BI.research, Bielefeld University’s research magazine, reports on the University’s academic foci in a generally understandable manner. It is aimed at academics as well as journalists, at current and former members of the University as well as at decision-makers in politics, business, academia, and administration.
This bilingual German-English magazine appears twice a year.
Individualization is one of the hallmarks of our society. However, it is not just people who need to decide and act independently. Animals also develop individual characteristics while being dependent on the conditions of their environment. The Transregional Collaborative Research Centre NC³ (CRC/TRR 212) of the universities of Bielefeld and Münster has been providing findings on this since 2018. Academics from the two universities have founded a new institute—the JICE—that follows on from the work of the Collaborative Research Centre. Read in this dossier how individualization permeates the lives of humans and animals. The Bielefeld University is to have five Collaborative Research Centres (CRCs) in future. Two CRCs are being extended and a CRC applied for by the universities of Bielefeld and Paderborn has also been added. More on this from page 29. The care of people with disabilities and chronic illnesses is the focus of six regional research projects funded by our university’s Medical Research Start-up Fund. Starting on page 58, we report on the innovative approaches the projects are pursuing.
Where are the democratic states on the American double continent heading? This question applies not only to the USA—in view of the presidential election in November 2020 for instance—but also to Brazil, for example, which is led by a right-wing government. Read the dossier in the new issue to find out what developments Bielefeld academics have been observing in the democracies of the Americas and what research they are carrying out on this and related topics at the Center for InterAmerican Studies (CIAS). This issue also deals with the future question: ‘What will electronics be made of in the future?’ (page 32). You will learn which business idea transformed a start-up from Bielefeld University into an internationally sought-after company (page 36). What challenges are associated with the digitalization of medicine? Professor Dr med. Sebastian Kuhn explains this in our section ‘The Big Picture’ (page 52). Kuhn has been setting up his new Digital Medicine working group at Bielefeld University’s Medical School OWL since October.
The Coronavirus, the pandemic and its Consequences: How Bielefeld researchers deal with these topics is the subject of the dossier in the new issue of the BI.research magazine. In this issue, we also deal with the question of the future ‘How can green technologies come out on top?’ In our feature section, we highlight a project with Bielefeld’s Laborschule (page 36). At the experimental school, children from pre-school age onwards experience democracy in a miniature community. We introduce you to Bielefeld anthropologist Professor Dr Minh Nguyen (page 44). She has received an ERC Starting Grant from the European Research Council. In our section ‘The Big Picture’, we focus on refugees and their accommodation.
BI.research deals with the topic of Bielefeld University’s anniversary conference. In the dossier of this magazine, we examine the central question of the conference: have the great theories become obsolete in the face of Big Data? In this issue, we also deal with the question of the future: ‘What happens when algorithms predict the future?’ We feature a study on birds of prey that has been going on for 30 years. And we introduce you to Humboldt professor and mathematician Professor Dr William Crawley-Boevey. Finally, in our section ‘The Big Picture’, we focus on the topic of ageing.