Archiv der Kategorie: Academia

16|03|14: For Helmut Veith (1971-2016)

“I have this idea”

My friend Helmut Veith passed away on Saturday, 12 March 2016, from the effects of a pulmonary embolism after an operation on his leg. He was 45 years old. Helmut is survived by his wife Anna, their son Nikita, and his mother Herta. Our thoughts are with them. I leave it to others to honour his pioneering achievements in the field of computer science. With this text I intend to recognize his outstanding abilities as science communicator. Weiterlesen

16|02|12: Turning Vienna into a City of Science

Known to the world as a metropolis of music, Vienna’s scientific research does not receive the international recognition it deserves. Changing this would require a new mindset, Pavel Kabat (IIASA) and Thomas Henzinger (IST Austria) agree when I interviewed them on January 7, 2016, for the Ball Magazine 2016.


16|02|09: Vom Wiener Kreis zur Science City

Ein Auszug aus dem Ballmagazin 2016 des Wiener Balls der Wissenschaften am 30. Jänner 2016; zum kompletten Ballmagazin geht es hier entlang. In dem von mir initiierten Gespräch diskutierten am 14. Jänner 2016 der Wiener Bürgermeister Michael Häupl und der Wissenschaftshistoriker Friedrich Stadler die Kontakt- und die Reibungsflächen von Politik und Wissenschaft – und was sich aus dem Wiener Kreis der Zwischenkriegszeit für die Gegenwart lernen lässt. Schauplatz des Gesprächs war das Büro des Bürgermeisters im Wiener Rathaus.


15|11|03: Infectious Diseases as Metaphor

Bildschirmfoto 2015-10-29 um 16.51.12

Viktor Orbán 1989: a master of metaphor in the making / YouTube screenshot

Invited speech at the panel on „Communication of Infectious Diseases“ given at the second European Conference of Science Journalists in Budapest on 3 November 2015 at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. The conference was part of the World Science Forum held in Budapest from 4 to 7 November 2015, hosted by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in partnership with UNESCO, ICSU, AAAS, TWAS and EASAC. Weiterlesen

15|10|07: Jan Velterop on peer review

Jan and I with (in my case) an undeserved halo. Photo: M. Holl

Jan and I with (in my case) an undeserved halo. Photo: M. Holl

Yesterday I had the honour to host Jan Velterop at IST Austria. Jan is a pioneer of the open access movement which he initiated with others in the late 1990s. In his talk at IST Austria Jan focussed on the value of peer review which, according to Jan, as practiced by the publishing industry today is a slow, expensive, unreliable, high variable, ineffective, arbitrary, anonymous process that undermines scientific skepticism, puts careerism before science, and is confirmation-biased. In order to make it more reliable and transparent and much cheaper to the scientific community, Jan proposed “peer review by endorsement”, arguing for a strict separation of the reviewing and publishing processes. While scientists should do the reviewing under their own names in the pre-publish phase using archives, the publishers should restrict themselves to the production phase, publishing scientific literature found worthwhile by the scientists. Weiterlesen

15|09|20: The Open University and I

Last Friday afternoon I, together with 410 other graduates, attended the graduation ceremony of the Open University in London. In the course of an inspiring and at times moving ceremony I received the degree of a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities First Class. This was an extraordinary and memorable event and I thank all my loved ones who supported me during my study and especially on Friday at the Barbican Centre. (For comic relief see images.) Weiterlesen

15|05|19: Der Wiener Kreis

Am Dienstag, den 19. Mai, moderiere ich im Hauptgebäude der Uni Wien die Eröffnung der Ausstellung „Der Wiener Kreis“. Der Untertitel der von Friedrich Stadler und Karl Sigmund kuratierten Schau fasst den Ungeist der Epoche und die Ambition der Runde treffend zusammen: „Exaktes Denken am Rand des Untergangs“.  Weiterlesen

14|09|04: Round table „Gender Matters in Research“

74c912dff2Hosting a round table on „Gender Matters in Research Funding“ on September 4, 13.30-15.00, in the spectacular Kuppelsaal of the TU Wien (Karlsplatz 13). The event is part of the 8th European Conference on Gender Equality in Higher Education, hosted by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy and organised by the Vienna University of Technology. My panelists are Lise Christensen (Research Council of Norway), Sabine Haubenwallner (FWF), Sabine Mayer (FFG), Maya Widmer (Swiss National Science Foundation), Alison Woodward (Institute for European Studies, Free University of Brussels).