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Research Journal Explores the Subject HOT & COLD


Unusually long and dry heat spells and devastating forest fires have once again shifted public attention worldwide to the subject of climate change. The latest edition of the ‘Ruperto Carola’ research journal published by Heidelberg University, entitled ‘HOT & COLD’, includes several articles that explore this critical challenge of our time from the perspective of different disciplines. Other pieces, including one on the ‘Cold War 2.0’ in Ukraine, also illustrate the topicality of research at Heidelberg University. The German-language articles of the semi-annual publication, which is also available online, are supplemented by English abstracts.

The research journal approaches the subject of climate change from a number of different scientific angles: One article from the field of climate economics examines the willingness of the population in earth’s economically advantaged regions to take an active part in climate protection. Another piece on the subject of public health explores ways to prevent heat-induced health problems and deaths. An evolutionary researcher considers the question whether the basic processes of species formation can take place fast enough to safeguard biological diversity against the backdrop of current and future changes of the world’s climate. Climate change is also the topic of the Expert Talk between the two directors of Heidelberg University’s Marsilius Kolleg, a ‘Center for Advanced Study’ that aims to build viable scientific bridges between different subject cultures.

But the journal’s authors also explore the central theme of HOT & COLD in other scientific contexts. For instance, Jan Assman – the latest recipient of the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade – explains why Germany could be termed a ‘hot society’, based on the fact that it has turned the process of coming to terms with the Nazi era as a normative part of its past into the driver of its development. A volcanologist describes how a new ion probe that is as yet unique among German universities can be used to reconstruct the previous history – sometimes stretching back millions of years – of crystals embedded in volcanic rock. ‘Hot’ and ‘cold’ emotions are the topic of an article on borderline and psychopathic personality disorders and the question of how to develop effective therapies. Another piece looks at the subject from a musicological point of view, describing how music can convey a sense of heat and cold as both metaphorical sensations and actual natural phenomena. All in all, 23 researchers from such diverse fields as environmental physics, palaeoclimatology, literature, art history, the history of medicine and toxicology will take you on a journey exploring the entire range of experience between HOT and COLD.

The research journal is addressed to members of the University, its partners in science, politics, business and society and, of course, its alumni, friends and the wider public in Germany and abroad. The various editions are available online; print versions can be picked up free of charge at the Communications and Marketing department of Heidelberg University (Alte Universität, Grabengasse 1) and are also mailed on request; please write to to order your free copy or subscription.

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Latest Revision: 2019-02-22
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