19 October 2017

In the top ten

Evgeny Kunin was among the "ten" most influential biologists in the world

RIA News

Evgeny Kunin, a molecular biologist of Russian origin, was among the ten most influential scientists in the field of life sciences according to Semantic Scholar, an artificial intelligence system, the news service of the journal Science reports.

"The volume of scientific literature doubles every nine years, and therefore it becomes more and more difficult to follow it. Forgotten articles buried on the websites of scientific journals may hide extremely valuable information that can save the lives of many people or serve as the basis for fundamentally new drugs," said Marie Hagman from the Institute for the Study of Artificial Intelligence in Seattle (USA).

Hagman and her colleagues have been creating a special artificial intelligence system for several years, called Semantic Scholar, designed to catalog scientific information and search for interesting and potentially breakthrough discoveries in it.

Unlike the usual catalogs of scientific publications and search engines like Google, Semantic Scholar tries to understand what is being discussed in scientific articles and helps scientists find those things that could help them in their scientific search. Initially, this project was aimed at sciences related to mathematics and computers, but recently Hagman and her colleagues updated Semantic Scholar and "taught" him to work with biomedical publications.

One of the side effects of the creation of Semantic Scholar, as the programmer notes, is that it allows you to assess the influence of certain scientists by analyzing how often they are quoted by colleagues, how serious their discoveries are and the context in which their names are mentioned.

Employees of the Institute for the Study of Artificial Intelligence have already used this feature of AI last year in order to "calculate" the most influential programmers and specialists in the field of neurophysiology, and now they have applied it in order to understand who is the recognized leader in biology as a whole.

It turned out to be Eric Lander, director of the Broad Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA), a specialist in mathematics and genetics. He was one of the key participants in the "race" to decode the human genome, as well as the discoverer of many unique features of cancer cells and genome editing systems.

In addition to representatives of Japan, the USA and Europe, Evgeny Kunin, one of the most famous Russian–American molecular biologists, who currently holds the post of a leading researcher at the American National Center for Biotechnological Information of the US National Institutes of Health, was among the top ten scientists in this field.


Kunin is today considered one of the main specialists and founders of evolutionary genomics, a special field of science that studies the evolution of living beings at the level of individual genes and predicts which way it can turn. In addition, Evgeny is the author of several popular science books and lectures in which he talks in accessible language about how life on Earth could have originated and what role chance played in this.

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