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IMB International Summer School 2015 INSTITUTE OF MOLECULAR BIOLOGY

A summer vacation with top researchers

The International Summer School (ISS) organized by the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) in Mainz offers students from around the world an opportunity to participate in an exceptional program. Every year IMB selects a small group of budding scientists from hundreds of applicants and, next to lectures, directly involves them in current research projects for a period of six weeks. The Mainz University Medical Center and the Faculty of Biology of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) also participate in this project which contributes towards enhancing Mainz's reputation as an international science hub.


Professor Peter Hoor undertakes research and teaches at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. (photo: Peter Pulkowski) ATMOSPHERIC PHYSICS

Tracking the climate by airplane

Professor Peter Hoor and his Airborne Measurements and Transport Processes work group at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) are studying the processes that occur in the tropopause. The events that take place in this boundary layer between the stratosphere and the troposphere are still puzzling scientists but have significant effects on the climate of our planet.


Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz has been offering the international Sociolinguistics and Multilingualism Master's degree program since the 2013/2014 winter semester. (photo: Stefan F. Sämmer) SOCIOLINGUISTICS AND MULTILINGUALISM

A joint Master’s degree program at four European universities

Want to study in Lithuania and Germany and then also in Sweden or Estonia? The international Master's degree program Sociolinguistics and Multilingualism – or 'SoMu' for short – makes it possible. Universities in all four countries are working together to provide insight into the multifaceted linguistic landscape, society, and history of the Baltic region. Professor Anneli Sarhimaa of the Northern European and Baltic Languages and Cultures research and teaching unit at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) has helped create this unique degree program.


Chris Bremus (photo: Peter Pulkowski) GUTENBERG ALUMNI

Alumnus memories meet the new School of Music

Chris Bremus is a successful film composer. One important step to this career was his education at the School of Music of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). Years later, the 37-year-old has returned to the campus to talk about his time at university, about movies, commercials, and about how lucky he has been


Necati Benli, State Migration Officer of the Hesse State Police, is currently working towards his doctorate at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. (photo: Peter Pulkowski) GUTENBERG ALUMNI

Integration in practice and in theory

He never actually intended to go to university. After graduating from high school, Necati Benli preferred to join the Hesse State Police. However, in a roundabout way, this brought him eventually to Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). The president of police, Benli's superior, needed someone with specialist insight into Islam and its practices and wanted to use theory in order to underpin police procedure. And so he made Benli an unusual proposal.


Augsburg Master Builders' ledgers 1454, 1456/1, 1456/2 and 1463 (Imperial City, Master Builders' Office, Official Ledgers 51, 53, 54, 60) (photo/©: Augsburg City Archive) HISTORICAL CULTURAL STUDIES

From parchment to the Internet

The Augsburg Master Builders' ledgers offer deep insights into the history of an important German imperial city. This nearly seamless chronicle extends over almost five hundred years. Professor Jörg Rogge of the Department of History of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) has initiated a project which aims at preparing a digital version of this amazing historical source documentation.


Mahmoud Hassanein has translated "Das Sams" into Arabic. (photo: Britta Hoff) TRANSLATION

The Sams learns Arabic

Last year, the Goethe Institute awarded its German-Arabic Translation Prize in the Young Translators category to Mahmoud Hassanein, a doctoral candidate at the Faculty of Translation Studies, Linguistics, and Cultural Studies of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in Germersheim. Here he talks about his work, about literature, and about cultures.


Author Raúl Zurita and Liliana Bizama (photo: Max Frömling) RESEARCH FUNDING

Arte es Vida – Life is Art

Through its internal Research Funding Line I, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) provides support to various research projects. Among these is an unusual undertaking that focuses on the Chilean artist collective C.A.D.A., its members, and their global links to other avant-garde movements. This is the particular interest of Liliana Bizama of the Faculty of Translation Studies, Linguistics, and Cultural Studies in Germersheim.


PHILOSOPHY OF MIND

A donation of intellectual property

Books on brain research, on philosophy and psychology of mind are expensive, yet at the time of their appearance the publications themselves may already be obsolete. Thus, the Open MIND Project decided to take another path. It provides a compendium of high-quality specialist papers that is freely accessible online. The initiator of this huge venture is Professor Thomas Metzinger of the Department of Philosophy at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU).


INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH

Of differences and differentiation

People are not simply different; they additionally make distinctions among themselves. At times, skin color is to play a role, then there is faith, nationality, gender. The research unit "Un/doing Differences. Practices in Human Differentiation" investigates the mechanisms that are behind what causes us to make distinctions and what it is that can make these distinctions disappear. A range of different researchers at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) are working hand-in-hand for this purpose – across the boundaries of their own disciplines.


 

(photo: Peter Pulkowski) ISRAEL STUDY UNIT

A small country but major themes

Post-war Germany takes up a very special stance on Israel, though often a rather limited one. The conflict in the Middle East is taking center stage while the shared German-Jewish history always plays an important role. It is the aim of the Israel Study Unit of the Institute of Political Science at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) to make Germans aware of the many other facets of the country. A current project is a major conference entitled "Rapprochement, Change, Perception and Shaping the Future: 50 Years of German-Israeli and Israeli-German Diplomatic Relations."


The exhibition 'VALUABLES. The collections of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz' brings together items from the various collections to create new associations between the objects from various disciplines. (photo: Peter Pulkowski) UNIVERSITY COLLECTIONS

Cuneiform tablets, lumps of coal, and a letter written by Brentano

The research collections held by Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) are to be exhibited publicly for the first time in Mainz City Hall. The universal exhibition 'VALUABLES' offers insight into a cross section of various subjects and disciplines. It brings together skulls and prophets, medical instruments and minerals, musical instruments and ancient coins and much more.


JGU INTERNATIONAL

Help of all kinds

Welcome to Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz! – The sentence is easy to say. Foreign scientists and researchers often have to clear a lot of hurdles before they can feel at home in Germany. The Welcome Center at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) helps them – in every way.


Among the Egyptology Study Collection at Mainz University is this altar piece showing Seti I offering a sacrifice of wine to the goddess Hathor. (photo: Stefan F. Sämmer) EGYPTOLOGY STUDY COLLECTION

From the Holy Water of Horus to Akhenaten's pot belly

Some 30 exhibits are witness to 3,000 years of history. They tell of gods and pharaohs, of raising poultry, of magic water, and of unusual fashions. The Egyptology Study Collection at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) may be small, but it offers a lot of material for learning and teaching, for discovery and discussion.


Gutenberg alumna Mareike Hachemer (photo: Stefan F. Sämmer) GUTENBERG ALUMNI

No talk of elitism

Mareike Hachemer has been nominated for the Global Teacher Prize, an annual one million dollar award from the Varkey Foundation to be given to a super-special teacher. The Gutenberg alumna has already made it into the top 50 and is about to enter the final round. Here the 31-year-old discusses her time at the university, the teaching profession, and her pupils.


Professor Dmitry Budker (photo: Stefan F. Sämmer) RESEARCH COOPERATION

Not everything in the universe is symmetrical

Research into fundamental symmetries and a unique nationwide cooperation between Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the Helmholtz Association have brought Professor Dmitry Budker to Mainz. He will be heading up the Matter Antimatter Symmetry section at the JGU-based Helmholtz Institute Mainz, which collaborates with the GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt.


FAMILY SERVICES CENTER

More than just a temporary solution

Looking for a daycare facility for your child? Pregnancy getting in the way of your studies? You have a relative who needs care? In situations like these the Family Services Center at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) is there to help. Stefanie Schmidberger provides advice to students and university employees who, for example, are having problems dealing with the authorities or finding the support services they need. She knows the sort of difficulties people can encounter, knows a way through the tangle of regulations, and can provide valuable aid and assistance.


Professor Tamara Grcic (photo: Stefan F. Sämmer) MAINZ ACADEMY OF ARTS

"The aim is to have everybody find their own voice"

The Academy of Arts of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) welcomes an acclaimed artist as a professor in the person of Tamara Grcic. The idea is that the versatility of her work will be reflected in her teaching. In her sculpture class, for instance, Grcic does not plan to lay down hard and fast rules but to allow students sufficient space in which to find their own personal form of artistic expression.


Professor Dagmar von Hoff (photo: Peter Pulkowski) EUROPEAN RESEARCH NETWORK

"What we are doing is 'reading' violence"

What can literature and film, what can the various media do to help uncover the structures underlying violence? This is the focus of research being undertaken by a network of German Studies scholars, among whom is Professor Dagmar von Hoff of the German Department at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). She believes that German Studies as a discipline needs to take a more international, intercultural, and intermedial approach.


Professor Krishnaraj Rajalingam (photo: Stefan F. Sämmer) HEISENBERG PROFESSORSHIP

What happens in cells

In the person of Krishnaraj Rajalingam, the Research Center for Immunotherapy of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) has been very lucky to acquire one of the world's foremost cell biologists. The newly appointed Heisenberg Professor focuses on the molecular signal pathways that regulate a wide variety of different processes within cells. He investigates not only the causes of cell growth and cell differentiation but also the pathogenesis of tumors and cancer and thus supplies concepts for new treatment approaches.


PROMOTION OF YOUNG RESEARCHERS

"We have to keep a lot of balls in the air all at once"

The newly created JUGGLE – The network of Junior Group Leaders in Life Sciences at JGU provides researchers with a platform to discuss aspects of their subject but also acts as forum through which the difficult situations facing junior group leaders in the German educational landscape can be examined. In December 2014, JUGGLE invited participants to its first Mainz symposium to discuss future prospects for young researchers.


The interior of the BES-III detector at the Institute for High Energy Physics (IHEP) in Beijing, China (© Institute for High Energy Physics, Beijing) NUCLEAR PHYSICS

What holds matter together?

Subatomic particles, muons, quarks, gluons, and their cousins: Physicists working with the MAMI electron accelerator at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) are also playing an important role in the BESIII Experiment in Beijing in China. They are on the trail of the basic building blocks of matter and are thus hoping to pave the way for a New Physics.


PD Dr. Detlef Becker treats patients with neurodermatitis at the Department of Dermatology of the Mainz University Medical Center using the innovative approach of photodynamic therapy. (photo: Peter Pulkowski) NEURODERMATITIS

Blue light therapy can allay inflammation

There is hope for people suffering from neurodermatitis: PD Dr. Detlef Becker, senior physician at the Department of Dermatology at the Mainz University Medical Center, has achieved fantastic results with photodynamic therapy, a treatment with blue light. But it is expensive and the statutory health insurance does not cover it. A new clinical study shall provide reliable data on the efficacy of the method.


Circuit board (photo: Stefan F. Sämmer) COMPUTER SCIENCE

Research at the interface of disciplines

Thirty years ago the first Professor of Computer Science was appointed at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). A lot has since changed in this relatively recent field. This special anniversary is a good reason to take a quick look back, despite the fact that the professors at the Institute of Computer Science prefer to talk about their current work and projects. After all, the present and future are far more interesting to them than a brief history of their discipline.


Model of the Tower of Babel (photo: Stefan F. Sämmer) BIBLICAL ARCHAEOLOGY COLLECTION

The Tower of Babel in the basement

Hardly any other collection of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) can boast as many unique pieces. Models represent life in Biblical times, ten thousand photos and valuable maps document the early history of Israel while seven ossuaries evidence a turning point in burial practices at the time of Christ. The Biblical Archaeology Collection may be relatively new but it goes way back into ancient history.


Dr. Sigrid Rieuwerts (photo: Peter Pulkowski) JGU INTERNATIONAL

An advocate of German in Scotland

She founded the Society for Scottish Studies in Europe and is the head of the largest Sir Walter Scott research program. She acts as an advisor to the Scottish Parliament and set up an internship program that brings students of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) to Scottish schools. It is remarkable what Dr. Sigrid Rieuwerts has already achieved in terms of promoting the relationship between Germany and Scotland.


(photo: Stefan F. Sämmer) SIMULATING INTERPRETING SITUATIONS

Aspects of interpreting

Simulations of interpreting situations have introduced a whole new dimension to interpreter training at Faculty 06: Translation Studies, Linguistics, and Cultural Studies at the Germersheim campus of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). Here students assume various roles and experience aspects of interpreting that can otherwise be given only little attention. The idea is to enable them to develop empathy, understand body language, and much more.


A look into the Indian Bronze Collection (photo: Peter Pulkowski) INDOLOGY COLLECTIONS

Buddha's nose and good fortune

The collection is small but impressive: the bequest of Ursula Walter has found a home at the Institute of India Studies at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). Indian gods and Buddhas, various everyday objects, and fine votive offerings for the temple can be found here. Part of the collection is on display in the Philosophicum building, but most of it languishes in a nondescript gray metal cabinet at the institute.


Marianne Heiß gave a talk in the new Irène Joliot-Curie Program of the PRISMA Cluster of Excellence (photo: Stefan F. Sämmer)IRÈNE JOLIOT-CURIE PROGRAM

We need more women at the top

She is a high-ranking executive of a large concern: Marianne Heiß visited Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) to talk about her career and what has to change so that more women are appointed to management posts. She was invited to speak as part of the new Irène Joliot-Curie Program that has been established in order to promote the careers of women working in the PRISMA Cluster of Excellence.


(fltr) Dr. Alejandro F. Schinder and Prof. Dr. Benedikt Berninger (photo: Peter Pulkowski)BESSEL RESEARCH AWARD 

New neurons for the brain

Dr. Alejandro F. Schinder of the Instituto Leloir in Buenos Aires has received a Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award granted by the Humboldt Foundation for fundamental research that has provided important insight into how new nerve cells are incorporated in the adult brain. The presentation of the award has set in motion a joint international project and Professor Benedikt Berninger of the Research Center Translational Neurosciences at the Mainz University Medical Center intends to cooperate closely with his Argentinian colleague over the next years.


(photo: Stefan F. Sämmer)CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY / FOLKLORE

Mobile app looks behind the Iron Curtain

Nineteen students from the Cultural Anthropology / Folklore division at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) have compiled experiences and stories of contemporary witnesses to the Cold War between East and West for theinternational "Iron Curtain Stories" project. Their interviews and much more have just been made available on the "Memory of Nations" website and a smartphone app.


Professor Sönke Neitzel (l.) and Dr. Falko Bell (r.) (photo: Peter Pulkowski)JGU INTERNATIONAL

Mainz student receives Scottish-German double PhD

Falko Bell is the first student to be awarded his doctorate at Glasgow and Mainz simultaneously. The award is the current high point of a close cooperation between the Departments of History at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the University of Glasgow in Scotland. Professor Sönke Neitzel is the driver behind the project.


Professor Carola Lentz (photo: Stefan F. Sämmer)ANTHROPOLOGY

Anthropologist from Mainz becomes a Ghanaian chief

It was the first time that the title of "maalu naa" had been awarded in Nandom, in Ghana’s Upper West Region – and it was bestowed on Professor Carola Lentz from the Department of Anthropology and African Studies at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). The title makes her a kind of chief, or, to be more precise, a "development chief" of a district that encompasses some 100 settlements with around 50,000 inhabitants.


Professor Mita Banerjee of the American Studies division speaks about the new 'Life Sciences, Life Writing' research training group at Mainz University. (photo: Peter Pulkowski)RESEARCH TRAINING GROUP

Overcoming barriers in order to scrutinize limits

The new research training group 'Life Sciences, Life Writing: Extreme Experiences of Human Life between Biomedical Explanations and Life Experiences" attempts to bridge the gap between the natural-medical sciences and the humanities. The German Research Foundation is providing almost EUR 2 million to support this unusual project at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU).


Simulation eines Beratungsgesprächs in der Trainingsapotheke (Foto: Peter Pulkowski)PHARMACEUTICAL SCIENCES

Pharmacy in role-play

The training pharmacy at the Institute of Pharmacy and Biochemistry at Mainz University gives students the opportunity to practice dealing with customers. It’s all about practical application.  The aspiring pharmacists learn what it will be like later in their professional lives.


View over the ice at the geographic South Pole to the above ground measuring station of the IceCube observatory, where the data from the photo sensors in the ice is extracted and analyzed. (photo/©: Sven Lidstrom, IceCube/NSF)ICECUBE

Hunting neutrinos in the Antarctic

Over the past three years, the IceCube neutrino observatory at the South Pole has managed to detect extreme high energy neutrinos originating from the depths of the universe. Even experts doubted for a long time whether the idea would work, but reports of success came in 2013. Professor Lutz Köpke of the Institute of Physics at Mainz University and his work group are involved in the international research project.


(photo: Stefan F. Sämmer)ORIENTAL STUDIES

The world of Turkic peoples epitomized in books held in Mainz

There is almost no other university that can boast such a treasure: The library for Turkic Studies of the Department of Oriental Studies at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) has an enormous variety of works covering the languages and cultures of the Turkic peoples; some 50,000 volumes are available. Junior Professor László Károly knows it well. He guides through the labyrinth of bookcases to where some remarkable volumes are kept.


Medical-historical injection equipment (photo: Dagmar Loch)MEDICAL HISTORY COLLECTION

When the life awakener was used to fight arthritis

There is a small but fine collection of various historical medical objects in the library of the Institute of History, Philosophy, and Ethics of Medicine of the Mainz University Medical Center. Professor Norbert W. Paul knows his way around here. The Director of the Institute tells some of the stories that lie behind the exhibits.


(photo/©: Joachim Burger)ANTHROPOLOGY

Cattle, milk, and Europeans

With their article on "The milk Revolution," Professor Joachim Burger and his work group at the Institute of Anthropology at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) managed to catapult themselves into the media headlines. But milk in fact only represents an incidental aspect of their research. Their real concern is the history of the settlement of Europe.


(photo: Thomas Hartmann)OPEN ACCESS

Library without books

Research publications should be freely accessible online – this is the idea behind the 'open access' concept. The university library at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) has been an active supporter of this trend for years. Library director Dr. Andreas Brandtner explains where things are headed.


(photo: Thomas Hartmann)THE BOTANIC GARDEN COLLECTION

A journey through 470 million years of plant history

There is hardly any other place at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) that is as inviting to relax or take a stroll as the Botanic Garden. However, it is much more than simply a recreational facility. The garden is a place of research and teaching while it also provides a storehouse of rare plants, which is the largest of all the collections present on campus.


(photo: Peter Pulkowski) MATHEMATICS COLLECTION

Number games for the young

The purpose of the 'Hands-on Mathematics' ('mathematik begreifen') exhibition is to help school students better understand the world of numbers. Through play, youngsters are encouraged to discover the Pythagorean theorem, plan routes crossing all of Germany, and experience the wonder of the brachistochrone curve, the special effects of which are here demonstrated in the form of ball rolling tracks. Dr. Ekkehard Kroll of the Institute of Mathematics at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz is in charge of the exhibits, which need a new home.


(photo: Stefan F. Sämmer)ALUMNI MAINZ E.V.

"Our alumni club has a lot to offer its members"

Once they have acquired a degree, new horizons open up for graduates. New tasks await, perhaps somewhere far away. It is all too easy to lose contact with your former fellow students. Alumni Mainz e.V. at the Faculty of Law, Management and Economics helps make sure this does not happen. The purpose of the alumni club is to enable erstwhile students of Mainz University to stay in contact. It already has 390 members – and chairman Stefan Irnich is ready to welcome many more.


(poto: Peter Pulkowski)OSTEOLOGICAL STUDY COLLECTION

History in skulls

Over the past three years, PD Dr. Holger Herlyn of the Institute of Anthropology at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) has assembled a modern teaching collection of replica skulls that document the development of human beings and their relationship to other primates. The exhibits in the collection's display cabinets are ready to be investigated by the probing hands of the students.


Professor Scott A. Lukas (photo: Stefan F. Sämmer)CIS Visiting Professor

Theme parks in the center of research

Amusement and theme parks are supposed to be fun. These amenities are all about the excitement of roller coasters, about spectacle, and entertainment. That’s it! Is it? American cultural anthropologist Scott A. Lukas has made theme parks his specialty. He is currently at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) as a visiting professor to report on his experiences and to teach, but he also came to learn.


(photo: Academy for Foreign Coaches)JGU INTERNATIONAL

Academy for Foreign Coaches in Mainz celebrates record course

Twelve scholarship holders from Africa, Asia, and South America take their leave: The 35th degree course of the Academy for Foreign Coaches at the Institute of Sports Science at Mainz University has ended. Another chapter in the success story of this extraordinary institution has been written.


(photo: Uwe Feuerbach)SCHOOL DAY SIMULATION

"This has never been done before"

They mimicked a disgruntled teacher, a rebellious teenager, and a dedicated educator. Eighty student teachers participated in the School Day Simulation organized by the Institute of Psychology at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). Professor Margarete Imhof brought this unique project to Mainz, where it is planned to be held as a regular event in the future.


Sandra Leupold, holder of the Klara Maria Faßbinder Visiting Professorship (photo: Stefan F. Sämmer)FAßBINDER VISITING PROFESSORSHIP

"Goethe would have had a heart attack"

The acclaimed opera director Sandra Leupold is teaching for a semester at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). As the holder of the Klara Marie Faßbinder Visiting Professorship in Women's and Gender Studies, she will be guesting at the Mainz School of Music and at the JGU Department of Film, Theater, and Empirical Cultural Studies.


Professor Frank Sirocko (photo: Stefan F. Sämmer)GEOSCIENCES

The climate remains a mystery

In his book Geschichte des Klimas (A history of the climate), one of the leading paleoclimate researcher takes us on a journey through the geological eras. Professor Dr. Frank Sirocko of the Institute of Geosciences at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) provides insight into the past while also venturing to forecast the future.


(photo: Stefan F. Sämmer)UNIVERSITY HISTORY

How the French brough Comparative Literature to Mainz

An institute unique to Germany and treasures from the Mainz University Archive were the two main topics of the lecture evening recently held in the Central Library of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). Through this and similar events, the University History Research Association hopes to throw light on the history of the university. The evening commenced with a look at the subject of Comparative Literature.


PRE- AND PROTOHISTORYDr. Sabine Hornung (photo: Stefan F. Sämmer)

Caesar's Gallic Wars come to life

Dr. Sabine Hornung of the Institute of Pre- and Protohistory at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) created quite a stir in the summer of 2012: She had identified the oldest Roman military camp yet to be found in Germany, a huge fort that most likely played an important role in Julius Caesar's Gallic Wars. Her announcement attracted a lot of attention, but the archaeologist is having trouble funding her project.


(photo: Peter Pulkowski)UNIVERSITY SPORTS

Teachings of the cleaving sword

Roughly 50 German athletes are training in the use of the Japanese pole sword, the naginata. Some of them meet regularly in the gymnasiums of the University Sports Center at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). Several times a week they don their armor and test their skill in combat.


(photo: Uwe Feuerbach)GLOBAL WESTERN

The cowboy travels the world

Through his pioneering project "Global Western – Intercultural Transformations of the American Genre par Excellence", Dr. Thomas Klein of the Department of Anthropology and African Studies at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) is scouting uncharted vistas. Many aspects of the Western still remain unexplored. With the project now reaching its conclusion, the cultural studies expert convened a conference, including a preview on future research topics.


Dr. Bianca Navarro-Crummenauer (photo: Stefan F. Sämmer)FORENSIC OUTPATIENT CLINIC

"This child's death could have been prevented"

Fifteen years ago, a young physician started thinking about how she could better help abused and mistreated children. Now that physician, Dr. Bianca Navarro-Crummenauer, is in charge of the Forensic Outpatient Clinic for Victims of Domestic Violence at the Institute of Legal Medicine at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). Some 500 cases a year keep her busy.


Roman coins were often palm-sized. (photo: Peter Pulkowski)COIN COLLECTION

Roman small change was rather big

Although the coin collection of the Department of History's Ancient History division at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) fits into a single vault, it still holds quite a few surprises – at least for the layperson. Huge Roman coins sit beside ranks of imperial representations. Alexander the Great and Cleopatra can be admired here in silver, gold, and bronze.


(photo: Stefan F. Sämmer)HERBARIUM

The collection is growing and growing

The herbarium at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) is hardly known – although it includes a number of rare plants and fungi, some of which are still awaiting proper classification. In addition to the extensive array of fungi and plants native to the Rhineland-Palatinate region and gathered from the Mainz Sand Dunes nature reserve, there are also exotic specimens from Costa Rica and Rwanda. Dr. Gudrun Kadereit shows what the herbarium has in store.


Professor Dr. Stephan Goertz (photo: Stefan F. Sämmer)MORAL THEOLOGY

The Catholic Church under fire

The Catholic Church seems to be constantly in the headlines, but for all the wrong reasons. The controversies surrounding the morning-after pill, child abuse, and the employment rights of those working for the church are making waves. The atmosphere has become so charged that the situation is becoming increasingly radicalized. Professor Dr. Stephan Goertz, holder of the Chair of Moral Theology at the Faculty of Catholic Theology at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), has taken a stand.


MAINZ SCREENING CENTER

Discovering nature

Robots search for new drugs to fight cancer and Alzheimer's and analyze the effects of nanoparticles in humans: at the Mainz Screening Center, Professor Dr. Roland Stauber and his colleagues work in a whole range of fields. The Mainz Screening Center is at the hub of a widely distributed network consisting of a group of highly varied institutions.


High-altitude research aircraft Geophysica (photo: Stephan Borrmann)METEOROLOGY

Hunting down clouds in a spy jet

Two of the most important factors influencing climate events are still a mystery: The clouds and the aerosols in the Earth's upper atmosphere. Professor Dr. Stephan Borrmann is tracking them both down. A new, large-scale project is ready to start in the skies above India. The European Union is providing EUR 2.75 million in financial support.


(photo: Peter Pulkowski)ART AUCTION

A Warhol under the hammer

A group of 56 students staged a major auction at the Institute of Art History of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). Their fictitious auction houses, Phoenix and Galla, offered works ranging from Otto Dix and Salvador Dali to Andy Warhol and George Grosz – bringing in nearly EUR 6 million in bids from the public. A tremendous success, even if no real money changed hands.


Mussels of the genus Glycymeris from the Mainz Basin, ca. 30 million years old (photo: Peter Pulkowski) GEOSCIENTIFIC COLLECTIONS

Mollusks chronicle the climate

Mammoths and mussels, dragonflies and corals: the Paleontology Collection at the Institute of Geosciences at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) is incredibly diverse. What's missing is a proper curator. Because the million or so specimens in the collection are too much for anyone to manage on a part-time basis.


(photo: Stefan F. Sämmer)HYMNBOOK COLLECTION

4,000 litmus tests from history

The Hymnbook Archive of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) holds perhaps the world's most important collection of utilitarian Christian literature, making it an essential resource for scholars. Hymnbooks reflect history in a unique way. Professor Dr. Hermann Kurzke invites us to take a tour through the centuries.


(photo: Peter Pulkowski)SKILLS LAB

Future doctors practice for the real thing

At the Skills Lab of the Mainz University Medical Center students learn from fellow students what is often covered all too briefly in standard study programs. Whether it be intubation or catheter placement, ultrasound examinations or medical history-related aspects, the courses on offer are diverse and help fill gaps in the curriculum.


(photo: Peter Pulkowski)EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY

When ants stir up a rebellion

It has long been known that certain ants keep other ants as slaves. However, Professor Dr. Susanne Foitzik of the Institute of Zoology at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) has discovered that these slaves have what it takes to rebel. And she can explain how this ability has developed during the course of evolution.


(photo: Ivana Matic)ACADEMY OF ARTS

A place at dOCUMENTA (13)

Nine students from the Mainz Academy of Arts took part in the dOCUMENTA (13) exhibition. Professor Andrea Büttner was the driving force behind the initiative. She arranged that her students from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) were invited to serve as artistic assistants to Canadian Gareth Moore at one of the world's leading exhibitions of contemporary art.


(photo: Stefan F. Sämmer)STUDENT SERVICE CENTER

Calling the university hotline

The Student Service Hotline of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) is the first point of contact for anyone with questions about student life. Up to 1,500 calls are taken each day. JGU's hotline service was the first of its kind at a German university and now it celebrates its 10th anniversary.


US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

Most Germans would vote for Obama

Exactly one week before the final decision is reached in the US presidential election, the relative chances of success of Barack Obama and his Republication opponent, Mitt Romney, were discussed in the largest lecture hall on the campus of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). Germany would clearly vote for Obama – but what about the Americans?


AFRICAN MUSIC COLLECTION

African music from the basement

There are more than 10,000 recordings stored in the Department of Anthropology and African Studies at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). The African Music Archives (AMA) represents a unique treasure trove of African music. There are old shellac disks from Tanzania, LPs from Mali, and the latest CDs from Senegal. Archive Director Dr. Hauke Dorsch invites visitors on a tour of this diverse aural landscape.


Dr. Dr. Ilkan Ilhilic (photo: Peter Pulkowski)MEDICINE AND PHILOSOPHY

A Muslim, Turk, and Mainz resident on the German Ethics Council

His appointment has caused quite a stir: Dr. Dr. Ilhan Ilkilic of the Institute of the History, Philosophy, and Ethics of Medicine at the Mainz University Medical Center is the first Muslim on the German Ethics Council. In this capacity, he views himself as an intermediary between cultures and academic disciplines.


(photo: Peter Pulkowski)PRISON GROUP

Law students behind bars

The 'Prison Group' of the Department of Criminology, Juvenile Criminal Law, the Penal System, and Criminal Law of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) has a long history – and a successful one. Students get to experience what it is like behind bars, and prisoners on remand get to have contact with the outside.


(photo: Peter Pulkowski)SPORTS SCIENCE

The Olympic spirit has a home in Mainz

Professor Dr. Norbert Müller has played an important role in forming the modern image of the Olympics. He advises the International Olympic Committee in various posts, is initiating new projects, and has always been a passionate defender of the Olympic ideal, which he considers more important than all the medals.


HISTORIANS CONFERENCE

Of resources, conflicts, and the view of  Europe

3,500 participants, 400 speakers, 99 dedicated helpers on site and two years' preparation time: the 49th German Historikertag (German Historians Conference) at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) turned out to be a major event. For four days, one of the largest European conferences for humanities scholars focused on the topic of "Resources – Conflicts" and much more.


(photo: Uwe Feuerbach)IMAGINES III

Ancient mythology conquers modern culture

Dr. Irene Berti has no doubts: "The echoes of antiquity are everywhere as modern culture has stolen a lot from it. The past is still present." The scholars of the IMAGINES research network made this their focus at the "Magic and the Supernatural from the Ancient World" conference at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), where the subjects included sorceresses and zombies, mythical creatures and superheroes.


(photo: Nassim Boumaiza)INTERPRETER POOL

Students tear down language barriers

Those who need to make a visit to the authorities but are afraid that their German language skills are insufficient can now  turn to the interpreter pool in the Germersheim region. Thirty students of the Faculty of Translation Studies, Linguistics, and Cultural Studies at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) help during interviews with social services, the youth welfare office, and other government authorities. The interpreter pool was set up in early 2012; the Rhineland-Palatinate Commissioner for Integration will finance the project in 2013.


(photo: Stefan F. Sämmer)KITCHEN GARDEN

Traditional plants, newly grown

Mombacher Winter, Gonsenheimer Treib, and Hunsrücker fava bean – the Kitchen Garden on the premises of the Botanic Garden at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) has all these and many other rare agricultural crop plants and regional varieties that have been almost forgotten. An immense variety can be found on only 100 square meters, providing a number of surprises: flowering lettuce over here, and an onion watching the carrots over there.


(photo: Thomas Hartmann)INTERNATIONAL SUMMER COURSE

Learning in the land of freedom and narrow lanes

The German language is not difficult and it even can make fun to learn it – this is the motto promoted by Michaela Küper and her team. They welcomed 115 participants from 31 nations at this year's 64th International Summer Course at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), who were eager to discover not only the German language, but also the country.


(photo: Stefan F. Sämmer)SUMMER FESTIVAL

Discovering the Botanic Garden

On the hottest day of the year, the Botanic Garden of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) held its summer festival. Thousands came to inspect the grounds, attend concerts and the children's theater, meander between couscous and bratwurst, or rush to the popular plant bazaar.


(photo: Stefan F. Sämmer)CLIMATE

Finnish trees tell the story of 2,000 years of climate history

Over the past 2,000 years, the climate in northern Europe has cooled more than previously assumed. This is the conclusion drawn by an international group of researchers following the examination of the growth rings of fossilized pines from Finnish Lapland. Scientists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) also took part in this major project, most notably the climate geographer Professor Dr. Jan Esper.


(image/©: Campus Mainz e.V.)CAMPUS MAINZ

A portal to the wonderful world of the University

With its internet portal, the association Campus Mainz e.V. opens up new routes of communication at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). It gathers together information and helps with problems. But that's not all: The internet portal also wants to portray the campus in all its various aspects. There is a lot that can be discovered at www.campus-mainz.net with just a few clicks.


(photo: Peter Pulkowski)EURO CRISIS

Don't panic, we're still on course

The euro crisis is on everyone's lips and one disaster has hardly had to time to dissipate before the next arrives. Germany is putting up billions, Greece is still sinking despite bailout fund, Spain and Italy are teetering on the edge of the abyss, the financial markets are fluctuating between nervousness and hysteria. Mainz economist Professor Dr. Philipp Harms tries to remain objective in view of the situation.


(photo: Stefan F. Sämmer)NAT-LAB

Wearing white lab coats and discovering colors

The NaT-Lab school laboratory at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) has moved to its latest home in the Institute of Physical Chemistry's new building – just in time to undergo its first major field trial: For four days, pupils will be using it to track down dyes. By performing a range of experiments, they will gain completely different insights into chemistry, biology, and physics than they would during normal lessons.


(illustration/©: Institute of Geography, JGU)MIGRATION SURVEY

No gap between foreigners and Germans

It is no longer possible to clearly differentiate between foreigners and immigrants on the one hand and Germans on the other. These are the preliminary findings of the "Survey of Migration in Mainz" undertaken by the Institute of Geography and the Center for Intercultural Studies (ZIS) at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), in which hundreds of students participated.


(photo: Carola Lentz)BURKINA FASO AND GHANA

Archiving West African settlement history

Anthropologists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and Goethe University Frankfurt have documented an extensive record of the settlement history of more than 200 villages in Burkina Faso and Ghana that had previously only been handed down in oral form. The researchers' findings have been presented to the National Archives of Burkina Faso where they represent an important contribution to the long-term preservation of this country's intangible cultural heritage.


(photo: Frank Erdnüß)SPONGES

On the trail of an ancient survivor

Sponges have a lot to relate: And Mainz molecular biologist Professor Dr. Werner E. G. Müller has been showing the world exactly what they have to tell us over the past few decades. In an interview he talks about this long underestimated organism, its significance to research, and its potential to help people in so many different ways.


(photo: Stefan F. Sämmer)SOCCER AND FANS

Mainz 05 reinvents itself as a carnival club

What form does regional identity take in an increasingly globalized world? This was the subject of the inaugural lecture of cultural anthropologist Dr. Christina Niem. Her talk was entitled "Regional representation or competing regional identities? Two Rhineland-Palatinate Bundesliga soccer teams in comparison", and she used it to provide an analysis of 1. FSV Mainz 05, 1. FC Kaiserslautern, and their fan clubs.


(photo: Peter Pulkowski) CLASSICAL ARCHEOLOGY COLLECTIONS

The action cinema of the ancient world

Powerful ancient masterpieces, detailed paintings on Greek ceramic vessels, and much more are on offer in the cast and original collections of Classical Archaeology division at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). Not only teaching staff but also students are involved with the collections. They jointly develop design concepts and organize exhibitions.


(photo: Peter Pulkowski)ENDOWED PROFESSORSHIP 2012

"Can it really be called academic research?"

Friedemann Schrenk, the 13th scholar to hold the Johannes Gutenberg Endowed Professorship, often seems to stray from the normal path. The paleoanthropologist demonstrated this ability once again in his final "Out of Africa" lecture. Moving from fossilized teeth through racist thinkers and genetic findings, he ended up by encouraging people to become members of the Friends of Mainz University association.


(photo: Andreas Linsenmann)HANDBOOK

A state with big differences

The first handbook of the history of Rhineland-Palatinate is now available. There has not been a book like this before and the 40 authors who worked on it have charted new territory. Co-publishers Professor Dr. Michael Kißener, Professor for Contemporary History at Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz (JGU), and Dr. Pia Nordblom, coordinator of the handbook project at JGU, talk about the challenges they faced in the momentous project.


(photo: Stefan F. Sämmer)DIES ACADEMICUS 2012

Outstanding young researchers and forgotten collections

On its Dies academicus, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) celebrates its young researchers. 14 outstanding dissertations were honored this year. In his ceremonial address, Dr. Andreas Brandtner, Director of the University Library, dealt with a topic that has come back into style after being long ignored: university collections.


(photo: Peter Pulkowski)ENDOWED PROFESSORSHIP 2012

The story of the continent with no history  

The cradle of humanity is in Africa, yet the continent is still considered by many to have no history. It is the intention of Professor Dr. Andreas Eckert to change this preconception. Gutenberg Endowed Professor Friedemann Schrenk invited him to rectify this distorted image of Africa in the lecture series "Out of Africa: The Global History of Homo Sapiens".


(photo: Volker Faust / Jürgen Hofmann)J.P. MORGAN CORPORATE CHALLENGE

JGU runs in Frankfurt

A team captain, two photographers, 28 runners, and the motto "The Gutenberg Spirit: Moving Minds – Crossing Boundaries" – this is how JGU presented itself at this year's J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge event in Frankfurt am Main.


(photo: Stefan F. Sämmer)ECONOMIC PLANTS

Renewable resources

The magic word that promises to facilitate energy transition is "renewable resources". They seem like the perfect solution: environmentally neutral, versatile, and constantly replenishing themselves. But are they really a panacea? Dr. Ralf Omlor, custodian of the Botanic Garden at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), is using the occasion of the "Renewable Resources – Plants, Products, Perspectives" Week to put his case that we need to take a more critical approach to this complex aspect.


(photo: Nadine Dalheimer) GEOSCIENTIFIC COLLECTIONS

Immortal minerals

The Mineralogical Collection of the Institute of Geosciences is housed in a simple room with 60s charm. Here, rubies, emeralds, gold, and much more sparkle in plain glass cabinets. Professor Dr. Wolfgang Hofmeister guards these treasures and is responsible for adding new items – sometimes even vaporizing a diamond in the service of science.


(photo: Peter Pulkowski)ENDOWED PROFESSORSHIP 2012

Meave Leakey encounters relatives in Mainz

The famous British paleoanthropologist Meave Leakey came to Mainz at the invitation of Professor Friedemann Schrenk, holder of the 2012 Gutenberg Endowed Professorship. She gave a lecture at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in which she reviewed six million years of human history. But before that, she met with her ancestors in the Mainz Museum of Natural History.


(© N'Socialist Soundsystem)MUSICOLOGY

Right-wing extremism breaks into new music genres

The 'white power' rock bands that emerged in the 1980s are now a thing of the past. Neo-Nazi-inspired strains are moving on to conquer whole new  swathes of different styles of music. And this is a development that Dr. Thorsten Hindrichs of the Institute of Musicology at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) finds extremely worrying. In his view, a broad-based collective approach is necessary to counteract this trend.


(Foto: Peter Pulkowski)GERMAN ASSOCIATION FOR AMERICAN STUDIES

Siri Hustvedt deplores categorization

She read from her books and tirelessly discussed and debated with experts from various disciplines. The famous US-American author Siri Hustvedt was the star guest of the  59th annual conference of the German Association for American Studies at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). However, she was not the only one with something to say to the more than 300 guests from around the world. Seventy-six speakers gave presentations on the conference theme "American Lives."


(photo: Thomas Hartmann)NEW BUILDING

A new home for excellent research

The Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) is a new center for life sciences on the campus of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). The Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation is providing EUR 100 million over 10 years in support for running the project, while the state of Rhineland-Palatinate is financing the institute's construction and building. In a special tour given for the JGU MAGAZINE, Dr. Bernhard Korn, Director of Scientific Core Facilities and Technology, highlights the work completed to date.


(photo: Peter Pulkowski)ENDOWED PROFESSORSHIP 2012

And sometimes a ball hits the museum walls

African museums are no longer just repositories for dusty exhibits. Instead, they have become melting pots for society, where people discuss politics, continue their education, or play sports. Three experts discussed this development at the invitation of Gutenberg Endowed Professor Friedemann Schrenk.


(Foto/©: SUNA)A CAPPELLA

EURO 2012 in their hearts, summer on their minds

Five students at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) are making a musical contribution to the European Football Championship 2012. As the a capella group So! ... und nicht anders, they sing about winning the championship and have made a quirky video that even professional footballers could learn from. In the interview, they talk about friendship, fans, and the art of making music simple.


(photo: Peter Pulkowski)INNOVATIVE TEACHING PROJECT

From container ship to artwork

The light and sound installation "resonate" was a huge success at the Frankfurt Luminale. Approximately 2,000 visitors a day came to see the container ship transformed into a work of art. The project was made possible through a joint project of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and Mainz University of Applied Sciences (MUAS). Students from the design faculty collaborated with Kaspar König of the School of Music.


(photo: Max Frömling)POETRY

One poet, six translators

He is famed in Chile, yet rather unknown in Germany, although Raúl Zurita is one of the most important figures in Latin American literature. Six women – three students and three instructors – from the Faculty of Translation Studies, Linguistics, and Cultural Studies (FTSK) at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) have now opened a gateway to his writing for German readers: They translated selected works by the poet.


(photo: Peter Pulkowski)PLAGIARISM

German ministers are not the only ones who have problems with plagiarism

On May 30th, the University Library (UB) of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) will be playing host to a conference with experts which is dedicated to a very topical subject: "Plagiate & Co – Wissenschaftliches Fehlverhalten ist (k)ein Kavaliersdelikt" ("Plagiarism and other transgressions – Academic misconduct is (not) a trivial offense"). Prior to this, UB director Dr. Andreas Brandtner talks about the nature of plagiarism and the objectives of the conference.


(illustration: Musical Inc.)MUSICAL

Spring awakes with strong voice power

This June, the association Musical Inc. will be performing their version of the hit Broadway musical "Spring Awakening" on the campus of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). A public rehearsal gave a foretaste.


(photo: Stefan F. Sämmer)ETHNOGRAPHIC COLLECTION

Bronze head tells a tale of African culture and European plunderers

The Ethnographic Collection of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) is tucked away in the basement of the Forum universitatis. The more than 3,200 objects not only tell the stories of foreign cultures but also reveal just as much about the culture of European collectors over the past century. Custodian Dr. Anna-Maria Brandstetter provides insight into this treasure trove.


(photo: Stefan F. Sämmer)LITERATURE

Writing about 9/11

"Ground Zero Fiction: History, Memory, and Representation in the American 9/11 Novel" is a 500-page analysis of American novels dealing with the events of September 11 written by Birgit Däwes, Junior Professor of North American Studies at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). The book has been awarded the American Studies Network Book Prize for 2012.


(photo: private)NIGERIA

From war in Biafra to the conflict in the Niger Delta

Professor Edlyne Anugwom of the Department of Anthropology and African Studies at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) is working on a project entitled "From Biafra to the Niger Delta Conflict: Memory, Ethnicity, and the State in Nigeria". We asked him to talk about his country, which is suffering not just from the current conflict but also, it seems, from denial of the past as well.


(photo: Uwe Feuerbach)JGU ALUMNA

University and children go well together

To German TV viewers, she is better known as "Super Nanny". Katia Saalfrank got great ratings but also garnered a lot of criticism. Before commencing her TV career, she studied education at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). It was not easy for the mother of four children; she always had to work hard to combine looking after a family with her university course. At the invitation of the Office of Gender Affairs and Equal Opportunity, this graduate of JGU came to Mainz to speak about how she managed it.


(photo: Peter Pulkowski)GIRS' DAY

Girls can do everything

190 schoolgirls came to the 10th Girls' Day at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). Under the motto "Science is Exciting", they built computers, discovered the chemistry of colors, and solved tricky crimes. The mentors of the Ada Lovelace Project (ALP) were there to advise and guide them.


(photo: Peter Pulkowski)ENDOWED PROFESSORSHIP 2012

The search for the "missing link" is called off

The evolution of mankind did not begin with a bigger brain, it began with the upright gait. As curtain raiser to his lecture series "Out of Africa: Zur Globalgeschichte des Homo sapiens" ("Out of Africa: On the global history of Homo sapiens"), Professor Dr. Friedemann Schrenk, the 13th holder of the Johannes Gutenberg Endowed Professorship, takes his audience back to the roots of humanity.


(photo: Peter Pulkowski)SOCIAL MEDIA

Privacy is just an illusion

From party photos to relationship status to sexual orientation – self-disclosure in the social web has become part of our everyday lives. But, users rarely make distinctions between good friends, acquaintances or workmates when posting private information. As a result, the 'private sphere' is disappearing. Dr. Leonard Reinecke, Junior Professor at the Institute of Media and Communication Studies at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), has been looking closely at this trend; how are users of social network platforms like Facebook dealing with this problem of self-disclosure and the protection of their private sphere?


(photo: Peter Pulkowski)ARS LEGENDI PRIZE 2012

One man gets excited about tiresome teaching

Mass universities need to place greater emphasis on teaching, says Dr. Malte Persike from the Institute of Psychology at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). He has just been awarded the Ars legendi Prize for Excellence in University Teaching from the German Rectors' Conference and the Donors' Association for the Promotion of Sciences and Humanities in Germany – even though he teaches a subject that most of his students dread: Psychological methodology


Professor Günter Meyer (photo: Peter Pulkowski) SYRIA

"I have never experienced such a mode of disinformation before"

Günter Meyer is a popular interview partner when the crisis in Syria is the subject. Media representatives arrive in droves to talk with the professor, who works at the Institute of Geography at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). The expert on the Middle East is trying to correct the picture being propagated by mainstream journalism with its excessive bias in favor of the opposition.


(Foto: Peter Pulkowski)SURVEY

Germans spend EUR 103 billion on sport

Sport is dear to German hearts, but before Holger Preuß conducted his study nobody had any idea just how dear it is. The professor of Sports Sociology and Sports Business Administration at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) presents figures that provide impressive proof of the economic impact of sport: Germans spend at least EUR 103 billion on sport every year.


(photo: Peter Pulkowski)BIOLOGY

A molecule folds itself into a solar sail

Professor Dr. Harald Paulsen and his team are researching the characteristics of the light-harvesting protein LHCII. The protein and its unusual self-organization skills have fascinated biologists for twenty years. It plays an important role in photosynthesis and may one day majorly increase the efficiency of solar cells.


(photo: private)SCHOOL OF MUSIC

Straight from university to the opera stage

In 1988, the famous mezzo-soprano Claudia Eder brought a breath of fresh air to the School of Music at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). Appointed to a professorship, the singer was able to combine study and practice in a unique way. Her concept continues to be very successful and she now has many imitators.


(photo: Peter Pulkowski)FUKUSHIMA

The media fueled fears while experts went unheard

What happened a year ago in Fukushima? What role did the media play concerning safety assessment? What are the risks of nuclear power? Dr. Gabriele Hampel, operating manager of the research reactor TRIGA of the Institute of Nuclear Chemistry at JGU, advocates an objective discussion about questions such as these. She sees the symposium "Radiation Protection - A Year after Fukushima" as a step in the right direction.


(photo: Harald Schleicher)VIDEO INSTALLATION

Six years of filming on the river

The video installation 'fliozan' invites visitors to lose themselves in the fascinating network of German riverscapes. It took six years for Professor Dr. Harald Schleicher of the Academy of Arts at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) to complete this monumental project. It is now on display in Duisburg.


(photo: Peter Pulkowski)NATIVE AND INDIGENOUS STUDIES

Winnetou under scrutiny

Professor Dr. Mita Banerjee's research focuses on indigenous peoples. She studies how Maori, Inuits, Aborigines, and American Indians live in contemporary society. The North American Studies specialist challenges stereotypes and combines diverse academic disciplines in her projects.


(photo: Peter Pulkowski)APPRENTICESHIP

University trains first-class mechanics

Everybody knows that you go to university for studying. But who knew that Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) is also the largest vocational training institution in the region? The workshop at the Institute of Physics has now modernized its training facilities for precision machinists and presented its new CNC machines.


(photo: campus digital)PHOTOGRAPHY

Images of an unfamiliar university

Under the name 'campus digital', five experienced amateur photographers have taken it upon themselves to capture as many facets of the university as possible on film. The group puts on a new exhibition every six months. Their latest show, 'laboratories’, has just opened.


(photo: Peter Pulkowski)JOURNAL OF UNSOLVED QUESTIONS

Failures fuel science

Leonie Mück and Thomas Jagau found they were meeting a previously unexpected need when they started their "Journal of Unsolved Questions" in 2011. The two doctoral candidates at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) were surprised by the positive response that their journal elicited from all sides. Even though the interest in the publication is still considerable, the future of their "Journal of Unsolved Questions" remains uncertain.


(photo: Stefan F. Sämmer)DOPING IN MASS SPORTS

Drugs testing is only a band-aid

Professor Dr. Dr. Perikles Simon has caused a stir with his method for detecting gene doping: He and his colleagues have succeeded in doing what was previously thought impossible. When it comes to headlines, this kind of research is exactly what the media love. However, in an interview, the head of the Sports Medicine, Prevention and Rehabilitation division at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) tends to take a rather different view.


(photo: Stefan F. Sämmer)GENIZA PROJECT WEISENAU

A treasure chest of everyday Jewish life in the 18th century

The geniza of the old synagogue in Weisenau provides an in-depth look at the culture and everyday life of this old Jewish community. Professor Dr. Andreas Lehnardt of the Faculty of Protestant Theology at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) has spent the last two and a half years carefully combing through this legacy from the 18th and 19th centuries. In the process, some very unique items have been discovered.


(photo: Peter Pulkowski)BOTANIC GARDEN

Jesus didn't know of chocolate

The Green School at the Botanic Garden of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) is not yet two years old but it has already established itself as a popular educational institution for young and old alike. Some 4,700 visitors came in 2011. UNESCO, the German federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, and the Chamber of Architects have also honored this exceptional institution.


(photo: Stefan F. Sämmer)JGU SERVICE

Record turnout for the Student Paper Info Night

The number of students who attended the first-ever Student Paper Info Night at the University Library of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) was much larger than expected. Director Dr. Andreas Brandtner was highly pleased with the enthusiastic student response to this event.


JGU IDEA COMPETITION

Gutenberg's types move around the world

A special kind of world map, a photo gallery of JGU history, and a wall sculpture - these are the winning ideas developed by members of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) to embody the motto of its Institutional Strategy "THE GUTENBERG SPIRIT. Moving Minds – Crossing Boundaries."


(photo: Peter Pulkowski)TRANSLATION STUDIES

The trials of becoming a good interpreter

Dörte Andres is Professor of Translation Studies at  the Germersheim location of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). Her field of research is still young and the professorship she holds was created only a short time ago. She talks about the challenges presented by the course and about the many facets of her subject.


(photo: Sascha Katanic)TEACHING EXCELLENCE

Poetry for all the senses

In the Mainz LyricsLab, poems emerge as multimedia experiences. Poetry is seen and heard, sometimes even smelled and tasted. This unusual teaching project began in 2011. In it, students at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) and the University of Applied Sciences Mainz work together to cast lyrics in new forms.


(photo: Stefan F. Sämmer)HISTORICAL LINGUISTICS

The landscape of surnames

As Professor of Historical Linguistics at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), Damaris Nübling's special interest is the development of the German language from its first documented form as Old High German, dating to around 800 AD, to contemporary German. Her current projects are witness to the fact that historical linguistics is actually anything but a drab and dry-as-dust discipline. Currently she is investigating the morphology of surnames in Germany.  


(photo: Stefan F. Sämmer)PARTICLE PHYSICS

Higgs boson electrifies Mainz physicists

Matthias Neubert and his team are elated since scientists at Geneva's CERN research center found the first indications of the existence of the Higgs boson. This is the last building block missing from the standard model of physics. The head of the Theoretical Elementary Particle Physics unit at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) now expects his area of research to take off.


(photo: Stefan F. Sämmer)DIAGNOSTICS

Evaluating cirrhosis 'live' and accurately at the cellular level

Detlef Schuppan and his colleagues are developing a revolutionary method that will make it possible to evaluate the progress of fibrosis and cirrhosis at the cellular level and to even view the effects. For this work, the physician and chemist has been awarded the most highly endowed research grant of the European Union, the ERC Advanced Grant.


(photo: Stefan F. Sämmer)GENERAL STUDIES

IFuL tempts students to think outside the box

The integration of the General Studies program in the new Bachelor's and Master's degree courses at Mainz University is in full swing. The interdisciplinary Research and Instruction (IFuL) Department has designed its courses to encourage students to move outside their individual subject to question their own methods and learn about other working methods.


(photo: Peter Pulkowski)ECONOMIC EXPERTISE

The euro area needs a redemption pact

Beatrice Weder di Mauro presented the Annual Report of the five-member German Council of Economic Experts at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). This council, which has included Weder di Mauro since 2004, is suggesting a redemption pact for the euro area as a way out of the current crisis.


(photo: Volker Weihbold, OÖ Nachrichten)ENDOWED PROFESSORSHIP 2012

All humans come from Africa

Friedemann Schrenk is the 13th scholar to hold the Johannes Gutenberg Endowed Professorship. His lecture series on paleo-anthropology for the summer semester 2012 will focus on the evolution of human beings. Under the title "Out of Africa: The Global History of Homo Sapiens" he wants to look at the spatial, biological and cultural connections that have led to the human beings of today.