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20 December 2005

Feelings Behind Word and Image: Music in Hollywood Films

"Ruperto Carola" 3/2005 now out — In the title story of the new issue Horst-Jürgen Gehrigk of the Institute of Slavonic Studies and Dorothea Redepenning of the Department of Musicology delineate the cultural dialogue between the American dream factory and Europe with reference to selected Hollywood classics — Other articles in the magazine: "In the Jungle of Fragrances", "Protein Chaperones", "Raymond Klibansky: Memories of a Century" and much more

The early 1930s saw the arrival of the first Hollywood "talkies" with through-composed musical scores. The huge importance attributed to music written specially for films is amply borne out by the Oscar for the "best score", first awarded in 1934. The advent of talking films was coeval with the great emigration wave that brought actors, directors and above all composers from Europe to Hollywood. In the title story of the new issue of the Heidelberg research magazine "Ruperto Carola" (3/2005), Horst-Jürgen Gerigk of the Institute of Slavonic Studies and Dorothea Redepenning of the Department of Musicology delineate the cultural dialogue between the American dream factory and Europe with reference to selected Hollywood classics. Other articles in the magazine: "In the Jungle of Fragrances", "Protein Chaperones", "Raymond Klibansky: Memories of a Century" and much more.

In the Editorial vice-rector Tröger describes a recent case of academic malpractice

In the Editorial of this issue, Vice-Rector Prof. Dr. Jochen Tröger, chairman of the Senate Commission for the Safeguarding of Good Academic Practice and the Handling of Violations of Academic Ethics describes a recent case brought before this body. A young woman scientist from the University chanced upon a publication describing the results of her doctoral dissertation, albeit with alterations to the methodological section. She was named as co-author but had never been asked for her consent to the publication.

"I advised the young scientist to ask her supervisor for an explanation," says Tröger. "Time passed and it was only after a polite reminder that the chair-holder at a renowned German university finally replied." In his letter he emphasised the "high degree of accord in the dissertation period", argued that his former supervisee "now had a publication to her name" and declared that he had no recollection of any "alteration of the data" in the methodological section.

There ensued a lengthy sequel involving four major actors: three universities and the journal. Tröger declares that the "members of the Heidelberg Senate Commission will not rest until they are satisfied with the result." Independently of the purely legal aspect, Tröger insists that it is a serious case of malpractice and a severe breach of academic ethics for "the results of an academic study to be changed, for the editor of the journal in question to refuse to print an erratum and for the signature confirming authorship to be given by a person other than the author herself."

"What remains," Tröger concludes, "is the injunction to us all to subject our activities in the field of science and scholarship to constant critical review. If an error does occur, it must be conceded and immediately rectified." He closes the article with an appeal and a plea: "Let us all commit ourselves both to practising and demanding the highest degree of academic integrity."

In the Jungle of Fragrances

A human being can identify and memorise thousands of different smells. This is an astonishing feat on the part of a faculty that has always been regarded as one of the "lower" senses. How exactly we perceive smells — whether appealing or otherwise — has confronted scientists with an enigma difficult to resolve. No other of our five senses has been shrouded in so much mystery as the sense of smell. In the first article in the magazine, Hannah Monyer of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Neurosciences explains what happens in the brain at the cellular and molecular level when we respond to a smell and discusses the role played in literature and philosophy by a faculty that has hitherto been regarded as secondary.

Protein Chaperones

In the past, the job of chaperones was to make sure that young unmarried women were always on their best behaviour in public. In molecular biology the term is used to refer to proteins that assist other proteins in the maturation process, thwart undesirable contacts and correct errors. Molecular chaperones keep the world of proteins in order. They act as midwives, supervisors and physicians and thus play an indispensable role in all cellular processes, as well as superordinate phenomena like aging and evolution. In addition they are of significance in the development of disorders like cancer, infections and heart attacks. Bernd Bukau of the Molecular Biology Centre of the University of Heidelberg describes the tasks devolving on chaperones and explains how they go about performing their protective functions.

Raymond Klibansky: Memories of a Century

The philosopher Raymond Klibansky was one of the greatest scholars ever produced by the University of Heidelberg. More than almost anyone else he corrected the idea of the "black hole" between antiquity and the modern age and indicated the traditions of medieval thought that linked the two epochs. His personal biography is representative of the fate of many Jewish scientists and scholars in 20th century Germany. Klibansky was denied the aid and support of Heidelberg University in 1933 and emigrated to Canada, where he died on 5 December, nine months short of his 100th birthday. Jens Halfwassen of the Department of Philosophy describes the life and work of this great philosopher.

In the "Young Researchers Report" section the subjects this time are "Weapons of the Immune System" by Carsten Watzl and "Nitrogen Oxides in Laser Light" by Wolfgang G. Bessler. After four years' experience with the reformed medical curriculum Roman Duelli asks "What Has 'Heicumed' Achieved?" In the period between January and April 2005 externally funded projects at the University totted up support monies amounting to a total of 19.5 million euros. "Ruperto Carola" lists the ones receiving the highest financial support.

"Ruperto Carola" is published by Universitätsverlag C. Winter Heidelberg GmbH. Single copies cost € 5 plus postage. Like the special subscription offer (€ 30 for four issues) they can be ordered from: Pressestelle der Universität Heidelberg, Postfach 10 57 60, D-69047 Heidelberg. Gratis copies of earlier issues are available in the entrance area of the Old University (Grabengasse 1).

For more information and the complete articles of earlier issues (in German) go to http://www.uni-heidelberg.de/presse/publikat.html

Please address any inquiries to:
Dr. Michael Schwarz
Press Officer of the University of Heidelberg
phone: 06221/542310, fax: 54317

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