• What is the scent of faith?
  • How to separate truth from nonsense and post-truth?
  • How did I lose the faith in correct answers?
  • What makes science believable, what is the truth, what is right, and where are they?
  • Is the media telling us what to believe and do I really know, or just believe I know?
  • How does faith affect our abilities and how is the brain a part of it?
  • How is multiculturality changing our world view and how do the movies "read" our emotions?

These and many other questions concerning faith and beliefs will be answered by inspiring researchers and lecturers on 16 March, as we celebrate Tallinn University Day. We offer our staff, students, alumni and everyone else the chance to listen to the best speakers and their views. As appropriate for a 13th birthday, 13 researchers will each get 13 minutes to introduce their views and standpoints.

See us Live:


Music and morning coffee at the Researchers' Forum

Morning moods provided by the Tallinn University Vocal Ensemble Vox Nova


Katrin Niglas, Vice-Rector for Research "What makes science believable?"

The spread of pseudoscience is faster than ever. What makes science believable for scientists? Is it enough to keep the faith in science and belief in scientists standing strong in the long run?

Indrek Grauberg, Director, School of Governance, Law and Society “How to prove the truth?”

The question of truth and justice has compelled scientists for centuries. It might be the most discussed question of all times. The university is most definitely the correct place to discuss it even further.

Katrin Poom-Valickis, Associate Professor of General Didactics, School of Educational Sciences “The power and powerlessness of educational beliefs"

We all like to believe in something. We Estonians are definitely believers in education. We all want our children to fair better in the future than ourselves, which makes us constantly look for ways to make schools and the learning process even more efficient. At the same time, just like in religion, people tend to believe in different solutions. These beliefs and ideologies can oftentimes contradict one another, and are not always based on science. Which beliefs in education support learning and development, and which ones do not. Is there a one and only correct (educational) belief? These are the questions we will be looking to answer within the 13 minutes.

Carlo Cubero Irizarry, Associate Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology, School of Humanities“How does Anthropology influence the world?”

While Anthropology may not be a discipline that has a powerful public presence in Estonia, the influence of anthropology in informing people's lives has had a global impact. In this talk, I will address some ways in which anthropologists have contributed to the understanding of the contemporary global experience.

Kalev Pihl, Alumnus of the year 2016, CEO of SK ID Solutions "How I lost the faith in correct answers?"

One of the most enchanting things about mathematics is the certainty and repeatability – things just are as they are. The more we learn mathematics, the more we can see that avoiding uncertainty is impossible. Mathematical knowledge, however, is changing and rather depending on context.

Helen Geršman, Lecturer of Middle-Eastern Studies, School of Humanities "Traditional or radical? Depends on the viewpoint"

Traditional Islamism, especially when following its Salafist model, is based on acting upon the examples of the distinguished forefathers, and, depending on the situation, falling back to their customs. Radicalising or not doing so, in the traditional language, refers to the terms 'collective or individual commitment' and 'identification is a matter of choice'.

Andres Jõesaar, Vice-Rector for Development, Associate Professor of Media Policies, BFM "How does media affect our beliefs?"

What are the most important sources for information to us? What sort of information do they hold? Can we recognize the "rotten apples" in this vast field of information?


Coffee break

Entertainment provided by the Tallinn University Women's Choir


Mati Heidmets, Professor of Social Psychilogy, School of Natural Sciences and Health; Head of Didactics Development Area, Centre for Innovation in Education "What is the scent of faith?"

The stories about post-truth are a media bubble with no real connection to reality. You can test it yourself by visiting a post-truth dentist and later riding home on your post-truth motorcycle.

Pia Tikka, Research Professor, Baltic Film, Media, Arts and Communication School "Neurocinematics"

My 13 minutes will introduce a multidisciplinary research paradigm of neurocinematics. Combining methods of cinema, enactive media, and virtual screen characters with those of cognitive sciences it allows us to unravel new aspects of the neural basis of storytelling, creative imagination, and narrative comprehension. In addition to contributing to academic research on human mind, neurocinematics contributes to a range of more specifically targeted goals, such as the impact of audiovisual media on its audience for artistic, therapeutic, or commercial implementations, to name few of many.

Oliver Laas, Guest lecturer of Philosophy, School of Humanities "How to separate truth from nonsense and post-truth?”

According to the philosopher Harry Frankfurt, bullsh*t is a certain type of cheating, which is different from lying. A liar knows and respects the truth enough to change it, as it is impossible to lie without knowing the truth. The goal of the liar is to deceive knowingly. An honest person tells what they believe in, the liar tells what they value.

Kairi Koort, Guest lecturer of system biology, School of Natural Sciences and Health "On faith and brain chemistry"

The genome studies conducted in the past decades have given us a lot of information on the components in our genomes, the information they hold, and the effects of this data on our health. The old beliefs about how genomes release their data in our bodies is being reviewed, mostly thanks to the acceleration in microbiome studies, and the use of modern systems biological approaches.

Aleksander Väljamäe, Associate Professor, School of Digital Technologies "Neurotheatre as a Research Tool"

Modern theatre is going through transformation where new media and neurotechnologies allow for collective co-creation where spectators become spectActors. A new level of mutual understanding and compassion between performers and spectactors can emerge from a dynamically evolving performance shaped by collective emotional experiences. Our recent neurotheatre performance "Demultiplexia" embraced a number of emerging research topics such as neurocinematics, neurochoreography and collective brain-computer interfaces (BCI), and was designed to be later augmented by artificial intelligence components.

Matthew Crandall, Associate Professor of International Relations, School of Governance, Law and Society "The changing world order and aspiring global faith, becoming local in a globalized world"

By merging concepts from International Relations and Religious studies, we are better able to understand the interplay between the changing world order and the abilities of global religions to operate within them. By looking at American based aspiring global faiths, we are able to highlight the influence of the changing world order on their aspirations. As the world order changes, global faiths will have to change as well.


University Staff award ceremony
  • Tallinn University Badges of Merit
  • Tallinn University Honorable Mentions
  • Tallinn University Literary Awards
  • Tallinn University Best Publication Awards
  • Tallinn University Most Valued Lecturer Awards
  • ELU Project Awards


Reception and concert at the Researchers' Forum

The programme is subject to change!

Synchronised translation is provided throughout the programme!

Additional information:

Kadri Kiigema
Head of Marketing and Communication Office
Tel: 6409 120
E-mail: kadri.kiigema....at....tlu.ee

Traditional Islamism, especially when following its Salafist model, is based on acting upon the examples of the distinguished forefathers, and, depending on the situation, falling back to their customs. Radicalising or not doing so, in the traditional language, refers to the terms ‘collective or individual commitment’ and ‘identification is a matter of choice’.

Registration for Tallinn University Day