The Bavarian legal education system likes to see itself as one of the best in the country. However, it has shortcomings in one particular area: practice cases, written exams and casual – and less casual – remarks in the study groups testify to an astonishing view of women. A story of Gucci handbags and childlessness.
Physics & Astronomy
Although the comparison with the manned moon landing may appear somewhat exaggerated, Rosetta is undoubtedly one of space travel’s most daring enterprises: For the first time in history, a probe is accompanying a comet on its orbit around the Sun – and in mid-November, it set down the Philae lander on its surface. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Göttingen have front row seats for the evaluation of the images and data from the comet named 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
Material & Technology
Cyber-physical systems are in strong demand for their ability to increase road traffic safety and optimize electricity consumption from renewable sources. They link vehicles to sensors that monitor traffic and order the car to brake if a dangerous situation arises, for example. Or they distribute electricity from multiple power plants to consumers as efficiently as possible. Rupak Majumdar, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems in Kaiserslautern, develops mathematical methods for ensuring the reliability of these networked systems.
Environment & Climate
The Sun is the Earth’s principal source of energy and climate driver. Yet sometimes it sends more light to the Earth than other times. Astronomers working with Natalie Krivova at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Göttingen take these fluctuations in solar radiation into account in their models to find out whether they contribute to global warming or counteract it.
Culture & Society
Migration isn’t a new phenomenon, but new insights suggest that modern-day Europeans actually have at least three ancestral populations. This finding was published by Johannes Krause and his colleagues in September and was prominently featured on the cover of Nature. As it happens, the paleogeneticist himself is currently thinking about migrating, and will henceforth travel through time as a Founding Director of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena. For him, looking back millennia into the past seems to be no problem.