Objectivity ranks as one of the highest ideals in research, but that wasn’t always the case. It wasn’t until the 19th century that it began to vie with the centuries-old principle of natural truth. Even today, the two concepts still come into conflict. As the author explains, some scientific controversies are more easily understood through a closer look at the history of science.
Materials & Technology
It is frequently only the development of new materials that makes technological advances possible, whether in the areas of energy supply or information technology. With the Heusler compounds, Claudia Felser, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids in Dresden, uncovered a rich source of materials that offer promising properties for a variety of applications.
A space probe has journeyed to Ceres for the first time. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Göttingen are using its two onboard cameras to explore the dark surface of the dwarf planet. They have already discovered signs of frozen water – but is there also an ocean slumbering deep below the craters?
Nowhere does climate change make its presence felt more strongly than in the Arctic. The volume of sea ice there has fallen drastically in recent decades. Climate models have been far from accurate in conveying the full extent of this loss. This is set to change now – not least because Dirk Notz and his research group at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg are constantly improving their understanding of the processes that influence the formation and melting of sea ice.
Ayelet Shachar wanted to be an architect. She wanted to create spaces and provide homes for people. As a lawyer and political scientist, however, she discovered the spaces of the law – and the possibilities they provide for enabling migrants and locals to find ways of living together. Every community, says the Director at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Göttingen, needs the discourse about aims and identity. And every individual has the right to participation and a home.