Women in STEM: Daria

Daria with her favorite books

My 36th guest is Daria, a semiotician, studying how AI suggestions influence human cognition, and an advocate for science and education.

Hi @daria.d.ark! First of all would you like to tell us something about you?

Hi! My name is Daria, and I am a researcher in Semiotics. I am currently working on PhD project focusing on AI suggestions influence in Social Networks on human cognition. In other words, I research how we make decisions in digital era. I have MA in journalism and was working as journalist for several years in Russia. But I was always passionate about science. I think I can do better for this world as a researcher. I got my other MA at University of Tartu and now I am doing my PhD and proactively advocate for science and education.

When did you start your YouTube account? How did you get the idea?

I stated my YouTube channel UN PÒ D’ARIA SHOW 2 years ago and my main goal is popularization of Semiotics for general public. I wanted to show that everyone can use semiotics to make their every day better.

Can you tell us something about how you balance work and private life? 

I met my now husband got the first time during Erasmus exchange program in Tartu, Estonia. Then we met again when I was doing my second MA degree and he was doing his PhD. We both semioticians and we work a lot, but try to keep balance between life and work. Our work is our passion so we enjoy it a lot.

Daria and her husband

During your academic studies how many women were in course? Why in your opinion?

During my MA studies in University of Tartu we had similar amount of men and women. I guess new selection criteria in European universities based on equality create significant influence.

Have you ever felt harassed or being kept apart as a scholar because you are a woman?

I had these episodes only while working in Russian academia. Some professors might have do a joke pointing out the fact that women’s path is to get married or that women cannot be as good as men in science. But never faced any gender-based discrimination in Europe.

How did you become passionate about science? 

My mom was very encouraging since I was a kid. She bought all the books about physics, cosmology, geography and biology for me and my brother. And we loved to read them and go to local library to find new ones. Later during my Erasmus in Estonia I became very passionate about the works of Lotman and then read all his works. This how I came in Semiotics.

Would you like to talk briefly about your job?

I am researching on human decision making in AI recommendations context, or in simple how AI recommendations influence our cognition while we using social media.

Thank you so much for your time. Lastly, can you give any advice to girls interested in STEM?

I would repeat the words of Hawking saying that one should be never scared to ask interesting questions and make curious hypothesis. It’s better to be proven wrong than not asking at all.

Follow Daria on Instagram, Twitter and on YouTube

Daria enjoying her free time

Published by Martina Bodner

Biotechnologist, PhD Candidate in Food Chemistry, Science Teacher, STEM and autism advocate, mother.

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