov's fundamental research, in which he conditioned a dog to salivate to the sound of a bell, demonstrated the simplest principles of learning still contemplated in great detail today.
But other parts of Pavlov's work and the works of his students are much less studied in the United States. For example, the research of Ukhtomsky, a Russian Physiologist, is well-known by every psychology student in eastern Europe. But most American students have never heard of the man. Is Ukhtomsky's work is inferior? Have political and cultural barriers prevented transmission of his work? Or are there philosophical differences between researchers in Russia and in the United States?
And one final question: What happens when the students of two different countries study vastly different versions of science?