Working at Freie Universität, psychologist Rebecca Bondü has analyzed the reasons and risk factors associated with school shootings
It has been ten years since Robert Steinhäuser, then still a high school student, entered the Gutenberg secondary school in the city of Erfurt with a gun and went on a rampage, killing 16 people, including 12 teachers and two students. Working within the Berlin Leaking Project at Freie Universität Berlin, psychologist Rebecca Bondü has conducted a study of school shootings, including the shooting rampage in Erfurt and many other school massacres. The project is based on the theory that there are always warning signs before an individual goes on a rampage, including verbal threats or fantasies of violence posted on the Internet by the later perpetrator.
Scholars at Freie Universität study the causes of natural disasters in the Alps
When the local population first converted to Christianity, the old stories in which a giant lives up on the mountain and throws stones when he is angered seemed to fade away. Then, with the advent of the Enlightenment, the stories that claimed that landslides that swallowed whole villages were God’s punishment for a sinful life met a similar fate. Instead, scientific explanations holding that avalanches, falling rock, and landslides have geological, meteorological, or agricultural causes gained ground in the Alps, as in other areas. But each step forward also meant that a piece of longstanding traditional knowledge was lost – knowledge that by now, as the world is faced with climate change, could be very useful again. How and why that happened, and how helpful, but buried knowledge can be dug up and made useful again, are the subjects of study for scholars taking part in the project “Alpine Natural Disasters in Climate Change,” a large portion of which is located at Freie Universität.
Film scholar Thomas Morsch studies the media aesthetics of cinema
A spaceship dances gracefully around a space station to the music of Johann Strauss’s waltz The Blue Danube. In addition, a woman, held to the ground by weighted shoes, moves toward a sleeping man whose arm floats in the air – choreographies of weightlessness. In his 1968 science fiction film 2001: A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick used Oscar-winning special effects, intense images, and orchestral music to create a film world that “means a physical experience,” according to film scholar Thomas Morsch.