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Art: Blurring the Boundaries

This paper from 2011 in Nature.com discusses how artists and scientists can benefit each other in new and interesting ways. Above all, the complex, rewarding and at times frustrating experiences of interdisciplinary collaborations is at display through such innovative work. Another added value of such projects is the tuning of communication strategies of making science [...]

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Future of Food Journal

The Ecological Agriculture group at the University of Kassel publishes a journal “Future of Food”. You are welcome to visit their page and make a contribution. More information is below. Open for Bachelor and Master students as well as more seasoned academics.

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On Chess, Public Policy and Strategic Planning

This is a re-post of my original blog post written in October 2011 for my previous blog. I am the sole author of this blog post. Karl Wittfogel, in 1957, published his seminal book “Oriental Despotism“, his claim that state-formation and organization of societies in hierarchies originated from large structural works, mainly irrigation in Mesopotamia [...]

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On Writing, Honesty and Van Gogh

I have recently received two reviews on my writing pieces, which felt like a great achievement for a number of reasons. Five or six other journals rejected one article before it was actually reviewed. Another, a chapter for a prestigious collection, which I am co-writing with a colleague in Australia, finally got reviews from two [...]

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A storm in a teacup…

My shelter is my abode I feel so safe and blue Yet feeling of disorder At times raves here too That feeling of disorder A cousin of the fear Became my dear fellow Became my friend and foe When free from anxious fear My spirit soars and craves For freedom, lust and cleaver For meat [...]

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ADA Faculty Debate on Charlie Hebdo

Friday, 13 March at 4pm in the Large Auditorium of ADA University I am going to debate freedom of speech versus religious sensitivities. This is open to all ADA members, especially students interested in the subject. All are welcome!

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Azerbaijan’s Province — Shaki

04 October, 2013 I woke up to thick fog of the Caucasian mountains. I could see no mountains through, the air was pregnant with rain, and humidity pressed on my lungs. I had good breakfast at the guest house and received a word of advice not to go to mountains in this weather; I had [...]

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“Goldfinch” — Pulitzer Prize for Ordinary Work

“The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt snatched the Pulitzer in 2013. “A masterpiece” (The Times), “Superb” (Daily Mail), “Heart-rending” (Vogue), “A gripping page-turner” (Independent on Sunday) — are some of the praise it received in the media.

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ON-OFF: How University Encourages Wrong Things

Yesterday two ADA students posted a video online with their shoot-out of On-Off at ADA Campus. It went viral on various national news sites and the colleagues at ADA have expressed their admiration and support to students’ “talent”, “smartness” and “innovativeness”. I can only agree that it is a good venture to have extra-curricular activities [...]

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Books that Defined 2014 for Me!!!

This year was not rich with books (and time to spare) apart from those for work. Still, there is a number of books I started and some I finished, which makes me feel proud! Below is the list with some first impressions as I am planning more detailed reviews later on. 1. “The Goldfinch”, by [...]

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An Ode to Writing: Writing as a Practice of Freedom

What is Freedom? Many philosophers have tried to answer this question. When listening to Brene Brown’s talk on vulnerability, I often think of freedom in a way of breaking through the boundaries of the ‘comfort zone’, by making myself vulnerable and in a way, opening up new avenues for personal growth. And in making oneself [...]

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Podium on Road Crossings in Baku

The “Firfira” company, within its campaign “Art for Democracy” has organized this action for promotion of use of pedestrian crossings in Baku. The message at the end says that we should take time to cross the roads at “zebras”. I always do! But do the drivers stop? Only if there are cameras installed and tickets [...]

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How Lonely is a Scientist?

Why did I choose to become a scientist? It is a lonely, not so well-paid and often insecure job after all. And in a society where I live and work now, it has little social prestige. Moreover, if you end up as a teacher, it is very hard to juggle teaching, administration, research and writing. [...]

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Maya Angelou — Life Doesn’t Frighten Me

A great person passed away yesterday, Maya Angelou. To my shame, I did not know about her until her death when my Facebook wall became populated with quotes and tributes to her. Her poems read powerfully, even the ones written for the children. The one below “Life Doesn’t Frighten Me” is about courage, that was [...]

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How Amsterdam Treats its Talented Youth

What is striking about the Netherlands and the West in general is the thin line between their individualist values in life choices and the great solidarity and support they give as societies to their own talented youth. This is something that is hard to understand, yet, it is this degree of freedom and ‘make-it-yourself’ attitude [...]

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“On Children” by Khalil Gibran

Khalil Gibran is one of the greatest names in English literature. I discovered him late, and still have not read “The Prophet” fully. But parts of it have been inspiring to me and to many others. Here is one which I find particularly telling. I recommend everyone to read these poems and other works of [...]

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“Ali and Nino” night in Baku with Fuad Akhundov and Frydays

Ali and Nino Left: Cover of the first edition of “Ali and Nino”, in German, Vienna, 1937. For many people around the world the first introduction to Azerbaijan is the book “Ali and Nino” by Kurban Said. I met people from Costa-Rica and New Zealand who upon hearing that I am from Azerbaijan, told me [...]

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Emotion and Policy Analysis

By Farhad Mukhtarov. It is not clear how to reconcile emotion and policy analysis which seem to encompass different worlds. The first is enveloped in subjectivity, whereas the second claims to be objective; the first occurs mostly in private sphere, whereas the second is mandated and takes place in public arena. The challenge is great: [...]

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