Some time has passed since my first blogpost on the side programme and in the beginning everything was very abstract – so many different ideas were buzzing around in my head. Now – three months before the event takes place – the programme gets more and more concrete.
The World Bank President Jim Yong Kim warns that by 2030, extreme heat could leave 40 percent of land currently used for growing maize in sub-Saharan Africa incapable of producing maize. Additionally, destroy the savanna grasslands supporting pastoral livelihoods making it impossible to end poverty and hunger by 2030. It is in this background that the Forschungszentrum Jülich aims to support Africa in making food production sustainable and secure. Last years, the Soil as a Pan-African Challenge project (PASCAL) won the International research marketing competition of the German Research Foundation (DFG).
I have spent almost a week at Forschungszentrum Jülich – ooh where has all the time gone? My interest’s range from soil research, plant science, climate change, waste water management, energy, Nanotechnology, understanding this massive supercomputer world and am afraid it feels like I have just arrived with too much I would want to explore but here on borrowed time.
Africa is speedily emerging on every front: economically, politically and technologically. All the relevant indices portray a continent that is the next emerging market with its teeming population that is nearly 50% young people with a median age of 19 years. Africa is also blessed with natural resources ranging from oil and natural gas to mineral deposits like diamond, gold, uranium, copper etc. almost across the continent. The lands are sufficiently arable for a sustainable bioeconomy and food production to sustain the population. Generally, the African climate is still green with many of the forests and parks still in their natural state. I can go on counting the numerous natural endowments which nature has bestowed on Africa. It is in no doubt, “Africa flows with milk and honey”.
I am with four other fellows on the international Journalist program on a one-week tour of Germany. Organized by the Goethe-Institut - a non-profit German cultural association that promotes the study of the German language abroad while encouraging international cultural exchange and relations, the tour starts with Hamburg, Cologne, and Munich.
When German housewives or househusbands expect visitors, they wash the curtains, vacuum and bake a cake. Well, it’s quite similar with the colleagues of Corporate Communications when a guest from Kenya is due to arrive very soon.
If you have been to a foreign country where the official language is not your tongue, then you must relate with the frustrations that come with it. Pointing at food on menus because you cannot pronounce names, staying glued at the train’s screen because taking your eyes off for a second could mean you missing your destination? That was me for a few days last week. Finally, the language is no longer so foreign! I can relate when some words are mentioned away from class. I light up when familiar words are mentioned! And yes, I can also count a few numbers – a seemingly insurmountable problem last week. Interestingly, Germans count from left to right. And just like French it has feminine and masculine nouns.
Six of the World’s ten fastest growing economies are in Africa. The continent has been growing at an average of 5 percent per annum for over a decade, despite the global financial and economic crisis. This makes Africa confident that it can achieve its ambitious development dream, dubbed Agenda-2063 within 50 or even fewer years according to Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the former Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AU).
I am here with a team of outgoing, enthusiastic and tenacious journalists from South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, and Germany. Together we took a fantastic hour-long boat cruise along the Spree River passing through the house of the World's Cultures, the Government Quarter, the Berlin Cathedral, and the Museum Island among the Bode Museum.
Did you know that about one billion people mostly from Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia live without electricity? This is according to the latest World Bank estimates. Currently, about 640 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa have no access to electricity. By 2040, it is estimated that Africa will require 700gigawatts of power to meet its demand. This is seven times more than what is currently installed.
Forschungszentrum Jülich is mourning the passing of Professor Peter Grünberg. The Nobel laureate in physics and scientist of Forschungszentrum Jülich passed away last week in Jülich at the age of 78. We would like to give you the opportunity to share your memories of Peter Grünberg and to offer your condolences on this page.
Seeing doesn’t necessarily mean understanding. This brief notion is perhaps the best way of describing the problem that drives many researchers in the field of neuroscience. When imaging techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging emerged in the 1990s, it appeared to be just a matter of time until we understood how speech is processed, sentences formed, and recollections stored in our short- and long-term memories. However, the current estimations of many scientists paint a much more sober picture. To date, hardly any concept from the fields of psychology, philosophy, or sociology can be clearly assigned to biological processes and structures in the brain.
In November, we, the doctoral researchers, again elected two new spokespersons who will represent us in several committees for the next year. This means it is time to say goodbye and thank you, but also welcome and good luck! As usual I would like to introduce the new speakers to you or let’s say let them introduce themselves to you. Afterwards I will give you a short overview of the things that are went on in the last months. Before we start with our Newbies, I’d like to mention that this time all our candidates for speakers were internationals, which is a first :) So I am really happy to introduce you to…
In April 2017, the first phase of the development process of the Doctoral Researcher and Scientific Advisor Platform (short DocPlatform) has ended. All the results gained in this phase were presented to the project board in May. Getting a very positive feedback there, a final meeting with all the participants of phase one was held at which everyone could inform him/herself about the work done in the other subgroups. This was also the start of the second phase, in which the following target processes shall be acquired: E-recruiting of Docs Identification and registration of all Docs Central monitoring of all Docs Transferable-skills curriculum In this article, I will tell you some more details about the transferable skills subgroup and what it achieved.
Be it in its role as a natural UV absorbent, climate gas, or health factor – the ozone concentration in the atmosphere is of interest to society for various reasons. For decades, global measuring programmes have investigated how the ozone content changes due to human influence. Ozone sondes attached to weather balloons, which can reach altitudes of 35 km, are still an indispensable source of data. Forschungszentrum Jülich plays an important role in this context: since 1996, it has been running the World Calibration Center for Ozone Sondes (WCCOS). In early November, calibration measurements for the NASA-headed SHADOZ network took place here.
As you know, ex-hurricane Ophelia arrived on Monday to Ireland. Following the advise of the Irish meteorological service, we stayed at home, but... we didn't have electricity nor water! Want to know what we did? Keep reading and you may find delicious surprises!