friedrich – FAU´s research magazine

Green is not enough

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Dear readers,

It is one of the most important topics of our times: sustainability. Several researchers at FAU concentrate on exploring how the global community can shape a world where we can all live well, now and in the future. It is abundantly clear that sustainability means so much more than just protecting our environment. Sustainability affects so many areas of our lives – from healthcare and the economy to living together in society.

This issue of friedrich deals with the topic of sustainability from a range of different perspectives. Is it possible to mobilise the international community to make a joint effort to tackle the challenges of our times? And how fair and sustainable is healthcare across the globe? Another vital aspect for a sustainable lifestyle is a healthy environment, a healthy climate. Our magazine takes a look at how scientists are using complex computer models to research the workings of our climate and how it is likely to change in the future. Our western lifestyle is strongly influenced by the economy. The question arises as to whether it is time for a new economic order. As you can see, ecological concerns are only part of the complex concept of ‘sustainability’.

I hope you enjoy reading,

Joachim Hornegger, Präsident der FAU

Editorial of the research magazine friedrich: Green is not enough

Research magazine friedrich:

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Other FAU publications

Sustainability is often seen only as a fashionable buzzword for ecological issues. Yet the term encompasses much more. A short history of sustainability.


We have all tried it at one time or another: Changing habitual behaviour is not easy. Not even when we rationally understand that it is necessary - as with climate change. But there are ways in which we can overcome our inner pig.

Gender equality is a human right. Prof. Dr. Annette Keilhauer has become involved at various levels at FAU as a women’s representative for equal opportunities, striving to achieve a win-win situation in gender equality.

Woman holding laptop on her legs, one hand is a prosthesis.
Artificial hands, even the most sophisticated prostheses, are still by far inferior to human hands. What they lack are the tactile abilities crucial for dexterity. Other challenges include linking sensing to action within the robotic system – and effectively linking it to the human user. Prof. Dr. Philipp Beckerle from the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) has joined with international colleagues to summarize the latest findings in this field of Robotics – and establishing an agenda for future research.

To make the world a better place, the global community must pull together and pursue common goals. Can this work?

The coronavirus pandemic hit the human race wholly unprepared and mercilessly exposed all its inequalities. It is also a catastrophe as far as ethics are concerned.


The climate is changing across the globe. There is no doubt about it. Researchers at FAU are exploring the impact this change is having on individual regions in the world in order to gain a better understanding of climate change as a whole. Their research takes them to the most inhospitable corners of the world.

Professor Wolfgang Kießling, palaeobiologist at FAU, is lead author of two chapters of the World Climate Report. In this interview, he tells us about this voluntary work and how the Earth, especially our oceans, is doing.

Plants have adapted to the climate in our latitudes over thousands of years. Now, temperatures are rising rapidly. How can we adapt our native flora?

Waste is piling up across the globe, whole islands of debris are forming in our oceans. What can we do about it? FAU is investigating several different approaches to master the growing mountains of waste.

Germany’s government has set clear and ambitious objectives for the country’s transition to renewable energy, widely known as the Energiewende. Yet no great progress has been made so far. How can the energy transition gain more momentum?

We need new energy sources for the transition to renewable energy forms. Researchers at FAU are currently working on new technologies for climate neutral energy and heating.


Fewer business journeys, fewer commuters, fewer CO2 emissions: At first glance, the coronavirus pandemic seems to have had a positive effect on the drive towards sustainability. Under close scrutiny, however, the question inevitably arises: is digitalisation really more sustainable?

Climate change and growing inequality worldwide raise the question of a just economic order. Do we need a completely new economic system? FAU researchers share their views.

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the world of work and sped up the pace of digital transformation. Is this just a short-term adjustment to new circumstances – or a change in thinking over the longer term?

They appear as if from nowhere and take the world by storm before returning to obscurity. Trends are the opposite of sustainability. The only ‘sustainable’ thing about them is our vague recollection of them once they have been banned to limbo.


Research magazine friedrich

Older editions

friedrich120: Cover
friedrich no 120

This edition of friedrich takes a closer look at different pathways in a wide range of different contexts. For example, we looked at why and how people travel. To be on the move can also be taken more literally. Something we tend to neglect in today’s digital society. How can we buck this trend? And how can we help those whose movement is restricted as a result of illness? Life is rarely a straightforward journey from A to B. Adaptability is key. Research expeditions are a good example of this in practice. We looked into how Humboldt and other explorers coped with the challenges facing them. And sometimes even if we are expected to follow a certain way of doing things, for example at work, we deliberately choose to ignore it. What inspires us to find a ‘workaround.


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Cover FAU-Forschungsmagazin friedrich Nr. 119
friedrich no. 119

Venture into hidden worlds together with FAU researchers from a wide spectrum of disciplines, ranging from the humanities to natural sciences, and from engineering to medicine. Read the latest 2019 issue of the FAU research magazine ‘friedrich’. Read more


Until 2013, the magazine was published under the title uni | kurier | magazin.

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  • Published by: Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Schlossplatz 4, 91054 Erlangen, Der Präsident, Schlossplatz 4, 91054 Erlangen, Tel.: 09131/85-0, Fax: 09131/85-22131
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