2023.10.24 Welcoming remarks by Leonid Grinin at the International Symposium on ‘Big History and Global Evolution’

Dear colleagues!

Dear participants of the international Symposium on ‘ Big History and Global Evolution’! It’s a great pleasure to know that you are taking participation at our symposium.

This is the fifth time we meet at the Symposium and we have cooperated with many of you on some other projects. We are meeting in the framework of the 7th International Scientific Congress “Globalisctics-2023: Sustainable Development in the Context of Global Processes” organized by Moscow State University. The Congress is dedicated to the 160th anniversary of the birth of the outstanding Russian scientist Vladimir Vernadsky.

At the outset, I would like to say that the presentations at our Symposium fully correspond to both the title and the aims of the Congress. Most of the reports that you will hear are devoted to global processes in our Universe, on our Earth and in human civilization. Of course, one can only dream of sustainable development in the context of military conflicts and international crises. However, it is precisely the goal of more sustainable development that humanity should strive for. As I said, the Congress is dedicated to the anniversary of Vernadsky. And I dare to say that our symposium is fully consistent with the ideology and creative spirit of this scientist. Being a very broad-minded and erudite scientist he studied both the Earth’s past and its future. Our reports are also devoted to the past, which has expanded greatly in time and space since Vernadsky’s time, as well as to the future. Vernadsky's ideas about the noosphere – when reasonable human activity becomes the determining factor in the development of the Earth – have become firmly established in scientific discourse.

Unfortunately, the noosphere in its current state does not behave very wisely, both in terms of the environment and the future of humanity. It is no way reasonable since the talk about the use of nuclear weapons becomes commonplace. Nevertheless, we must point out all the dangers and hope for the future well-being of humanity. We must also continue to look for the possibility of contact with extraterrestrial civilizations, which will be the subject of some of the reports.

The format of our Symposium is hybrid. Some of the presentations will be in person and some will be online. We hope that technology will not let us down.

We are grateful to all who participate in our Symposium. We wish you all successful and fruitful work today and the following days.

We have 41 registered participants (21 from Russia and the adjacent countries and 20 from other countries). But we have a little more presentations. So within three days 22 presentations are to be given in the Russian panel and 22 – in the English panel. Today we have 7 presentations in the English panel. The time limit is 20 minutes, and then we have 10 minutes for discussion.

There will also be a Concluding discussion after the last presentation for about 30 minutes. And tomorrow we are also having 7 presentations. On the third day, i.e. on 26th October we are having 8 presentations.

After the Symposium, if you want you can send your reports for possible publication in the Evolution yearbook. However, they must be formatted as articles according to the requirements of the yearbook. We hope that our Symposium will be useful, interesting and will give impetus to our future research.