About the Laboratory
Scientific-educational laboratory for socio-demographic policy was founded in April 2009.
Socio-demographic policy is one of the three pillars of the Institute of Demography (analysis - projections - policy). Although the Institute of Demography at HSE was established in 2007, the core of its employees represents a single research team, led by A.G. Vishnevsky since 1988. All this time for more than 20 years, the population policy issues have been in the spotlight of our team’s research which is reflected in numerous publications, particularly in the annual population reports "Population of Russia," published since 1993.
A new scentific-educational laboratory for socio-demographic policy founded in 2009 gave a new impulse to the studies of family policy, healthcare policy, migration policy, etc. The fifteenth report "Population of Russia 2007" contained for the first time a special chapter on population policy (pp. 247-290), and the latest, seventeenth report for the year 2009 had a chapter on demographic and functional projections of the population of Russia until 2030 (pp. 295-322).
The creation of the laboratory not only lifts the status of research on socio-demographic policy at the Institute of Demography, but also helps attract Master’s students to these studies, which in the same time enhances the research capabilities of the Institute and contributes to familiarizing students with real scientific activities. In terms of didactics the chosen focal area is valuable in that unlike many others it allows to involve students, make them feel the connection between the body of knowledge they are about to gain and its practical application, and take the opportunity to participate in solving actual problems.
In order to better organize the work of students on the subject of the laboratory and make it more specific, in the framework of the principal subject of fundamental studies of the Institute of Demography, in accordance with the approved ToR, there are 2 subprojects identified as follows:
1. Demographic indicators database development
This subproject aims at enhancing the research database of the Institute of Demography, its constant replenishment with statistical data for Russia and its regions, as well as for other countries and the whole world. The succesful development of this subproject with the participation of the 1-year Master’s students in 2009-2010, allowed the laboratory to continue the work through 2011 under the grant "Teachers and students" ("Development of a database of demographic indicators for Russia's regions and countries of the world", grant number 11-04-0039 within the competition program "HSE Research Fund" "Teachers and students" 2011-2012). Newly enrolled Master’s students of the 2011-2012 academic year have also now started to participate in this subproject.
2. Creating of a virtual museum of national demography
The second sub-project intends to study the experience of national science in the field of population studies and the development of principles and measures of population policy. This experience, for several reasons, has not been sufficiently studied and generalized, which leads to oblivion of what has already been done and to unnecessary duplication of studies and generally reduces their effectiveness. Understanding history of ideas in one’s field of knowledge is an essential prerequisite for a successful researcher, whereas getting acquainted with the history of the studied science and in some cases its recovery is the most valuable opportunity for a student to achieve this understanding the shortest way and gain the skills of using scientific ideas in practical activities. This is the main idea of this sub-project which is being worked on in collaboration with Master’s students and makes use of valuable archives available at the Institute of Demography.
The scientific-educational laboratory keeps a close contact with the Student Scientific Society "Demographer" whose regular meetings allow Master’s students present their reports and discuss the results of their research. The most interesting reports are eventually submitted and presented at the Institute’s general seminars and various student conferences.
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