the cogito foundation
T-101/03   Seminar and Faculty Meeting in Geneva, May 26.-28. 2003
Recipient: Prof. Dr. Christine Lienemann, Department of Theology, University of Basle, CHF 1'000.-

The Department of Theology will hold its three-day meeting in Geneva, in order to confront its students with the worlds of economy and science. A visit to CERN will be followed by a discussion with an elementary particle physicist, who will discuss his world view with that of the theologues. The travel allowance for the physicist, Dr. Heinrich Saller, Heisenberg-Institut der Max Planck-Gesellschaft, München, will make possible a dialogue between Physics and Theology.


Recipient: Regula Zweifel, Schweizerisches Landesmuseum, Zürich
CHF 6'200.-

The Swiss National Museum takes a novel approach in dealing with the topic "stem cell reasearch": it organises an exhibit that treats the idea of immortality from three different points of view: that of religion, of science and of spirituality. Parallel events explore various topics. The contribution is to be used for the fee of the expert Prof. Ernst P. Fischer

"Ewiges Leben im Diesseits?",
Wednesday, October. 15, 2003 7.30 pm

"Vom Reagenzglas zur gesellschaftlichen Akzeptanz",
Wednesday, October 29, 2003, 7.30 pm.


"Science & Society" University Lucerne
Recipient: Dr. Andréa Belliger, Dr. David Krieger, lic.theol. Peter G. Kirchschläger
Institut für Kommunikation und Kultur (IKK), University Lucerne
CHF 50'000.-

In 2002 the Institute for Communication at the University of Lucerne has initiated a series of conferences "Science and Society". The goal is to enable a dialogue between scientists and politicians.
A research project aims to explore the posibilities and limits of communication between science and politics and to find theoretical foundations for this knowledge transfer and an organisational framework.


"Gen-Dorf" Days of Genetic Research 2003
Recipient: Prof. Dr. Adriano Aguzzi, University Zurich, Astrid Kugler, "Verein Forschung und Leben", Zurich
CHF 10000.-

On May 23rd, 2003 specialists from various Institutes at the Universities in Zurich demonstrated their research projects and informed about the foundations of genetic technology. Middle school classes were allowed to perform their own experiments on topics like:
- how plants fight viruses and fungi
- transgenic plants as environmental artists
- immunodrugs: new vaccines against chronic deseases
- yeast cells - tiny helpers in the development of drugs
- prion research: tracking down the mysterious killer proteins


"Crossing boundaries between normal and paranormal"
Recipient: Prof. Peter Brugger, University Hospital, Zürich
CHF 149'081.-

Some individuals seem to show paranormal abilities, especially in experiments on telepathy. It seems that this is due to "implicit sequence learning", the ability to subconciously recognise hidden patterns.
A noted parapsychologist (John Palmer) and a skeptical neuropsychologist (Peter Brugger) have designed a series of rigorous experiments to explore this phenomenon.


"Recording of Prof. Richard Ernst Interview"
Recipient: Sir Harry Kroto, Vega Science Trust, Brighton, UK CHF 24'488.-

The Vega Science Trust, directed by Nobel Laureate Prof. Harold Kroto, has published a series of Interviews with renowned scientists. They are available as DVDs, TV broadcasts and on the Internet. The objective is to convey the thoughts and motivations of these great personalities to a wide audience and in particular to the young.
The cogito foundation covers the cost for the recording and editing of an interview with Nobel Laureate Prof. Richard Enst, ETH Zurich.

play the video

T-114/03   Forum "cogito ergo sum"
An Evening in the „Haus zum Vorderen Sessel.“

Recipient: Prof. Hans Leuenberger, Dr. Michael Kessler, Forum «cogito ergo sum», Basel, CHF 2'100.--

Scientist Dr. Michael Kessler and Philosopher Prof. Annemarie Pieper discuss the topic: „How does technological advance which creates a new system of communication change society?” More then 500 years ago, the invention of printing ushered in the end of the Middle Ages – and today? Science and the humanities should not approach such questions in a confrontational manner, but rather synergistically.

Conference: "Maps and Images: How They Have Transmitted Visual Knowledge Along The Silkroad"
Applicant: Dr. Andreas Kaplony, Oriental Seminar University of Zürich, CHF 12'250.-

On the 14th of may, the oriental seminar organises a workshop on how the silk road acted as an axis for the exchange of visual knowledge. The workshop has a strongly interdisciplinary character bringing together such diverse fields as astronomy, cartography, climatology, geography, the medical sciences, art history, the cultural sciences, medieval studies, Islamic studies etc. To support the interdisciplinary dialogue, the cogito foundation undertakes to pay the travel expenses (CHF 11'250.-) and royalties (CHF 1000.-) of the invited speakers at the workshop.


"Neuland Forschung": An exhibit on living models as models of life (Swiss National Museum 2004)
Applicant: Dr. Isabel Klusman, Dr. Petra Bättig, University of Zurich/Life Science Zurich, CHF 50'000.-

Life Science Zurich and the Swiss National Museum are organising an exhibit on the fascination of research, supervised by members of the Life Sciences group at the University of Zurich from March till June 2004. The goal of the exhibit is to expose curiosity driven research to the general public and in particular to show how research in the Life Sciences tries to address fundamental questions of life. Another aspect is the social and cultural impact of the results of this research. The cogito-room funded here is to help the visitors to reflect on the experiences in the exhibit in order to deepen the impressions.


"Public or autonomous Science?"
Applicant: Prof. Dr. Sabine Maasen, Mario Kaiser, University of Basel, CHF 30'262.50

The public nowadays not only expects tried and tested knowledge from scientific research, but also sustainability and ethical qualities. Numerous sociological studies on the interaction between the public, science and politics as a matter of fact conclude with a sort of contract of exchange, where the scientists deliver technological advances in exchange of a granting of freedom to do research from the public. This two-part study in contrast wants to approach research practice in the natural sciences from a liberal arts perspective. In particular, the internal and external communication of the nanosciences are to be studied in order to locate the causes of miscommunications between scientists and the public. Moreover, it should show how scientists communicating with the public can react to their demands and possibly bring scientific criteria to bear. A broader discussion is envisaged by the publication of the work.


"Homo Sapiens Technicus? How does one understand the interrelationship of the technical sciences and society?"
Applicant: OK Homo Sapiens Technicus (Interuniversitäres Kolloquium, 23.-25. Januar 2004), Markus Schaffner, Project leader, Institut of Sociology, University of Basel, CHF 3'000.-

Sociology students of the University of Basel have organised an annual inter-university colloquium since the autumn of 1998 at one of the Swiss universities. The subjects used to be purely sociology and society based. This year's colloquium (from Friday the 23rd - Sunday the 25th of January) however deals with the interplay of technology and society. The goal is to illustrate the relationship from several points of view in order to stimulate the dialogue between students of both the humanities and the natural scientists that are encouraged to participate. The cogito foundations funds the catering of the colloquium with CHF 3000.-.