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Understanding, learning and dealing with each other better

The new edition of Freiburg University’s magazine uni’leben is out

Freiburg, Feb 23, 2021

Understanding, learning and dealing with each other better

Photo: Sandra Meyndt

Filming the virus

How does Sars-CoV-2 approach and link up with human cells? Is it possible to disrupt this process somehow – and prevent infection? With a diameter of just one ten-thousandth of a millimeter, the virus has been too tiny to film this process. However, Alexander Rohrbach, Professor of Bio- and Nano-Photonics at the University of Freiburg, has developed a supermicroscope that is one of its kind – and can even film the coronavirus. Rohrbach and his team have now produced the first clips of this. As a placeholder for the virus, the researchers are currently using mini-glass globes with the same biophysical characteristics. The process has worked perfectly, and they are now building a Biological Security Level 2 laboratory to work with real but deactivated viruses.


Overcoming the chaos in your head

Sometimes you think you’ve understood a text, but then when you want to explain it to someone, suddenly you don’t know any more. Dr. Anja Prinz works on scenarios like this. In the Empirical Teaching and Learning Research division of the University of Freiburg she studies how people assess their understanding of texts. And she also has advice: there are simple ways for students to monitor and improve their understanding of texts. These include writing summaries, copying out key words, and generating concept maps, for example.


Dealing with each other more respectfully

“An attitude that treats one’s counterpart with dignity and respect and avoids insults”: this is how Freiburg sociologist Prof. Dr. Nina Degele describes the core of ‘Political Correctness’. The idea arose in the tumult of the American civil rights movement of the 1960s. “Even then it wasn’t about demanding special rights,” she emphasizes. Nonetheless Political Correctness has been under fire for decades now – right-wingers, for instance, are increasingly using it to vilify emancipatory ideas. The researcher sets out in a book why a society can benefit from the principles of Political Correctness and how they can be achieved in reality.


For body and soul

Your back aches from hours of study, the shared kitchen offers little variety, and the stress of the semester seems never-ending: many students are having to contend with physical and mental challenges. Since 2019 the University of Freiburg’s student health service, Studentisches Gesundheitsmanagement, has offered advice, workshops and seminars on creating a healthy environment for students and enabling them to live a healthy life. The services are designed for all students and are free. With their UniAktiv pass students can also document what activities they have completed, for instance in relation to diet or exercise.


To see the latest edition (in German)


Rimma Gerenstein
Redaktion uni’leben
University of Freiburg
Tel. + 49 761 203-8812