FRIAS Express December 2016
Dear FRIAS Community,
The year 2016 is coming to a close, leaving some time for reflection on events, activities, projects, and, most importantly, people that have made this last year a special one. The freshly published FRIAS NEWS does exactly that by providing some insights into ideas and projects that have been circulating around FRIAS last year.
We would also like to draw your attention to our new "Fellows' Column", where FRIAS Fellows and Alumni have the opportunity to share their thoughts on any topic they are passionate about. We are glad that Kristen Ghodsee, FRIAS Fellow 2014/15, sent us her reflections on the US elections and we encourage all of our fellows to send us contributions if they would like to share thoughts on a particular issue.
And now we wish all of you relaxing winter holidays and a happy, successful new year.
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The 13th issue of the FRIAS NEWS with the title "Retreat and Dialogue" has just been published. In interviews, portraits and reports, the NEWS cover a range of topics, from chemical epigenetics, international migrant rights to German foreign diplomacy and much more. A special highlight of this issue is an extensive interview with Professor Dr. Frankenberg, former minister for education in Baden-Württemberg and chair of the FRIAS Steering Committee.
We hope you enjoy this issue of the FRIAS NEWS. You can download the FRIAS NEWS 13 on the FRIAS website.
Click here for English and German translations of a number of articles.
Other recent news
Lorenzo Kamel, current Marie S. Curie Fellow at FRIAS and non-resident Research Fellow at Harvard’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES) has won this year’s Academic Award of the Palestine Book Award with his work “Imperial Perceptions of Palestine”. In his book he focuses on the way Palestine has been viewed by imperial powers, especially European powers during the decline of the Ottoman Empire, offering insights into the process through which this region of different races, cultures and societies has historically been simplified. Lorenzo Kamel offers an alternative to the mainstream discourse on Palestine and Israel, helping to better understand the seemingly intractable conflict in the region. The award ceremony took place in London on November 18, 2016. More information
» FRIAS Fellow Elisabetta Nadalutti has just published an article in "Regional and Federal Studies" on the question whether cross-border cooperation is underpinned by an ethical code of values by citizens and individuals. She states that without including ethical values in the analysis of cross-border cooperation, real cohesion cannot be achieved. For those interested in Elisabetta Nadalutti's current project at FRIAS, we warmly recommend to this article.
» FRIAS Alumna Eva von Contzen, who won an ERC Starting Grant this year with her project "Towards a Listology", was recently interviewed by the German radiostation Deutschlandfunk on her project. Anyone who would like to know more about the history and different functions of different types of lists, such as wish lists, to-do-lists, then ten commandments or just the latest shopping list should listen to her interview here (in German).
The year 2017 starts off with a new Freiburger Horizonte event - this time with Bernhard Pörksen, Professor of Media Studies at the University of Tübingen and an active commentator of current developments in various media such as Der Spiegel, Die Zeit, ARD, ZDF and others.
In his lecture, he will focus on current media scandals and the end of control in our digital age. Media permeate our political, economic and private lives. In view of the ever-closer linkage of traditional and digital communication channels, the idea of media-free spaces has become an illusion. Transparency and information take place instantaneously, rumours and false reports spread with great speed, creating communities of protest on a global stage.
What are the implications of this equally fascinating and worrying development? Bernhard Pörksen will give an overview and classification of the topic while referring to current developments. His lecture will take place on Thursday, January 12, 2017, 7 pm at the Aula of the University of Freiburg. More information
Other upcoming Events
» The FRIAS Lunch Lectures on "Ignorance - what we don't know" began successfully with the first lectures on ignorance in epigenetics, in social networks, and in the study of the Middle East. Video-podcasts of the lectures are available here. The series will continue with lectures on ecological ignorance, ignorance and literary hermeneutics and, lastly, God. For an overview of all upcoming Lunch Lectures please click here.
» Yet another lecture series in 2016 has proven to be a full success: the series "Language Dynamics across the Life Span" started in October 2016 and will continue until February 2017. The series offers interesting input on language and cognitive aging by renowned linguists around the world. For more information please click here.
PEOPLE AT FRIAS
Every month, FRIAS introduces one of the "people in the background", who contribute to the continuous development of the Institute, either as member of the Steering Committee or the Scientific Advisory Board.
This month: Prof. Dr. Maximilian Muenke, member and co-chair of the FRIAS Scientific Advisory Board
As former member of the FRIAS Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) at the School of Life Sciences - LifeNet, Professor Maximilian Muenke has a special connection to FRIAS. He is Chief of the Medical Genetics Branch at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NIH) with a focus on the study of the genetics of normal and abnormal brain development. He received his medical degree from the Free University of Berlin in 1979, continued with a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Human Genetics at Yale University and completed his training at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP/Penn) and as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Associate. In 1997, he joined the intramural program of National Human Genome Research Institute at NIH as the Head of the Human Development Section. In 2000 he was appointed Chief of the Medical Genetics Branch at NIH.
Working with and supporting families affected by genetic disorders is, in his own words, one of the most rewarding aspects of his work. In his research, Professor Muenke focuses on the delineation and identification of the underlying causes of craniofacial anomalies, meaning conditions affecting the face, head and neck of humans. Together with his team, he identified several genes important in craniofacial disorders, including the most common, craniosynostosis syndrome, now called Muenke syndrome. More recently, his lab identified susceptibility loci for ADHD, with further research focused on predicting severity, treatment response and long-term outcome. Professor Muenke is the incoming Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Medical Genetics starting in January 2017. Since the summer of 2015, he is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board at FRIAS and, together with Prof. Michael Esfeld, its co-chair.
The year 2016 is coming to an end. What do you take with you into the next year?
FRIAS does not live in a bubble. The world in 2016 has seen a number of worrying political and societal developments, nasty surprises, and downright catastrophes. I am glad to be in the position to say that FRIAS has selected formats and topics, both for research and outreach activities, which have helped and will continue to help reflect on and better understand what exactly it is that is going on around us. Take, for example, our Freiburger Horizonte and Lunch Lecture topics in the academic year 2016/17 on “Data and media control in the 21st century”, “Migration to Europe and Germany in a global context”, “Ignorance” and “Fear”. All of these outreach activities address some of the key problems, or central issues underlying them, which already do, or no doubt increasingly will, dominate public debates in the year(s) to come. As a university-based IAS, FRIAS is willing and ready to contribute its share to, and if necessary also to take a leading role in, what a modern university should be – a university responsive to political and societal debates, especially in times as worrying as these.
I am also very happy to report that our in-house discussion and debating culture is flourishing. In particular, I am thinking of our After Hours Conversations or the special debating events, for instance the one we had in the weeks before the Brexit referendum. Additionally, as of this month, we would like to offer to the entire FRIAS community and FRIAS Express readership the possibility to share with all of us their views on important developments in the (academic as well non-academic) world via the Fellows’ Column on our homepage. See for yourself how Kristen Ghodsee (FRIAS Fellow 2015/16) has intriguingly kicked off this new communication tool with her reaction to the outcome of the Presidential Elections in the US. Please, do not hesitate to make use of the Fellows’ Column to share your thoughts and relevant societal impact activities with the entire FRIAS community!
But now let’s not forget what time of the year this is. On behalf of the entire FRIAS team, I wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
- FRIAS Express
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