friedrich 119: Editorial

Prof. Dr. Joachim Hornegger. (Image: FAU/Thomas Einberger)

Dear readers,

It is sometimes claimed that our modern society has become superficial or quite simply no longer wants to know the truth. This certainly cannot be said of researchers. Those who have dedicated their lives to research are driven by quite the opposite: making invisible connections visible, penetrating to the core of a matter and improving our understanding of the world on a quest for explanations. Many connections are so complex that it will take many years until researchers finally succeed in unravelling them. In this edition of friedrich, we have accompanied researchers on their journey of discovery into hidden worlds.

Along the way, we encountered objects which are simply to small for us to see with the naked eye but which form the foundations on which our world is based. There are other things which we have lost sight of, forgotten or lost over the ages which we have now re-discovered and are investigating ways we can make use of them to meet the requirements of today’s world. There are other things we simply do not want to think about, let alone see – whether from fear or shame. And yet the lure of the forbidden is real, explaining why people break taboos again and again.

Society sometimes fails to recognise connections. To what extent has artificial intelligence already been integrated into our day to day lives? What effect does language have on how we perceive our world? Which experiences and motives are the key to our behaviour? Can subliminal advertising really influence us without us realising? And then there are an number of things which are deliberately kept hidden: secrets, for example. Private individuals and institutions alike often prefer to keep their cards close to their chest. Sometimes, entire parallel societies manage to take root in secret without us noticing until their structures are fairly well established.

Many different things are hidden in many different ways. In this edition of friedrich, we would like to invite you to join our researchers in taking a closer look and shining a light on what has until now remained hidden.

I hope you enjoy reading,

Joachim Hornegger

FAU President

FAU research magazine friedrich

Cover FAU-Forschungsmagazin friedrich Nr. 119This article first appeared in our research magazine friedrich. You can order the print issue (only available in German) free of charge at

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