Press releases
Zentrum für Versöhnungsforschung ceremonially opened

Covid-19, climate change, populism, and not least the Ukraine war make the question of how and whether reconciliation is possible highly topical and relevant. The new Bonner Zentrum für Versöhnungsforschung (Center for Reconciliation Research) at the University of Bonn bundles research on this topic in cooperation with partner organizations. The center’s aim is to analyze reconciliation practices in an interdisciplinary and comparative way looking at different cultural, social and regional contexts. The center has now been ceremoniously opened in the University's Festsaal.

Launch of the Zentrum für Versöhnungsforschung

Covid-19, climate change, populism, and not least the Ukraine war make the question of how and whether reconciliation is possible highly topical and relevant. The new Bonner Zentrum für Versöhnungsforschung (Center for Reconciliation Research) at the University of Bonn bundles research on this topic in cooperation with partner organizations. The center’s aim is to analyze reconciliation practices in an interdisciplinary and comparative way looking at different cultural, social and regional contexts. The official opening will take place on June 22 at 6:30 pm in the Festsaal of the University of Bonn. The opening lecture will be given by Prof. Dr. Moshe Zimmermann from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Journalists are invited to attend the event. Registration is requested at vforum@unibonn.de.

Wilhelm Weber Prize for Christiane Woopen

Ethicist Prof. Dr. Christiane Woopen of the University of Bonn received this year's Wilhelm Weber Award in Dortmund for her many years of social commitment. The prize, named after the theologian and social scientist Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Weber (1925-1983), is awarded for "special services in the spirit of Catholic social ethics." During a ceremony at the Kommende Dortmund, the social institute of the archdiocese of Paderborn, former federal constitutional judge Prof. Dr. Paul Kirchhof gave the laudatory speech for the prize winner.

Opening of new Center for Comparative Theology

To promote the worldwide dialogue of theologies of different religions among themselves, but also to network with other disciplines - that is the goal of the newly founded International Center for Comparative Theology and Social Issues (CTSI) at the University of Bonn. The official opening of the Center will now take place on May 4 at 10 a.m. in the Festsaal (main building) of the University. Words of welcome will be given by Lord Mayor Katja Dörner, Rector Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Michael Hoch and Auxiliary Bishop Rolf Steinhäuser. Media representatives and all other interested persons are invited to attend the opening event. Registration is requested: lwiesenh@uni-bonn.de.

Smart consumer laws for smart technologies

Smartphones, tablets and wearables that measure step counts or calorie consumption, for example, have become an integral part of many people's everyday lives. All these devices are part of the Internet of Things - a socio-technological reality that is increasingly becoming the focus of legislation. In a new project, researchers from the Universities of Bonn, Osnabrück, Stirling and Warwick (both UK) investigate how consumers can be better protected when using smart devices. The project, which has been described by the German Research Foundation (DFG) as "world leading", is scheduled to run for three years and has a total funding volume of around 650,000 euros.

New memorial plaque commemorates Jewish elementary school

The site of the present-day Department of Law used to be home to a Jewish school from 1934 onward. Its children and teachers were ostracized, deported and murdered during the Third Reich. Only one pupil lived to see 1945. A plaque now commemorates the achievements of the school and its principal Hans-Herbert Hammerstein.

How is Artificial Intelligence Changing Science?

How do artificial intelligence (AI) technologies affect the sciences? This question is being investigated by researchers at the University of Bonn, working in the field of media studies, together with the University of Vienna and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. The Volkswagen Foundation is funding the project with 1.4 million euros over the next four years through its „Artificial Intelligence and the Society of the Future“ initiative.

Sustainable AI Lab officially opened

Now the Sustainable AI Lab at the University of Bonn is officially launched being a space for excellent researchers from different fields to work, collaborate, and brainstorm about the environmental, social, and economic costs of designing, developing, and using AI across society.

Next round for two Collaborative Research Centres

Great success for two research collaborations at the University of Bonn: The Collaborative Research Centre Transregio (CRC-TRR) 224 "Economic Perspectives on Societal Challenges" and the CRC-TRR 228 "Future in Rural Africa" have convinced with their research work of the past four years. The German Research Foundation (DFG) is therefore funding both collaborations for a further funding period with several million euros each. In the CRC-TRR 224 project, scientists from the Universities of Bonn and Mannheim are jointly opening up economic perspectives on social challenges. The CRC-TRR 228 project brings together researchers from the Universities of Bonn and Cologne, the Bonn International Centre for Conflict Studies (BICC) and the German Development Institute (DIE) to work on shaping the future of rural Africa.

University of Bonn recruits top-class researchers

Renowned reinforcement for the University of Bonn: With the first "High profile" professorships financed by excellence funds, three top-class scientific personalities join the University of Excellence to open up new fields of research and to provide important impulses in various disciplines. Ethicist Prof. Dr. Christiane Woopen takes up a so-called Hertz Professorship today (October 1), while agricultural economist Prof. Dr. Matin Qaim and Catholic theologian Prof. Dr. Klaus von Stosch fill so-called Schlegel Professorships. The three professors were officially appointed at a reception in the Rector's Office.

Online conference: Sovereignty at the End?

The dynamics and consequences of techno-political disputes, which in the global information age affect all political levels, will be discussed at the international online conference "Digital Fragmentations and Digital Sovereignty" on September 17 and 18. The Transdisciplinary Research Area “Individuals, Institutions and Societies” (TRA 4) and the Center for Advanced Security, Strategic and Integration Studies (CASSIS) at the University of Bonn have invited experts from Europe, the U.S. and China.

Social norms influence willingness to protect the climate

People contribute only very little to climate protection, because they underestimate the willingness of others to contribute. This is the central result of a new study by the behavioural economists Peter Andre, Teodora Boneva, Felix Chopra and Armin Falk, members of the Cluster of Excellence ECONtribute at the Universities of Bonn and Cologne, published as an “ECONtribute Discussion Paper”.

World's first conference on Sustainable AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) can be an important tool for sustainable development to minimize energy usage in large factories or to predict natural disasters before they happen. However, these uses can also have a social and ethical downside. For example, training and tuning AI models produces carbon emissions that harm the environment. Or there are power asymmetries between people when not everyone gets access to the technology. At the world's first conference on the sustainability of artificial intelligence, researchers will discuss environmental, social and economic costs of designing, developing, and using AI from June 15 to 17. The virtual conference is launched by AI ethicist Prof. Aimee van Wynsberghe, Humboldt Professor at the University of Bonn. The conference is supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Institute for Science and Ethics at the University of Bonn.

Robot ethicist will join the University of Bonn

Living and working with robots changes people. How can artificial intelligence (AI) be innovative and respect social values at the same time? In the future, one of the world's leading experts in the field of robot ethics will be conducting research on these questions at the University of Bonn. Prof. Aimee van Wynsberghe has been selected by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation for a Humboldt Professorship and will receive EUR 3.5 million—the highest endowed research prize in Germany intended to attract renowned scientists from abroad to carry out long-term research at German universities. Aimee van Wynsberghe comes from the Technical University of Delft (Netherlands) and plans to begin her work at the University of Bonn on February 1, 2021.

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