Author: With the consent of Miriam Fišáková Nývltová (plus other photos in the article)
explained: Myriam Fiskova Novletova
Interviews on the edge d. Miriam Fišáková Nývltová (born 1974, Prague) is a researcher dealing with, among others, paleontology, archeology, and the evolution of the human race. She worked in several professional workplaces in Moravia. She is a successful science activist, textbook author, and sometimes also gets involved in politics. He will tell us more about himself in the next interview.
Myriam, you are a woman in a number of scientific disciplines. When I present you as a paleontologist, it will be a very incomplete picture. What exactly are the sciences you are dealing with, and how do you translate their content into the language of ordinary humans?
You’re overdoing it a little. We studied only two areas, namely chemical technology and geology with an emphasis on paleontology. Paleontology is interdisciplinary, you should know not only geology, but also biology and chemistry – that’s why I’m packing more and more fields. I chose humans and large mammals, so I joined anthropology, anatomy, physiology, genetics and zoology, as well as psychology, ethnography, construction, etc. past. Of course, I work with experts in the disciplines, but you still need to know the basics of these sciences to understand what your colleagues absolutely say to you.
Did you have career inspiration in your family, or did Maryam’s apple fall far from its original tree?
I come from an artistic background, my father is an academic painter and my mother was an artist. Since childhood, I’ve been flirting between bohemians and artists. The rest of the family are either artists or architects. Closest to science is my father’s brother, a meteorologist in Klimchovka, and my great-great-great-grandfather, who was a chemical engineer, great polygamist and friend and colleague of Yaroslav Herovsky. He was interested in almost everything. So maybe some genes have woken up from it. However, we did not encounter him personally, he died in the concentration camp in Oranienburg, where he obtained resistance activities within the Sokol organization. He was arrested by the Gestapo on September 2, 1939, and his Jewish ancestry only made his situation worse.
Science and Technology Week, where he explains what can be read from bones
You are a native of Prague, but fate has taken you to Brno. What drew you to Brno and Moravia?
Yes, I was born in Prague, but my roots are from Moravia. My mother was born in Brno. My mother’s hometown took me to Brno. In 2000 I began work at the Archaeological Institute of Brno of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. Mammoth hunters, my love, are only here in Moravia.
Speaking of Moravia, your name appeared on the candidate of the Moravian Land Movement, which demands the renewal of the Moravian land autonomy. Isn’t that surprising for a Prague citizen? Why does the ground foundation seem to you a better alternative to the current system?
Yes, I supported them. First, my roots are in Moravia and I am in favor of the Earth Organization, and also historically speaking, we’ve had three countries, Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia – that’s forgotten. It has been successful for centuries, so why do you invent something new and artificial all the time?
Is there no risk that it will be too far from Brno to Ostrava, and vice versa, and that in the event of the hypothetical renewal of states, Brno will become an unpopular stronghold of Borno centrality, just as Prague is nationally blamed on Prague?
Originally, the capital of Moravia was Olomouc and the capital of Silesia Opava, but Ostrava was never. This is a given historically. Colleagues from the movement wrote The History of Moravia for schools, it’s a very interesting book. I advise her to read!
I think you now register clearly among the residents of Olomouc, less than that in Brno … In any case, none of the Moravian parties seeking to enter the House of Representatives has been able to cross the electoral threshold of 5 percent for many years. Is not this an indication that the Moravians themselves are, for the most part, not sufficiently interested in the renewal of the land’s creation? And why are the Moravian parties already divided?
This is a question for more professional professions, such as sociologists and political scientists.
That’s a very strict diplomatic answer, but a good one. Now I’m back to science. Probably every scientist in your field has some of his greatest discoveries in life or a degree that he appreciates. Which one is yours?
My favorite is spotting the Greyhound at Cottbus-Podobor in the Karvina region. This find eventually became so well known that today it is the amulet of this fortified settlement and is sold in various forms as souvenirs. I never thought of such a promotion in a dream.
A paleontologist cannot do without a hammer
You are the co-author of a number of scholarly procedures that are usually unknown to the general public, but you also write textbooks for various publishers describing the prehistoric period. For example according to you, the species Homo erectus no longer belongs to the lineage of our direct ancestors, and the term Homo sapiens sapiens also no longer belongs to textbooks today. why? Who deprived us of the “wise man”?
Homo erectus is a type of human that lived in Southeast Asia. Turns out he wasn’t our direct ancestor, though he probably crossed over with a Denisovan man. And we lost one wisdom at the anthropological conference in 2008. In short, scientists decided that modern humans and their ancestors are two separate species, not subspecies.
Why are some current textbooks still providing outdated data? A few months ago, I was carrying a new product from a famous textbook publisher, and there I was looking back at an old group of “prehistoric people” that you consider long overdue and no longer valid. In other words, babies are obligated to amplify their erections and double sapiens, even if it does not match the findings of science at all! Is the reason behind the laziness of older authors who have satisfied with literature since they have studied themselves? Or a scientist from the Ministry of Education who does not provide a truly responsible and informed textbook review?
It is a combination of many factors. Certainly the ones you mentioned. There is also a lack of sufficient researchers’ willingness to generalize, as it is not widespread among scholars, and professional publications are useless. It is also a matter of the fact that most people, including experts, would profess what is called pseudo-Darwinism, in which they live in the idea that everything evolves from the simple to the complex and we are the pinnacle of evolution, but this is not the case. the case. However, purely psychologically, this works for most people, which is why everyone sticks to it that way.
You yourself are popularizing the field. You give lectures, your lectures, for example, on Youtube, and also organize field tours with interested members of the audience. Who is sponsoring these events and what would you like to invite potential applicants into in the warmer period, as Covid restrictions are likely to pass again?
So I am spreading under the banner of various institutions, within the excavations department of the National Museum or Czech TV. In the field, for example, it was the “Summer with an Archaeologist” event. At that time, I accompanied those interested in the mammoth trail in Porشi under the auspices of the Archaeological Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic in Brno, where I had not worked since the beginning of 2021.
Do you think the book market can innovate and introduce literature to promote on its own, which will encourage young people to study technical and scientific subjects that are not as popular as the humanities? Or has the Ministry of Education grown here, which could provide more subsidies for similar things?
No, the book market can’t do that! This popularization literature needs financial and general support from an institution such as a ministry. This is definitely not a profitable activity, and even writing such a book is underappreciated. A scientist who writes something like this is more likely to get turned away, will lose grants, etc., which is wrong. Science must become more popular!
You also study at several universities. Is it a hobby, a welcome extra income, or even a little sacrifice? How are college teachers actually being rewarded in your field of work?
I enjoy teaching, I currently work and teach in the Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Masaryk University in Brno. And as I said, I work at other universities. A total of 22 years. I love communicating with students. I feel like their minds are lost and opened up – and they give you so much energy in your life. And then when they complete and work successfully, and you see their successes, one is genuinely happy about it. Other than that, financially, the money for teaching at another university will roughly compensate you for the trip to that university and back – and you teach for essentially free.
Analysis of cement microstructures on a polarizing microscope
Personally, I do not support different “nationalities” quotas (except for politics). However, I feel that society still owes women a lot in many ways. Easy access to kindergartens and nurseries, there are pensions for women due to maternity leave, etc. But I don’t want to speak on behalf of the women. In your view, what needs to change in society to improve the status of women in general, and perhaps in the sciences? What do you think of the women’s quota, for example, in the ranks of senior scholars or company managers?
That quota is humiliating in a way, but how do you force society to get used to women? There are more women than men, yet there are a few of them in higher positions, and I don’t think that’s entirely true. I would like to change when every person, male or female, does what he likes, what suits him according to his abilities, abilities and interests. I don’t care if it is a man or a woman. When a woman wants to pursue science, politics, and a career, it is difficult to make society not look through her fingers as kind of a man and a professional; And vice versa, when a man wants to be at home with his children or to be a nanny in a kindergarten, so that his surroundings do not perceive him as a pervert, eccentric or a woman. Unfortunately, as a company, we still have large reserves on these matters.
For example, I want to dispel myths like cave women and men hunting. This is not how it works. Women were often active hunters as well as men, and to this day there are communities from natural states where this is the case. This alleged traditional division appears only at a later time, in relation to property accumulation, that is, the beginning of the Bronze Age. Women were locked up in homes to ensure that the descendants of the man who had the property was his own and that the property would not dissipate.
And the traditional question in conclusion. What are your personal and scientific plans for the future?
So you never know what fate will do. I would be surprised. It is not possible to fully plan in science. You come up with something and during work other, more interesting things appear and you gradually move to another topic. And the best thing about science is that you never know what your research will ultimately yield. And personal plans? Watch my little kids.
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