Vol. 4, Issue 2, July 2014

Aug 042014
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Andreas Neidlinger

When discussing hard times or problems for science and other research one usually thinks about tight financial situations. Of course the common researcher will always complain about too little funding, because – let’s be honest – it could always be better. There might be a more effective machine for the job, the laboratory could be equipped better, air conditioning would be nice in the summer, and a

new coffee maker would make my work obviously more effective. You get the idea . . .Now, I do not want to say that everything is great in German research institutes, but – let’s be honest again – it could be much worse.

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Aug 042014
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Ludwig Kammesheidt

Project Agency International Bureau at DLR e. V.

1 Introduction

Funding programs for science & technology (S&T) collaboration of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) with countries in Asia and Oceania have focused so far on the heavyweights in the region such as India, China, Japan, and South-Korea, emerging countries, particularly Indonesia and Vietnam, and also, to a lesser extent, on industrialized countries like Singapore, Australia, and New-Zealand. Developing countries, depending on natural resource exploitation and low labor costs (“factordriven”) for economic growth, have not been considered as S&T partners until the recent past. These countries typically allocate little budget to higher education and research and development (R&D), resulting, among others, in poor infrastructure and a low number of researchers who lack incentives to engage in science. However, developing countries have to cope with a number of challenges such as natural resource depletion, environmental pollution, urbanization, climate change, and health problems, to name a few issues which can only be solved by conducting S&T. Moreover, these countries can offer access to a wide range of unique natural resources, e.g. biodiversity. Both, challenges of global scale as well as interesting subjects in the area of natural resource management and ecosystem research, make developing countries attractive as S&T partners in international cooperation projects.

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Aug 042014
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Dear Reader,

you are holding in your hands the newest edition of JUnQ (or more likely you are looking at it on your screen). In this issue we wanted to focus on science under difficult conditions and encountered some difficulties ourselves on the way.

Let’s face it, although scientists from Europe and the US like to complain about cuts in funding, our situation could be far worse. In this issue of JUnQ we wanted to explore how science is impacted by difficult conditions like war and poverty. Ludwig Kammesheidt provides us with an insight into cooperations with developing countries from Asia and Oceania launched by the BMBF (German Ministry of Education and Research) on page XX. In his essay on page XXII, Eike Harden takes a look into the life of some famous scientists during the Thirty Years’ War and on page XXVI we are exploring the role of the German Physical Society during World War II.

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Jul 312014
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Rainer Stark

Former vice president Quality and Environment, Continental AG

Received 11.05.2014, accepted 20.06.2014, published 31.07.2014

JUnQ, 4, 2, Views, 28-31, 2014

Rainer Stark studied mathematics and physics at the TU Braunschweig (Germany) and received his PhD in mathematics. After a short intermezzo as lecturer for didactics of mathematics at the University Vechta, he moved to Hannover to work for Continental AG. In the more than 30 years at Continental, he worked in many positions, last as vice president Quality and Environment. Further, he was an elected member of the board of directors at Continental for eight years as representative of the executive employees. Rainer Stark is honorary professor at the Leibnitz University Hannover. He received the B.A.U.M. (Bundesdeutscher Arbeitskreis f?r Umweltbewusstes Management e.V.) environmental prize for the “development and implementation of an integrated environment management”. Since his age-related departure from Continental AG, Rainer Stark works as consultant for business management.

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Jul 312014
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We are happy to announce the publication of the latest issue of JUnQ. Concluding our fourth year with the eighth issue we wished to deal with “Hard Times for Science”. Experiencing some hard times in preparation of this issue, we can finally present several essays on various difficulties which scientists can be confronted with. We have an essay of Ludwig Kammesheidt (Project Agency International Bureau at DLR e. V.) dealing with the research funding in developing countries in Asia and Oceania. We also tried to shed some light about our own history. Firstly in a text of Eike Harden (Hamburg University) about scientific research during the Thirty Years’ War and secondly (and more closely to the present) in a text by editorial board member Andreas Neidlinger about the work of the German Physical Society during the Second World War.

In addition you can find scientific contributions on the new ICMJE criterion from Natascha Gaster, Jorge S. Burns, and Michael Gaster as well as a possibly undetected difference in iconography concerning Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene by Wolter Seuntjens. In our commentary section “Views on Life, the Universe, and Everything”, we can present the work of Rainer Stark about the Quality of Quality Systems; a follow-up from the January issue dealing with quality management.

We wish you a good time with JUnQ. Please let us know what you think in the comments.

— Andreas Neidlinger on behalf of the Editorial Board

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Jul 312014
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W. Seuntjens

Dutch Academy of ‘Pataphysics, Amsterdam

Received 25.03.2014, accepted 18.06.2014 published 31.07.2014

JUnQ, 4, 2, Article – Rapid Communication, 18-27, 2014

Symmetry is an esthetic quality both in art and in life. Symmetry is generally associated with beauty, evolutionary fitness, and perfection whereas asymmetry is associated with the lack of beauty, diminished evolutionary fitness, and imperfection. The physical aspect of praying behavior is almost exclusively bilaterally symmetrical. In the Christian tradition, praying with hands held together can be done in three ways: symmetrically, quasi-symmetrically, and asymmetrically. In the history of Christian art the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene are undoubtedly the two most frequently depicted women. Contrary to expectation, the praying postures in which the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene are depicted are not random. The Virgin Mary prays most often symmetrically whereas Mary Magdalene prays predominantly nonsymmetrically (first rule). Moreover, both Marys pray mainly symmetrically in depictions of pre- and post-Passion scenes whereas they pray mostly nonsymmetrically in Passion scenes (second rule). The exception to the second rule is the theme of The Penitent Mary Magdalene, in which Mary Magdalene is depicted mostly praying nonsymmetrically (third rule). As a tentative explanation of these differences it is proposed that: (1) The Virgin Mary is for the most part depicted symmetrically because she is the epitome of serene perfection whereas the more often nonsymmetrically depicted Mary Magdalene is the embodiment of emotional perfectability. (2) In Passion scenes both Marys are shown mainly in nonsymmetrical praying postures because of the extreme emotionality whereas in pre- and post-Passion scenes they both display the more beatific symmetrical praying postures. (3) The Penitent Mary Magdalene is generally depicted in the emotional nonsymmetrical praying posture because in that particular part of the post-Passion period Mary Magdalene’s sainthood was still in the balance.

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