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FRIAS Express June 2018

Dear FRIAS Community,


Today is »Siebenschläfertag« (meaning the day of the dormouse). According to old German country lore, today’s weather will last for the next 7 weeks – a promising outlook for sure. So are the events taking place in the coming days here at FRIAS: the 10-year anniversary celebration of FRIAS and the 1st annual members’ meeting of the alumni club on Friday, the selection of the new project groups 2018/19 and the research focus 2019/20 on Saturday, and the 25th Hermann Staudinger Lecture with Nobel Laureate Joachim Frank on Monday. (Incidentally, note that the 1st Hermann Staudinger Lecture was held by Douglas D. Osheroff on June 27, 2008, 10 years ago on this very day!)

A note in advance: The latest issue of the FRIAS News (Number 16) will be published within the next few days, too. Among other things, you can find out more about the institute's past as well as current activities and research fellows.



» FRIAS 10-year anniversary celebration on June 29, 2018

Einladung 10 Jahre FRIASJoin us for our 10-year anniversary celebration this Friday, June 29, 2018, at 2 p.m. in the Anatomy Lecture Hall, Albertstr 17. For those who will not be able to participate in the festivities, we invite you to leave greetings and wishes on this occasion in our digital guest book. Just enter frias10 to leave your comment, video greeting, or a photo of your best FRIAS memory. Note: the guest book will stay open for a few more months – so it’s not too late yet for your entry!


» FRIAS Alumni Club - The first annual members’ meeting on June 29, 2018

We kindly invite all FRIAS alumni and alumnae to join the first annual members’ meeting of the Alumni club, taking place on Friday, June 29, 2018, at 11 a.m. in the FRIAS seminar room on the 2nd floor. If you are interested in attending the event, please contact Britta Küst at Are you interested in joining the Alumni Club? Please click here


» Junior Fellow M. Bertolotti to take part in Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting 2018

Lidau Harbor LakeStarting last Sunday, 600 young researchers from 84 nations are meeting 39 Nobel laureates from the fields of medicine, physiology, and chemistry at the Lindau Nobel Laureate meeting. Among them is Milena Bertolotti. The Italian postdoctoral researcher is currently working at the Centre for Biological Signalling Studies (BIOSS), one of the university’s Cluster of Excellence initiatives, as part of Professor Michael Reth’s team. Since the summer of 2017, she has been a Junior Fellow at FRIAS with a scholarship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. More information on Milena Bertolotti and her work online and in the upcoming issue of the FRIAS News.



» 25th Hermann Staudinger Lecture with Nobel Laureate Joachim Frank on July 2, 2018

Joachim FrankFRIAS welcomes Nobel laureate Joachim Frank (Columbia University) as the speaker of the 25th Hermann-Staudinger Lecture on “Visualization of Biomolecules in their Native States” on Monday next week. Joachim Frank received the 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry together with Jacques Dubochet and Richard Henderson for developing cryo-electron microscopy for the high-resolution structure determination of biomolecules in solution. The visualization of biomolecules has revolutionized biochemistry and expanded the potential of electron technology in the study of living matter. In his lecture, the alumnus of the University of Freiburg, who studied physics at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität from 1960 to 1963, will explain the far-reaching significance of this new technology and, among other things, address future applications, e.g. in molecular medicine. The lecture takes place at 5:15 pm in the Anatomy Lecture Hall at Albertstr 17. For a sneak preview, take a look at Joachim Frank’s lecture given at the Lindau Meeting on Tuesday. More information on the event



» Haitch or aitch? – Article by FRIAS fellows Kate Burridge and Catherine McBride

How you speak is who you are. But is it true that one can predict a person's personality by analyzing her or his written and spoken language? And what if someone is discriminated based on how the person speaks? This commonly happens in the case “haitch versus aitch”. FRIAS Fellows Kate Burridge (Professor of Linguistics, Monash University) and Catherine McBride (Professor of Psychology, Chinese University of Hong Kong) have looked into both the history and the language discrimination surrounding the pronunciation of the letter »h« in spoken English. And while it seems that aitch has gained “the stamp of approval, […] there’s solid evidence supporting haitch as the better option.” Their article has attracted wide readership and lively discussion on the not-for-profit educational platform The Conversation. Read the full article here


» Environment, Conflict, and Migration – Author Workshop

Last week, the FRIAS project group “Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Environmental Conflict and Related Migration”, led by Tim Krieger (Political Economy and Competition Policy), Diana Panke (Governance in Multi-level Systems) and Michael Pregernig (Sustainability Governance), gathered more than a dozen authors from Canada, the US, Norway, the UK and Switzerland to work on a peer-reviewed editorial volume. The underlying thesis of the working group is that environmental and resource conflicts can lead to migration; however, this depends to a large extent on the institutional arrangements on the ground. This results in a large number of follow-up questions: Which conflicts lead to migration? How are the migration movements controlled and managed? And last but not least: Under what circumstances can such conflicts be caught and pacified? The project group is now working on a volume that is aimed to be published by the end of 2019, to provide orientation in an area whose scientific and social relevance will probably increase in the future. More information on the project group and their work can be found online and in the upcoming issue of the FRIAS News.


» Supporting international collaboration – Visiting scholars in Mathematics

Since October 2017, the research focus “Cohomology in Algebraic Geometry and Representation Theory” has attracted 42 guest researchers to FRIAS. In June, some special guests were among them: First, Geordie Williamson (University of Sydney), who completed his PhD at the University of Freiburg under the supervision of Wolfgang Soergel in 2008. In May this year, Geordie Williamson was elected as (so far the youngest) member of the Royal Society. Rumor has it to look out on August 1st, when the winners of the Fields Medal, often described as the Nobel Prize in Maths, will be announced. The research focus also welcomed French Mathematician Claire Voisin (Mathematics Institute of Jussieu–Paris Rive Gauche), who won the European Mathematical Society Prize in 1992 and the Clay Research Award in 2008, and who is a foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences (USA). In the upcoming issue of the FRIAS News, Stefan Kebekus explains the benefits of combining different areas of mathematics and bringing together mathematicians from all over the world. More information on the research focus online and in the upcoming issue of the FRIAS News.