Brussels, 26 Nov 2004
The German Research Foundation (DFG) has announced that it is to create seven new collaborative research centres that will investigate, among other things, how the ancient world affects modern society, and try to formulate a unified theory of space, time and matter.
The new research centres will be established on 1 January 2005, bringing the total number of collaborative research centres supported by the DFG up to 0 within 57 universities, representing an investment of 370 million euro.
One of the centres being set up will be called 'transformations of the ancient world', and will analyse the role that the ancients played in forming contemporary cultural identities, as well as the contribution of antiquity in forming Europe's intellectual, artistic and literary societies.
The 'economic risk' collaborative research centre will use empirical, experimental and theoretical methods to try to identify what the major economic risks are, how they can be accurately measured and evaluated, and how individuals and companies can try to manage these risks.
Other centres will focus on biology and medicine, genome expression and maintenance, information processing in plants, and cellular approaches to suppression of unwanted immune reactions. But perhaps the most ambitious of all is the 'space - time - matter: analytical and geometrical studies' centre. Here, mathematicians and theoretical physicists will attempt what is still considered the holy grail by many of their peers: to devise a unified theory that links Einstein's general theory of relativity and the principles of quantum mechanics.
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