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HEAVEN & HELL – the latest edition of our research magazine deals with the “big” questions about the origin, history and future of humankind, the planet and the environment. In this context, Heidelberg scientists are exploring subjects ranging from theological reflections and cultural, social and historical discourse to astronomical theories on the origin of our planet and the time before the Big Bang. Their contributions to this edition illustrate how Heidelberg University investigates complex questions using the wide range of knowledge bases, methods and subject cultures inherent to a comprehensive university. 

Picking the apple from the tree of knowledge is not without its dangers. The serpent lurks – and with it, temptation. Each new scientific discovery offers the chance to make our lives better, more “heavenly” – but it also carries the threat of misuse. This ambivalence has accompanied our curiosity ever since we lost Arcadia and were banned from paradise.

I wish you an exciting journey of discovery through the research topics of our university – between heaven and hell!

Prof. Dr. Bernhard Eitel
Rector of Heidelberg University

Issue 2 · May 2013