News and Commentaries

Jul 302016

Dr. Gerta Ruecker, a mathematician by training, works as a biostatistician at the Medical Center – University of Freiburg, Germany. Her special area is meta-analysis, and she is associated with Cochrane Germany. She has written a large
number of research papers on statistical methods, and co-authored a number of Cochrane reviews. Additionally, she is engaged in teaching meta-analysis methods and is one of the authors of a book ‘Use R for meta-analysis’.

Find the Interview here: Interview with Dr. Gerta Ruecker

Jul 302016

PD Dr. Nicolai Bissantz is a mathematician at the Ruhr University Bochum, Germany. His research fields are applied and mathematical statistics, in particular with applications in science and engineering. Amongst these fields are applications of statistical inverse problems in astronomy and in image reconstruction. Such problems arise e.g., in the recovery of images from fluorescence microscopy imaging and in medical imaging devices such as PET (positron emission tomography).

Find the Interview here: Interview with PD Dr. Nicolai Bissantz

Jul 302016

Dr. Rainer Wanke is a physicist working in the field of experimental particle physics at the University of Mainz, Germany. He is working on the NA62 experiment at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland, which measures ultra-rare K-meson decays. This involves both, particle detector development and the analysis of data taken with those particle detectors. He furthermore teaches statistics for undergraduate students in Mainz.

Find the Interview here: Interview with Dr. Rainer Wanke

Jul 282016

Theresa Weidner

JUnQ, 6, 2, XXVII–XXVIII, 2016

A Commentary on “Most People are not WEIRD” by Joseph Henrich et al., Nature (2010)

Prof. Joseph Henrich is an anthropologist at the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University, Cambridge, USA. His focus is on evolutionary approaches to psychology, decision-making and culture. Together with his colleagues Stephen J. Heine and Ara Norenzayan at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, CA, he was the first to point out that, in economics, psychology and cognitive science, conclusions are generally drawn from study participants with the same background: Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic (WEIRD). In addition, primarily students form the majority of test subjects. Still, researchers – often unintentionally – claim that their findings apply to everybody.

Read the full article here: The Use of the Term “People” in Research

Jul 282016

Kai Litzius

JUnQ, 6, 2, XXV–XXVI, 2016

Open access sharing contributes nowadays a major part to the publication process in many different scientific disciplines. One could think it is an invention of modern time, however, the idea to make data and literature widely available is quite old: Libraries.

Read the full article here: A Quick Word on Open Access Sharing

Apr 272016

The University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria wants to establish a culture of never giving up when one encounters failure, an interpretation of Samuel Beckett’s quote : “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”. For this reason they set up a conference “Kultur des Scheiterns” where Nicola Reusch from our editorial board was invited to give a keynote lecture. A report about the event can be found here.

To learn more about the conference itself, look here.

Jan 222016

Klaus Roth is an emeritus professor at the Freie Universitaet Berlin. He studied chemistry at the Freie Universitaet Berlin from 1964 – 1969 and completed his dissertation at the same university in 1973. After a post-doctoral stay at the Institute for Medical Research in Mill Hill, London from 1979 – 1980, he completed his habilitation at the Freie Universitaet Berlin in 1981. Between 1986 – 1988, he held a position as visiting professor at the University of California in San Francisco, after which he returned to his home university as extraordinary professor and became full professor in 2000. During his research career, he dealt with many aspects of NMR spectroscopy and also popular science such as the chemistry behind licorice sweets, balloons, and la fee verte. Furthermore, he is interested in the Ig Nobel Prize, a scientific award similar to the “regular” Nobel Prize but somewhat more peculiar. In this interview, he gives an insight into this alternative award.

Find the Interview here: How to Win an (Ig)-Nobel Prize

Jan 222016

Andreas Mueller

JUnQ, 6, 1, IV – VI, 2016

Today, we find modern technologies everywhere in our daily life: computers, smart phones, navigation systems, wearables, high-tech medicine. Usually, they did not come by chance. These technologies are a result of fundamental research and breakthroughs and were developed by scientists, engineers and clever inventors.

Read the full article here: Do We Need Fundamental Research?

Jan 212016

Theresa Lueckner

JUnQ, 6, 1, XV–XVI, 2016

When relating light to biology, the first thing that pops into one’s mind is photosynthesis. The sunlight shines onto the leaves, photons excite the light-sensitive molecule chlorophyll and with the use of several cascades, nature produces carbohydrates and oxygen out of carbon dioxide and water. The usage of light is the fundament of eukaryotic life on earth and there is only little life that can exist without it.

Read the full article here: Light in Biology

Jan 212016

The Leibniz Association was founded in 1995 after a fusion of institutions of the Western German association “Blaue Liste” and other research institutions of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR). It was named after the German polymath Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646 – 1716). The association is particularly known in the eastern parts of Germany, being the biggest research association there. Interestingly, the Leibniz Association even patronizes several museums and the most commonly known are the Senckenberg institution in Frankfurt a. M. and Deutsches Museum in Munich. We spoke with Christoph Herbort-von Loeper who is deputy press officer of the Leibniz Association.

Find the Interview here: With the Leibniz Association