Events - 28.10.2014 - 00:00 

From St.Gallen into the world

From Thursday, 6 November 2014, onwards, Dr. Dieter Imboden will elucidate research in Switzerland as part of the HSG’s public programme. He will interlink research with his own family history.


30 October 2014. In February this year, the Swiss voting public adopted the Mass Immigration Initiative. Since that time, the universities and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) have had to deal with the consequences for research and education at Swiss universities. This is a reason for the University of St.Gallen to throw some more light on research in Switzerland in a public lecture series.

Frieda Imboden-Kaiser

The University was fortunate that Dieter Imboden agreed to give these lectures. Imboden was a Professor of Physics at ETH Zurich and headed the SNSF from 2005 to 2013. In his lectures, he will interlink science politics with his own family history. His grandmother Frieda Imboden-Kaiser, the founder of the St.Gallen Baby Sanctuary (1909) and later Children's Hospital, was not only one of Switzerland’s first women doctors but also a pioneer in data-based clinical research. Thanks to her work, infant mortality in Eastern Switzerland decreased from 16 to 2 per cent. At that time the Zurich Polytechnic, today’s ETH, had only just started its development into a university of worldwide repute. In his first evening lecture, Imboden will be dealing with his grandmother’s work and the Polytechnic. On 6 November, he will speak about the "Departure into the 20th century: from a woman doctor in St.Gallen to the engineers and chemists in Zurich".

Max Imboden

Another St.Gallen citizen, Max Imboden, Frieda Imboden-Kaiser's son, former Professor of Constitutional and Administrative Law and former Rector of the University of Basel, described the growing discrepancy between the increasing complexity of the world and Switzerland's conception of itself in a work entitled Helvetische Malaise after the Second World War. Even then, his answer was "investment in research". And as the first President of the Swiss Science Council, he made an essential contribution towards laying the foundation for Switzerland's development into an outstanding centre of research. Under the title of "Switzerland after the Second World War: investment in research as a response to a complex world", Dieter Imboden will devote his lecture of 13 November to his father's work.

Dieter Imboden's vision for Swiss research

In the third and fourth lectures on "Science and society: from St.Gallen into the world", Dieter Imboden will ask himself what the future will bring – for Switzerland and humankind’s global challenges. He will convey his personal experience as a researcher and research politician to the audience. On 20 November, the lecture will home in on "Global challenges: will science save the planet?" and on 27 November, Imboden will depict visions: "Where is the journey leading? Knowledge, science, vision".

The lectures will take place in the HSG’s Library Building in Room 09-114. They will start each Thursday at 6.15 p.m.

Picture: Photocase / suze

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