Research magazine "Ruperto Carola" - fascicle 4/94


Ruperto Carola 4/94 Issue 4/94 of "Ruperto Carola", Heidelberg University's research news magazine, is a little bit unusual in its layout. The articles are shorter, but there are more of them - 13, to be precise, ranging all the way from Egyptology and psychology to dental orthopedics and biopharmacy. The title story - featured on the cover together with an atmospheric bird's eye view across the roofs of the university buildings - is a study by Carl Friedrich Graumann on discrimination and the way it manifests itself in our use of language. Openly xenophobic utterances are rarely heard publicly in Germany, the psychologist suggests. But what about the covert, implicit variety? In the editorial, deputy vice-chancellor Norbert Greiner recalls that the articles in this issue were originally public lectures held on University Open Day, June 11, 1994. The rector's office was so gratified by the response to the lectures that the decision was taken to print them more or less unchanged in this issue, where they are joined by other contributions originally proposed by the various faculties but scheduled out on Open Day due to lack of time. As Prof. Greiner puts it, this issue is designed to help "step aside from the frequently distorted and ill-informed public debate on what universities should be doing and how well they do it" and concentrate on the essentials - the research conducted at the University and the quality of that research. The first article comes from the Institute of Egyptology and looks at graves as sacred places. Since 1978 the Institute has been working at the necropolis of Thebes in the framework of a project entitled "Ramesside Officials' Graves" and funded by the German Research Community to the tune of 2,200,000 marks. The project is designed to excavate and restore burial complexes dating from the Ramesside period. The second article deals with a less elevated subject. Active discrimination of others is frequently a product of the way we are conditioned to think and use language. Xenophobic utterances are frequently only identifiable as such on the basis of shared knowledge and convictions. These implicit forms of discrimination are being looked into by Heidelberg psychologists in the framework of Special Research Endowment 245 on "Language and Situation". On to dental orthopedics. At Heidelberg University's Clinic for Dental and Orthodontic Care, a team headed by Joachim Mühling is working on a three-dimensional form of navigation through a highly complex surgical area. The development of a computer-aided pilot for surgeons performing an operation is nearing the testing stage. The following contribution also reports on a medical innovation, a bladder pacemaker for paraplegics, described here by Klaus Peter Jünemann from the Urological Clinic of the Faculty of Clinical Medicine, Mannheim. When Ursula Lehr initiated the "Interdisciplinary Study of Adulthood", her aim was to investigate the conditions necessary for health and well-being in old age. The study has a projected timescale of 20 years and involves participation from a number of universities throughout Germany. Under the aegis of the Institute of Gerontology, Heidelberg has three study groups working on the project. The study is funded equally by the State of Baden- Württemberg and the Federal government, with an annual 1,300,000 marks earmarked for this purpose until the year 2013. In her article, former Federal Minister Lehr reports on the progress made by the programme so far. In the following text, Manfred Rose tells us what effects the planned German government tax reform is likely to have in terms of money in your pocket. Cooking at refrigerator temperatures: science fiction or reality? In the framework of an EU project involving twelve study groups across Europe, Horst Ludwig and his co-workers at the Institute of Pharmaceutic Technology and Biopharmacy have been examining ways of improving food perishability periods by means of extreme hydrostatic pressure. The EU is sponsoring the project from 1993 to 1995 with funds amounting to 1,767,372 ECU. Article 8 of the magazine turns to physics. What progress has been made in the research conducted in the framework of the large-scale international H1 project at DESY in Hamburg? And what specific contribution is being made by the team of Heidelberg researchers headed by Franz Eisele from the Institute of Physics and Karlheinz Meier from the Institute of High-Energy Physics? The next title takes us way back in time to the history of the academic study of antiquity. Greek scholar Glenn W. Most, recently awarded the German Research Community's one-and-a-half-million- mark Leibniz Prize in recognition of his research achievements, is assembling an international work group to look into the history and methodology of Classical Studies and other branches of philology. From there we move on to "Structures of the Public Sphere in China", in which sinologist Rudolf G. Wagner talks about the development of a legal system that guarantees individual human rights, about the emergence of freedom of the press in China and a number of other topics. An outpatients service for environmental disorders. More and more patients trace their physical complaints to the influence of "environmental factors", particularly pollutants. An outpatients department for people suffering from such disorders opened its doors at the university's Institute of Hygiene in October 1993. Director Dieter Eis recounts how this department follows up the hunches patients have about the "environmental" sources of their ailments. Language history, sociolinguistics, language contact studies and dialectology are the main concerns of the post-graduate study and research unit on the "Dynamics of Substandard Varieties" funded by the German Research Community to the tune of some 1,200,000 marks and planned to run from 1994 to 1996. Project directors Edgar Radtke and Klaus J. Mattheier from the Faculty of Modern Philology outline the aims and scope of the project. In the final article, Heinz Häfner reports on research into the subject of suicide and the way it may possibly be triggered by identification with figures shown on television. Particularly intriguing here is the way certain sections of the media respond to evidence they would prefer to ignore. The "Ruperto Carola" magazine costs 10 marks plus postage for individual issues, 5 marks for students. Orders for individual copies or for the "Promotion Subscription" (60 marks for 4 issues by mail) should be addressed to: Pressestelle der Universität Heidelberg, Postfach 105760, 69047 Heidelberg. Up
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