NRW Academy Welcomes Two New Members from the University of Bonn

The North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts welcomed 10 new members at its annual ceremony. The new recruits include two from the University of Bonn: the soil scientist Professor Wulf Amelung and the computer scientist Professor Stefan Wrobel, who is also Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems (IAIS). The four women and six men are united by exceptional research work and creative excellence in their area of expertise. 

Organic farming leads to adaptations in the genetic material in plants

Plants adapt genetically over time to the special conditions of organic farming. This has been demonstrated in a long-term study conducted at the University of Bonn. The researchers planted barley plants on two neighboring fields and used conventional farming methods on one and organic methods on the other. Over the course of more than 20 years, the organic barley was enriched with specific genetic material that differed from the comparative culture. Among other things, the results demonstrate how important it is to cultivate varieties especially for organic farming. The results have now been published in the journal “Agronomy for Sustainable Development.”

Uljana Wolf Named New Thomas Kling Lecturer in Poetry at the University of Bonn

Uljana Wolf has been appointed the 13th Thomas Kling Lecturer in Poetry at the University of Bonn and will hold her inaugural public lecture, entitled “Ferngespräche mit Muttersprache”, in the University of Bonn’s Grand Hall at 7 pm on Monday, May 13, 2024. The poet and translator from Berlin is regarded as one of the most significant and distinctive poets of her generation, and her works have won multiple awards.

University of Bonn’s Internationalization Strategy Recognized

How much progress has the University of Bonn already made with internationalization, and where is there still room for improvement? The University asked itself these questions for the first time in 2017 when it passed the “Internationalization of Universities” audit organized by the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK). The University’s Rector Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Michael Hoch and its Vice Rector for International Affairs, Prof. Dr. Birgit Ulrike Münch, received a certificate from the HRK earlier today confirming its successful completion of the re-audit. The implementation of around 140 action points has been discussed, supported and evaluated together with experts from the HRK between 2018 and 2024, with a very positive outcome.

Daniel Boyarin (Berkeley) at the University of Bonn

Prof. Dr. Daniel Boyarin is Hermann P. and Sophia Taubman Professor Emeritus of Talmudic Culture at the University of California, Berkeley. The philosopher and scholar of literature, language and religion will visit the University of Bonn between May 14 and 15 2024; he will give a lecture with the title “Towards a Poetic of Midrash: Skepticism and the Reading of Torah”, on Wednesday May 15, from 11 am to 1 pm. The day before, Professor Boyarin will hold a workshop for students and members of the teaching staff. Both English-language events have been organized in cooperation between the Faculty of Catholic Theology at the University of Bonn and the Luxembourg School of Religion & Society. 

Computer Science Students Design AI Applications for Research

BNTrAinee, a project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and based at the University of Bonn, is developing AI-supported answers to specific research questions and is forging links between the University’s computer science teams and all manner of other subjects. This collaboration is now beginning to bear fruit, with computer science students joining forces with historians to create an algorithm that can help analyze old newspaper articles.

“Virtual Brain Twin” Project Launch

Mental health is an increasingly important public health issue in the European Union. Effective treatment options are in greater demand today than ever before. Roughly one percent of the world’s population suffers from schizophrenia, and the limitations of current medicine are apparent in that 30–50% of patients do not properly respond to the available medication. This is where the four-year Virtual Brain Twin project comes in, backed by roughly €10 million in European Union funding. The University of Bonn Center for Life Ethics is a project member, serving as a review instance of attendant ethical questions. The project kick-off meeting was just held in Brussels. 

AI to Make Crop Production More Sustainable

Drones monitoring fields for weeds and robots targeting and treating crop diseases may sound like science fiction but is actually happening already, at least on some experimental farms. Researchers from the PhenoRob Cluster of Excellence at the University of Bonn are working on driving forward the smart digitalization of agriculture and have now published a list of the research questions that will need to be tackled as a priority in the future. Their paper has appeared in the “European Journal of Agronomy.”

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