Meet Mirijana Radulovic
A researcher in reality and a mountaineer at heart who believes that every mountain, but also scientific peak is achievable
- You work at the BioSense Institute, but at the same time you are a Ph.D. student. How important is it for young people and students to take their first career steps right at the Institute?
When you start your carrier as a young researcher, it is really important in which institution you start, what team of colleagues, and how much patience, time, and understanding you receive from your supervisor or mentor, because you are a student who already finished the studies with probably very little or no practical knowledge at all. All of this is very important so that you do not give up facing a rush of insecurity, thinking “this is not for me, they are all Einsteins,” and choose another way of your carrier. As someone who already had experience, I can say that BioSense gave me a smooth transition from student life to reality. With a lot of theoretical and a little practical knowledge, I got the opportunity to learn, improve and develop my ideas step by step, and BioSense provided me with all the necessary conditions.
- What projects are you working on and what is your role in them?
Currently, for me as a Ph.D. candidate, my biggest project is my Ph.D. thesis, in which I am working on the planned development of irrigation in the Vojvodina region. This research was a part of the APV project proposal, which is finished, but my research continued. Now, I am working on detecting irrigation fields from satellite as well as on the geospatial analysis of that fields. Besides that, I work on several national and international projects where I process satellite but also other geospatial data with the aim to keep a sustainable environment, sustainable agriculture, and water resource management.
- Your areas of research are remote sensing, geoinformatics, water resource management, agriculture and environment. What led you to unite all of these fields and what is perhaps the most important connecting point?
I would say that the most important connecting point is life on the Earth. As someone who works with science, I do not want that science to remain within the framework of research papers and conferences, but to be a contribution to a better quality of life. As a geographer and nature lover, I spend a lot of time in nature and the desire to preserve it is something that gives me motivation for research. Nature conservation is closely related to human life, so we have a closed circle that requires knowledge from different fields in order to be able to realize some ideas. With the use of remote sensing and geographic information systems, as well as the application of artificial intelligence, today we can handle a large amount of data and thus come to various discoveries, solutions and applications applicable in everyday life.
- They say that without science there is no social prosperity and development. How do you see it? What is the most important role of science and scientists today?
As I already mentioned, the most important role of the scientist is to make science available and applicable for anyone in social community. That is the only way to reach some aim, development, and prosperity of society. Everything comes from science, and the day we decided to deal with it, that day we took responsibility towards society. Of course, we are not the only ones who influence whether something will be applied in society or not, but it is certainly up to us to start the initiative, actively participate in changes, and make our contribution through the knowledge we have.
- “Science without prudence is like a lottery game. The scientist, namely, is putting himself in danger of losing everything he’s invested,” Einstein said. Do you believe that to be the case? Or does a scientist always win?
Einstein was a smart man, he knew why he said that 🙂 However, everything is a matter of perception. I believe that a scientist never loses. Work in science can be compared with climbing the mountain. If you start the climb with the sole aim of conquering the summit and a storm hits, you will be forced to come back down, and you will be disappointed because you do not have a selfie from the summit. An empty story. However, if the summit was not your only goal on that climb, but experience and psycho-physical development, you will return to the foothills not disappointed, aware that you have much more experience and readiness to conquer that peak a second time. Then the next one is even higher, then the next one is even heavier. It is the same in science. The storms that come may throw you back a few steps and even to the beginning, but now you have a lot more experience and knowledge that this time brings you, if not to the top, then definitely closer to it. If we want to climb Mount Everest, there is a long list of mountains to climb, descend, and not give up! 🙂