Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

German Research Foundation approves research unit to study extreme experiences in human life

08.01.2014
New research unit examines extreme experiences in human life using biomedical explanations and worldly experience

The German Research Foundation (DFG) is establishing a new research unit at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). The interdisciplinary group will examine how new biomedical capabilities can lead to extreme experiences in human life.

Specifically, it deals with issues arising from the technologically assisted reproduction or medically assisted death. The DFG Research Unit "Life Sciences, Life Writing: Extreme Experience in Human Life between Biomedical Explanations and Worldly Experience" offers 12 doctoral candidates a structured research and training program, where they can gain qualifications and early scientific independence starting April 2014. The German Research Foundation will initially provide approximately EUR 2 million to the research unit for four and a half years.

"We want this research unit to expand the natural sciences–medical research perspective of extreme experience in human life to include the worldly experience that the Humanities and Cultural Studies examine. Doing so promises to provide us with new perspectives on people as human beings," said the coordinator of the new research unit and director of the Institute of the History, Philosophy, and Ethics of Medicine, Professor Norbert W. Paul. The unit will focus on extreme experiences in physicality, such as that in eating disorders, in capabilities, including the ability to become a member of society for those suffering posttraumatic stress disorder, or with regard to temporal dimensions, including the life-long impact people suffer from premature birth.

The goal of the new research unit is to develop joint methodological approaches to extreme human experience where medicine, the individual, and society interact. "The research unit will serve as a platform for young researchers to examine the tension between biomedical explanations and worldly dimensions and to research what we refer to as extreme experiences in human life. One such extreme experience is medically assisted death," emphasized Paul.

Graduate and postgraduate scholarships for the structured research and training program will be awarded in a competition. Successful applicants from the Natural Sciences, Medicine, the Humanities, and Cultural Studies will then have joint supervision from a representative of Biomedicine/Life Sciences as well as Life Writing/Humanities and Cultural Studies.

In addition to the Institute of the History, Philosophy, and Ethics of Medicine and the American Studies division of Mainz University, who are in charge of the "Life Sciences, Life Writing" research unit, it will also include participation from the disciplines of Cultural Anthropology, Pharmaceutical Biology, Molecular Biology, Psychosomatics, Child and Youth Psychology as well as the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB). "Our joint goal is to provide a worldly perspective to the compliment clinical care and to provide Humanities and Cultural Studies scholars with a practical focus to access real-world practices in research and health care," explained Professor Mita Banerjee, co-spokesperson for the research unit and Professor of American Studies at the JGU Department of English and Linguistics.

"The establishment of the new interdisciplinary research unit 'Life Sciences, Life Writing' emphasizes once more the importance that our university places on training young researchers across disciplines," emphasized Professor Georg Krausch, President of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. "This research unit is an excellent example of a beneficial cooperation between the Mainz University Medical Center and the Humanities and Cultural Studies at JGU," added the scientific chair of the Mainz University Medical Center, Professor Ulrich Förstermann.

ON LIFE SCIENCES
Since the middle of the 20th century at the latest, life sciences have been key to our understanding of the world and what it means to be a human being. The embedding of people in a socio-cultural context on the one hand and in a material sphere on the other hand has historically driven the differentiation between Natural Sciences and the Humanities, later Life Sciences, Sociology, and Cultural Studies. Biomedicine, which uses scientific methods to explain and maintain human life, has, in its search for rational decision making and actions, settled mainly on natural science models viewing the human being as an organism. By contrast, the Humanities and Cultural Studies have since the middle of the 20th century tended to focus on the individual and the individual's various ways of interpreting the world. As a framework for capturing human experience, particularly as it is being re-shaped by new biomedical possibilities, the genre of life-writing has emerged, which encompasses all forms of describing and documenting human life – from biography and autobiography to various forms of testimony, from oral accounts to electronic blogs.
Contact:
Professor Dr. Norbert W. Paul
Institute of the History, Philosophy, and Ethics of Medicine
Mainz University Medical Center
Langenbeckstr. 1, D 55131 Mainz
phone +49 6131 39-37355
fax +49 6131 39-36682
e-mail: npaul@uni-mainz.de
http://www.unimedizin-mainz.de/medhist/institut/mitarbeiterinnen/portraits/norbert-w-paul.html

[in German]

Professor Dr. Mita Banerjee
American Studies
Department of English and Linguistics
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
D 55099 Mainz
phone +49 6131 39-22711
Fax +49 6131 39-22480
e-mail: mita.banerjee@uni-mainz.de

Petra Giegerich | idw
Further information:
http://www.uni-mainz.de
http://www.amerikanistik.uni-mainz.de/254.php

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht The birth of a new protein
20.10.2017 | University of Arizona

nachricht Building New Moss Factories
20.10.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Shallow soils promote savannas in South America

20.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

How Obesity Promotes Breast Cancer

20.10.2017 | Life Sciences

How the smallest bacterial pathogens outwit host immune defences by stealth mechanisms

20.10.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>