research magazineFRIEND & FOE – A Question of Perspective

Heidelberg, 22 February 2021
No. 15/2021

New edition of the research magazine RUPERTO CAROLA investigates this complex pair of terms

The latest issue of the research magazine RUPERTO CAROLA focuses on an extremely complex pair of concepts, charged with emotional power. Individuals, just like groups and nations, are bound together as friends or foes. In nature, completely different organisms live peacefully together to their mutual benefit – or they destroy one another. The frame of reference may change both interpersonally and in the medical and biological field; friendship does not always have positive sides, nor is enmity only negative. Researchers at Heidelberg University take up the topic FRIEND & FOE in its differing facets, and present their current research in 16 articles.

RuCa17 Freund & Feind - Cover

The topic of FRIEND & FOE is of central significance, not least in the Bible. The complex pair of terms is also the frame of reference in quite different connections. For example, proteins that take on vital tasks in the human body turn from friend to foe if errors arise in the folding of their three-dimensional structure, causing serious illnesses. Not only in nature is the question of friend or foe ultimately often a question of perspective and interpretation.

In their articles, the 24 Heidelberg researchers also explore the question of how enmity expresses itself in musical compositions or inquire into the various phases that German-American friendship has gone through and is currently experiencing. Besides different areas of medicine, biology and chemistry, the topic also plays a role in psychology, psychiatry, forensic medicine and sports sciences, along with sociolinguistics, literary studies, modern history and political theory.

The research magazine RUPERTO CAROLA appears twice a year in German with English abstracts, and is addressed to all members of the university, to university partners in sciences and humanities, politics, business and society, and particularly to alumni, friends and an interested public at home and abroad. The magazine is available in the Communications and Marketing department of Heidelberg University (Old University, Grabengasse 1).