4/2016

Viewpoint

<p class="p1">Rebooting Open Access</p>

The publishing world has changed dramatically with the relentless progress of the internet, but publishers continue to bank on strategies from the age of print. We present a case for the necessary transformation of the scholarly journals’ business model – and an outline of the path to get there.

Physics & Astronomy

<p class="p1">The Cosmic Archaeologist</p>
He loves basketball and literature, but his real passion is cosmology. Joe Hennawi uses telescopes and supercomputers to investigate the largest structures in the universe at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg – in a research group called ENIGMA. Their aim is nothing less than to unravel the mysteries of the cosmic web.

Material & Technology

<p class="p1">Microboats to the Rescue</p>

Some medical treatments would be more efficient if medication could be transported via a tiny robot directly to the diseased area. Peer Fischer and his colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart are developing microswimmers and nanoswimmers that are expected to one day make this possible.

Environment & Climate

<p class="p1">Hot Air in the Orient</p>

The Middle East and North Africa are currently being rocked by armed conflicts and political crises. But even if these were to be resolved, many people there will likely be forced to leave their homes in the coming decades. Jos Lelieveld, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, and his colleagues are predicting that the region will see dramatic climate change and an increase in air pollution, including airborne desert dust.

Culture & Society

<p class="p1">An Ocean of Connectivity</p>

Ships were long the fastest means of transportation, capable of carrying people and goods in large quantities. As a result, the seas became a medium through which a variety of nations made contact and carried out trade. To this day, ports serve as hubs and cultural melting pots. Taking the Indian Ocean as their example, Burkhard Schnepel and his team at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology are studying how diverse networks developed across the waters.

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