Andrei Barvinsky is one of the world’s leading theorists in quantum gravity and quantum cosmology. The formalism he developed with Vilkovisky to describe quantum fields on a semiclassically quantized spacetime is now a standard tool in quantum gravity and theoretical cosmology, and is treated in great detail in many Western texts (eg., in Steven Weinberg’s books). This work is extremely important – it provides one of the few firm theoretical foundations in the field of quantum gravity, without which much of the more speculative work would be uncontrolled and of little value.
Much of the current discussion on the conditions prevailing in the very early years of the universe relies on this theoretical framework. Barvinsky has, over the years, made a number of seminal contributions to cosmology, notably to our ideas about the early universe. Interest in this topic can only increase now with the first observation of gravitational waves, which will provide unprecedented access to events extending back to within seconds of the initial Big Bang.