German-Japanese Research Meeting at Heidelberg University
25 November 2011
Scientists from Japan, Germany and other German-speaking countries will be meeting at Heidelberg University for a “2011 Round Table” to exchange views on the latest developments in a number of front-edge research fields. Up for discussion are such fundamental issues as the birth of the Universe, the origins of life on Earth and the understanding of evolution and the development of highly complex organisms. The interdisciplinary conference entitled “From the Early Universe to the Evolution of Life” is scheduled for 1 to 3 December 2011. Some 60 highly respected researchers from the fields of physics, astronomy, chemistry and the life sciences are expected to attend.
“Heidelberg University entertains close contacts with Japanese research institutions and universities,” says Prof. Dr. Thomas Holstein, scientist at the Heidelberg’s Centre for Organismal Studies and fellow of the university’s Marsilius Kolleg. “Meetings of this kind are designed to intensify and deepen the collaborative relations between Germany and Japan.” Together with Prof. Dr. Thomas Henning of the Max Planck Institute of Astronomy (Heidelberg), Prof. Holstein is the chief organiser of this “Germany-Japan Round Table”. Representing Japan are scientists from the National Institutes of Natural Science. The Japan Society for the Promotion of Sciences (JSPS) is involved on the organisational side.
The meeting will be opened on Thursday, 1 December with speeches by the Rector of Heidelberg University, Prof. Dr. Bernhard Eitel, and the vice-president of the German Research Foundation, Prof. Dr. Elisabeth Knust. Subsequently there will be five opening lectures mainly on the subject of the development and perspectives of the natural sciences. On the following two days, the talks and discussion groups will be focussing on three theme complexes, “The Earth in the Universe”, “Atomic and Molecular Evolution” and “The Development of Life and Intelligence”. In connection with the origins of life, synthetic biology and its biotechnological potential are of crucial importance. Accordingly, a fourth major subject revolves around the specialist and ethical issues posed by “Science, Technology and Civilisation”.
The conference is part of the campaign entitled “Germany – Japan: 150 Years of Friendship” and follows on from the programme for the university’s 625th anniversary in 2011. It is supported by the Klaus Tschira Foundation (Heidelberg). For more information, go to www.gj-roundtable2011.unitt.de .
Note for newsdesks
The opening of the “Germany-Japan Round Table: From the Early Universe to the Evolution of Life” takes place at 3 pm on 1 December 2011 in the Great Hall of the Old University in Heidelberg. After that, it moves to the Villa Bosch Studio of the Klaus Tschira Foundation for 2 and 3 December.
Prof. Dr. Thomas Holstein
Centre for Organismal Studies
phone: +49 6221 545679
Communications and Marketing
phone: +49 6221 542311