Nov, 3, 2016
A Pathfinder has left the Ship of Physics
Professor of theoretical physics Walter Greiner, Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies and Goethe University Frankfurt, died October 6, age 80. He was a member of Academia Europaea, and so are his sons Carsten and Martin, who are aalso professors of physics. A pioneer and pathfinder (Lotse) is no longer among us.
Greiner was a self-made man. Escaping Thuringia through the Iron Curtain as youngster he, in a remarkably short time, obtained physics degrees at UFrankfurt and UFreiburg (PhD1961), followed by two years as assistant professor at UMaryland in the US, then back in Freiburg as research associate and, starting in 1965, he became full professor at Goethe UFrankfurt. In 2003, with Wolf Singer, he was founding Director of the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies (FIAS).
Having escaped West, Greiner still carried a dream of a restored Europe, as later witnessed by his many initiatives and successful East-West collaborations. Greiner’s participation in writing textbooks, from early on in Freiburg, under-pinned atomic&nuclear science training in post-war Europe. This year’s Nobel Prize in physics, given to three Americans, is rooted in work where also Europe took part, and likewise Greiner developed strong links to the US, in particular to D. Allan Bromley’s laboratory at Yale. Like Bromley, Greiner achieved an impressive record in production of students, many outstanding, who have set their imprint on present days’ science.
Walter Greiner had special taste for extreme phenomena, in both cold and hot fundamental matter, and could in time see many of his predictions come through. His group at UFrankfurt and more recently also at FIAS, has had decisive influence also on how experimental studies of fundamental matter under extreme conditions have developed: at BIG SCIENCE labs like CERN and at dedicated large national labs like nearby GSI in Darmstadt, which he helped spark off. GANIL in France and JINR in Russia add to the list. In a joint venture GSI and JINR have been world leading in the search for Super-Heavy nuclei (cold extreme matter), while CERN has proven and made break-through discoveries related to Quark-Gluon Plasma (extremely hot fundamental matter) and the Early Universe.
Greiner strongly supported studies of exotic modes of the nuclear stuff, emergent degrees of freedom such a halos, found at nuclear drip-lines (stability limits) and beyond. His taste for exotic fluids may have triggered his interests for the outskirts of Europe and their history; The Viking world confined by the Northern Seas and the Russian Rivers, and guts to ride these waters. Being a confident Lotse, he recommended some of his young followers to try it up north. Three of those who followed his advice are professors at UBergen (his son Martin at UAarhus), all members of Academia Europaea; a German, a Hungarian and a Norwegian. They are the authors of this obituary.
Professor Greiner and his team have added strength to European initiatives taken by Bergen, within EU Framework Programmes, and recently in the formation of the Northern AE Hub in Bergen. The Ship of Science keeps on sailing. There are new pilots, but Walter Greiner has reminded us of a lasting standard for safe voyage: learning by doing; mind and hand in interplay, mens et manus.
Dieter Röhrich, Laszlo P Csernai and Jan S Vaagen
Sep. 14, 2016
University of Bergen Unveils Yuri Gagarin Sculpture [J.S. Vaagen and L.P. Csernai]
Aug. 7, 2016
The Roald Dahl 100 Years Celebration:
Gunnstein Akselberg‘s article on Roald Dahl in Bergens Tidende.
July 25, 2016
Statement “Science is Global” of the European Academies including Academia Europaea.
July 25, 2016
Public engagement activities of the AE Bergen Knowledge Hub contributed to the project “Science Advice to Policy by European Academies” (SAPEA) collected by ALLEA
June 10-11, 2016
AE Program for Hanseatic Days
June 8, 2016
Academia Europaea president Sierd Cloetingh and University of Bergen Rector Dag Rune Olsen signed a new collaboration agreement: Univesity of Bergen takes over hosting the Academia Europaea Knowledge Hub Region Bergen.
May 27, 2016
EUROPE’s Northern Knowledge Hub moves on, still in Bergen, with stronger EU links
The USA has its National Academy of Sciences. Close to 30 years ago, Europe got a similar institution – Academia Europaea (AE). AE has played an instrumental role in the creation and running of joint European knowledge/research ‘tools’ such as the European Research Council (ERC) with its Framework-Programs and now Horizon2020.
The EU Commission has recently created and financed a new mechanism for interplay with the science community – a European scientific advice project SAPEA (Scientific Advice for Policy by European Academies).Academia Europaea will play a very visible role, in particular in coordination, cooperation and sustainability.
Having been convinced by successfully placing its 2012 Annual Meeting in Bergen, Academia Europaea has since 2014 established and run its third Knowledge Hub – for Norden (Northern Seas region) in Bergen. A fourth hub has just been started up in Cardiff (Wales). The first two hubs are in Wroclaw (Poland, 2011) and Barcelona (Spain, 2013).
The Bergen Hub agreement between AE and a Region Bergen based consortium (AERB), with UoB (University of Bergen)a central player, is now being continued in modified form for 4 new years, in parallel with the SAPEA project.
UoB now signs the collaboration contract with AE on behalf of the (partly new) AERB partners. Here also the future Hub office will be located, transferred from Business Region Bergen (BRB), BRB being regrettably prevented from continuing its commitments due to unforeseen changes in its operational profile and capacity.
Two years of the Hub’s ‘testing time’ have given promising results and a growing project portfolio. The Hub has proven that it can, not only will. The Hub has, also with new SAPEA perspectives, increased possibilities to highlight Europe’s Northern Dimension, historically and at present. The Hub gave, in particular in Western Norway, a voice in EU interplay, a win-win situation, and an arena for forwarding the Nordic Way in a Europe in transformation.
PS: The Hub, AERBkh is visible as co-organizer during the Hansa Days in Bergen 10-11 June.
Jan S. Vaagen
April 2016: Norsk film documentary on Rolf and Viggo Widerøe
April 2016: Postgraduate Degree Program on “Cultural Heritage Management & Sustainable Development” is announced by The University of Pannonia, Koszeg Campus and The Institute for Advanced Studies, Koszeg (iASK), Hungary:
Call for registration and application for scholarship
Deadline is June 15 (or June 1 if visum to Hungary is required)
August 2015: Report of the AE Knowledge Hub Region Bergen on the 2015 Summer activities
February 2015: Statement of the Board of trustees of the Academia Europaea –
The Board of the Academia Europaea is concerned to see the financial proposals of the European Commission.
January 2015: Valery Zagrebaev 1950-2015
Nov., 2014, Physics Today: Physicists offer a different approach to cancer research
Laszlo Csernai’s talk at the Institute for Social and European Studies (ISES) Workshop, Kőszeg, Hungary on ” Cooperation between Natural and Social Sciences: Towards a New Knowledge Hub” – Abstract – The talk (pdf) (ppt)
Oct. 9, 2014:
2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Professors May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser (MAEs: 2998 & 2999) at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology have been awarded the Nobel Prize for 2014 in Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain. The Nobel Laureates’ discoveries have solved a problem that has perplexed philosophers and researchers for centuries: How the brain creates a map of the space around us, and how it enables us to navigate complex surroundings.
AE: Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2014
The scientific background – The Brain’s Navigational Place and Grid Cell System
May 30, 2014: