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Criminal Cases with Animals and Global Crises

Long Night of Science Open House on June 13, 2015, at Freie Universität Berlin / Advance Ticket Sales Started

№ 147/2015 from May 29, 2015

The "smartest night of the year" will take place on June 13, when the 15th Long Night of Science is held in Berlin and Potsdam. Freie Universität is inviting visitors to its campus in Dahlem and to the Benjamin Franklin Campus of Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. The program includes more than 500 events covering the entire range of subjects taught at Freie Universität. One focus this year is on issues of veterinary research and teaching. Another focus is the discussion of the causes and consequences of global crises.

Criminal Cases with Animals and Sneezing Cats

Veterinarians will be showing many facets of their work and research – from feeding ticks to vaccinations for dogs and the analysis of animal tissue samples under a microscope. The events listed below will take place from 5 p.m. to midnight at Koserstrasse 20 in 14195 Berlin. They can be reached from the subway station Podbielskiallee (on the U3 line) or the PINK route of the free shuttle bus service.

Feeding Predators with a Tweezers

They are barely visible to the naked eye but can cause enormous damage to health: particularly when the temperatures are mild, ticks lurk in high grass or herbaceous thickets. The Institute of Parasitology and Tropical Veterinary Medicine investigates how ticks transmit diseases and what drugs protect against tick infestation. At the Long Night of Science, visitors can watch how a tick feeds its bloodlust: In an artificial feeding, the researchers will simulate a piece of skin with a thin layer of silicone.

Solving Criminal Cases with the Pathologist

Did the neighbor cold-bloodedly poison the dog? Did the racehorse that was insured for millions of dollars die of natural causes? On some days work for Professor Achim Gruber and his team at the Institute of Animal Pathology is like a crime story on TV: their job is to find out why an animal died. At the Long Night of Science, visitors will be able to solve animal crimes, investigate tissue samples, and study case reports of patients such as the famous giant panda Bao Bao or Madame Nou, Germany's oldest pony at the age of 50.

Advice about Your Pet's Health

What should you do if your cat has a cold? Does the dog need to be vaccinated for a holiday on the Mediterranean? What diseases can be transmitted from animals to humans or vice versa? Professor Barbara Kohn and members of the Small Animal Clinic will be sharing information about animal diseases. The experts for small pets are happy to advise, but urgently request that visitors do not take any animals along to the Long Night of Science.

Global Crises

Researchers at the Otto Suhr Institute of Political Science, the Center for Global Politics, and several other institutions at Freie Universität will give talks and answer questions about current crises in various regions of the world. The following events will take place at Ihnestrasse 21 in 14195 Berlin, which can be reached by subway station Thielplatz (U3) or the GREEN route of the free shuttle buses.

How can peace be reached in eastern Ukraine?

Despite two meetings in the Belarusian capital Minsk, the leaders have not yet found a viable solution to the conflict in Ukraine. Students of the Otto Suhr Institute of Political Science along with the political scientists Nelli Babayan und Julia Langbein will present possible approaches and strategies for a solution. The event is called "Ukraine – Debatten für den Frieden." In a debate four teams will represent the different negotiating parties, but can also contribute their own opinions. The public can take a final decision on which proposal was the most convincing (8-10 p.m., Room G22).

What remains of the Arab Spring?

Professor Cilja Harders, the director of the Center for Middle Eastern Politics, will give a talk on "Vier Jahre Transformation und kein Ende: Nach den arabischen Protesten von 2011" (Four Years of Transformation and No End: What is left after the Arab protests of 2011?). The region is still under a great deal of tension. Did the protests result in any positive and sustainable changes? (7 p.m., Room A). There will be a special forum for young visitors to address questions about the Arab world: How are schools in Egypt? Why is there war in Syria? What is Islam? (5–7 p.m., Room E).

How is the relationship of the European Union to Russia?

The European Union and Russia will be addressed in a panel discussion with the political scientists Prof. Dr. Katharina Bluhm, Prof. Dr. Tanja Börzel, and Prof. Dr. Thomas Risse, all of Freie Universität and Vladislav Inozemtsev (Professor of Economics at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow) and Dr. Alexander Libmann (Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik). They will discuss the EU sanctions policy and Putin's idea of a "Eurasian Union" as economic competition for the EU. They will also address the impact of the crisis in Ukraine on relations between the EU and Russia (8–10 p.m., Room G22).

How creative is political protest?

At the demonstrations at Gezi Park in Istanbul two years ago, Özge Yaka, currently a visiting professor at the Graduate School of North American Studies at Freie Universität, observed many subtle forms of resistance. For example, there was "Duran Adam," a man who stood for many hours on Taksim Square, remaining completely silent the entire time. With his silent protest, he became the icon of the uprising in Istanbul. Political graffiti was also an expression of protest: the graffito "teargas beautifies the skin" was created in response to police violence and is just one of numerous examples documented by Yaka. Her talk will be given in English and will deal with the potential and cause of creative protest (7–8 p.m., Room E).

What forms does racism take?

"I am not a racist, but …" is a statement that is not only heard in the pub. The "But" is the subject of a workshop "Who is afraid of the black man?" to be held by Lilian Seffer, a political science student at the Otto Suhr Institute of Freie Universität, that will deal with racism in Germany (8–9, Room E). In another event on the same subject, three doctoral students at the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies will talk about online comments about Islam and Muslims. Entitled "Das wird man wohl noch sagen dürfen" (You should be allowed to say that), they will discuss comments posted online. Is it really "ordinary people, neither racists nor Nazis," who reject migrants? That is one of the comments they have chosen to discuss (8–9 p.m., Room F).

General Information about the Long Night of Science

  • Date: Saturday, June 13, 2015, 5 p.m. to midnight
  • Tickets and Prices: Adults: 14 euros, reduced 9 euros. Family ticket: 27 euros (up to five persons, at most two adults and at least one child; children up to 18 years). Late Night Ticket at box office starting at 10 p.m.: 6 euros. Group tickets for school students: 5 euros (minimum order: 7 tickets). Children under 6 years: free admission.
  • Advance sales: starting May 28, 2015, at all ticket outlets, DB Service Stores, customer centers and ticket machines of the Berlin S-Bahn and the BVG. Online from May 11 through June 10, 2015 at (payment by credit card or via PayPal) and
  • Telephone Information Hotline : 030 / 284 938 47

All the venues of Freie Universität and other academic institutions in Berlin-Dahlem can be reached by shuttle buses that visitors to the Long Night may take for free. The central transfer point is Habelschwerdter Allee 45. Students at the Institute of Computer Science developed an app called "LNdW FU Berlin – Dahlem/Steglitz" that allows individuals to evaluate the extensive program according to interests, location, time, and duration – including route planning. The app is free and runs on all Android systems.

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