Science depends on our ability to change perspective: it is when we question things and try to look at them from a different viewpoint that we suddenly discover entirely new results and insights. What seemed overwhelmingly large yesterday suddenly appears very small today – or vice versa. What looks to be set in stone today can begin to crumble tomorrow – and seemingly absolute certainties are called into question. Is it possible, then, for absolutes to exist in our world? Or is everything really relative?

One of the best-known results of scientific inquiry into this question is Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity, which revolutionised science more than a century ago. Einstein’s findings continue to impact today’s research at our University, which is why his theory of relativity is one of the topics discussed in the new edition of our research journal, entitled ABSOLUTE & RELATIVE. But the journal also presents current research topics from other disciplines – the preconditions for absolute pitch, absolute and relative rights and concepts of freedom, to name just a few. Once more, scholars and scientists of our research university demonstrate the high potential of a comprehensive university that is fuelled by a broad and diverse range of disciplines, methods and subject cultures. It is an environment that enables researchers from all fields of study to join together in searching for, and finding, answers to the great questions of humankind.

I wish you many relatively or even absolutely interesting insights as you enjoy this latest edition of RUPERTO CAROLA.

Prof. Dr Dr h.c. Bernhard Eitel
Rector of Heidelberg University

Issue 14 · July 2019