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August 9, 2018: Farewell Prof. Freitag and Welcome to UCF, PD Dr. Henschen

As of July 2018, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Freitag transferred to the University of Mannheim where he now holds the Chair of Theoretical Philosophy at the Department of Philosophy. We congratulate Wolfgang Freitag and thank him for his outstanding work in the last five years here at UCF!

Together with Prof. Veronika Lipphardt and UCF staff he created and further developed the LAS Core curriculum that has become one of the distinctive features of the Freiburg LAS program. He taught and inspired many LAS students with courses on Theory of Knowledge or Knowledge in Context, especially in their first two years of study. From 2015 to 2018 Wolfgang Freitag was Dean of Studies and made great contributions to the overall integration and organization of the LAS Program. Beyond his LAS- and teaching-contributions, Prof. Freitag worked on various research projects, e.g. think: Language and Self-Consciousness or Mind the Meaning – The Philosophy of Psychological Expressivism.

Farewell Wolfgang Freitag


Farewell Party Prof. Wolfgang Freitag

UCF Urkunde Prof. Freitag



PD Dr. Tobias Henschen

Until a new professor takes over the Chair in Epistemology and Theory of Science, the LAS teaching duties will be covered by a substitute professor. With the beginning of winter semester 2018/19, we warmly welcome PD Dr. Tobias Henschen to UCF. PD Dr. Henschen did his PhD in Philosophy at the University of Heidelberg, was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Philosophy Department of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and received his Habilitation at the University of Konstanz. His main research interests include general philosophy of science, philosophy of economics, and the philosophy of Kant and Heidegger. In this five-minute video, he provides an outline of his most recent research on macroeconomics. More information on PD Dr. Henschen is available here.

PD Dr. Tobias Henschen will be teaching in the majors Governance (Economic Crises: History, Causes and Consequences), Culture and History (History of Philosophy) and in the Core (Knowledge, Truth, and Inference). Tobias, welcome to UCF!


July 24, 2018: News from UCF Alumna Veronika

We are always happy to hear from our LAS graduates and what they are doing after LAS. Veronika Vazhnik majored in Earth and Environmental Sciences at UCF and graduated in 2016. After that, Veronika started her PhD studies in BioRenewable Systems at Penn State University's Agricultural and Biological Engineering department, supervised by Prof. Tom Richard.

Now, after passing her comprehensive exams, Veronika is writing her dissertation at the Idaho National Lab (INL). In her dissertation, she is developing a framework that can help farmers decide which crop to place where on the field based on the farmer’s priorities and based on sustainability assessment of the choices. Her scientific approach is transdisciplinary, including landscape ecology, sustainability science, agricultural engineering, economic theory, operations research; as well as talking to farmers about what matters to them on their farms.

Prof. Richard Lab

Prof. Richards Lab Team
of 2017-2018

3D-printer Oak Ridge

3D Printer Oak Ridge

Table Rock Mountain

Table Rock Mountain,
View Grand Teton

Besides that, Veronika is doing a minor in operations research, which is a subfield of industrial engineering that develops mathematical tools for decision-making and optimization. She visits conferences, co-organizes a workshop in the Chesapeake Bay on how to overcome the water pollution challenge and organizes a team to take part in the EcoChallenge. We thank Veronika for her update and wish her all the best for her projects!

Veronika in HKG

                                                 Veronika during her LAS study abroad time in Hong Kong


July 11, 2018: Talk by Dr. Michael Lauk

Academia meets Industry Dr. Lauk

Next week Dr. Michael Lauk, Chief Executive Officer Neuroloop GmbH, Freiburg, will give his talk on "Starting without Ending: Insights into 20 years of founding and managing Life-Science Start-ups". The talk is part of the seminar series "Academia meets Industry", which aims at stimulating transdisciplinary discussions between university members and high profile managers.

When? Wednesday, July 11, 2018, 17.00 (s.t.)

Where? Lecture Hall 00 005, Institute of Physiology/Pharmacology,
            Hermann-Herder-Str. 7



Study Innovation Prize for the Teaching Project "Forschendes Lernen im Uniseum"

At the annual University of Freiburg Dies Universitatis, the Teaching Project "Forschendes Lernen im Uniseum" was awarded an innovation prize by the University of Freiburg Students' Union. The project combines research-oriented academic learning with practical aspects of museal exhibition work. It is carried in collaboration between the University's Uniseum, the History Department, and UCF. Specifically, the prize goes to the development of new exhibition modules for the Uniseum's "Kabinett des Staunens" (Cabinet of Amazement).

Press coverage is available at the Badische Zeitung.
Fotos are available at the Uni Freiburg Twitter feed.


June 15, 2018: UCF at the United Nations and the Int. Committee of the Red Cross

A group of 35 students from UCF, accompanied by Dr. Stoyan Panov, participated in a two-day visit to the UN Conference on Trade and Development, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva, Switzerland.

The UCF group visited the UN and met with an expert from the UN Conference on Trade and Development. The LAS students were given the opportunity to learn about the mandate and role of the UNCTAD as regards to global trade and development and the function of the UN in that area. They further had the chance to inquire of the pathway to work for the UN in a highly interactive Q&A format with the UN official and visited a plenary session of the 2018 International Labour Conference.


The next day the group visited the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights where they learned about the challenging role of the UNHRC in terms of promoting and protecting human rights in the world. The discussion was interactive and allowed to get inside information as to the role of human rights experts on various missions in problematic places around the world in the field of human rights.

Finally the students visited the International Committee of the Red Cross where they met with an ICRC operations coordinator for Africa and an associate from the ICRC Law and Policy Forum. The discussion centered on the function of the ICRC and oftentimes precarious and brave role of ICRC personnel in the midst of warzones, incorporating many practical examples and experiences from on-field operations of the ICRC.


June 6, 2018: Erasmus Prize Award Ceremony

For the first time, the Erasmus Prize for the Liberal Arts and Sciences 2018 was awarded to two Liberal Arts and Sciences graduates: Roosje van der Kamp from Amsterdam University College and Felisa Mesuere from UCF. Roosje van der Kamp connects in her Bachelor thesis "A Modern Disease: A Philosophical Inquiry into Kierkegaard’s Concept of Depression and the Age of Reflection" Kierkegaard’s critique of modernity to his concept of depression and places this in the context of modern discourses on depression. Felisa Mesuere combines in her Bachelor thesis "Playing with Morals – Gender Ambiguity in Monteverdi’s Oper L’Orfeo" approaches from history, music and gender studies in order to analyze gender ambiguity in Claudio Monteverdi’s early 17th-century opera L’Orfeo. For more information, please see the University of Freiburg press release.

This year we very honored that Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Dr.-Ing. E.h. Jürgen Mittelstraß, director of the Konstanz Science Forum, gave the UCF Lecture 2018. We thank Prof. Mittelstraß for his inspring lecture on: "Fröhliche Wissenschaft? Wissenschaft und Universität zwischen Erkenntnis- und Verwertungsidealen".

UCF thanks all guests for being part of the 2018 award ceremony and the ongoing support!

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prof-gehrke.png van-der-kamp.png mesuere.png
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(Photos by Patrick Seeger and LAS student Tom Burggraf. Thank you very much!)


June 14, 2018: Lecture by Prof. Dr. Anne Harrington – "Rejected Miracles"

Lecture Prof. Anne HarringtonProf. Harrington's lecture "Rejected Miracles: Reflections on a medical archive at the boundary between skepticism and the supernatural" is about what must be the most unusual medical archive in the world. It is an archive of medical miracles – supernatural healings that don’t just ask you to take the patients' word for it, but that have been extensively vetted by medical authorities. The archive is not in some distant, exotic part of the world. It is just a short train or plane ride away from Freiburg, at the Catholic pilgrimage site in southern France called Lourdes.The lecture is part of the Colloquium Series "Society/Environment/Biology" of the Chair in Science and Technology Studies.

When? Thursday, June 14, 2018, 16.00

Where? Veranstaltungssaal of the University Library, 1.OG

The lecture is free and open to the public.


May 29, 2018: STS@Freiburg Initiative in the Media

Currently, the extension of DNA-analysis in criminal investigations is discussed fervently in political arenas; this week, for example, at the Conference of Ministers of the Interior and the Conference of Ministers of Justice for an implementation on the national level in Germany. Bavaria passed a Police Task Act (PAG) in late May that allows police forces to analyse DNA for hair, eye and skin color as well as "biogeographical ancestry".

The initiative STS@Freiburg, including UCF professor Veronika Lipphardt, has been widely quoted and represented in international media – to name but a few:

In addition, in the context of the current international debate on race and racism as well as the opening of the exhibition "Rassismus. Die Erfindung der Menschenrassen" at the Deutsche Hygiene Museum Dresden, Prof. Lipphardt and the multidisciplinary initiative are again being heard by media and actively contributing to the debate:


Prof. Lipphardt STS@Freiburg


May 17, 2018: Lecture by Prof. Dr. Nancy Campbell

Lecture Prof. Campbell

Prof. Campbell’s lecture "Lively Selves or Risky Subjects: The Unsettled Life of a Technology of Solidarity" will examine the role of social movements and technology in responding to and treating the opioid epidemic in the United States. The lecture is part of the Colloquium Series "Society/Environment/Biology" of the Chair in Science and Technology Studies.

When? Thursday, May 17, 2018, 16.00

Where? Veranstaltungssaal of the University Library, 1.OG

The lecture is free and open to the public.



May 3, 2018: Lecture by Prof. Dr. Dr. Susan Jones

Lecture Susan Jones

In her lecture "The Homelands of the Plague: Soviet Disease Ecology in Central ASIA; 1920s–1950s.", Prof. Susan Jones will analyze the development of an important Russian/Soviet school of "disease ecology" at the intersection of human medicine, veterinary medicine, and ecological fieldwork. The lecture is part of the Colloquium Series "Society/Environment/Biology" of the Chair in Science and Technology Studies.

When? Thursday, May 3, 2018, 16.00

Where? Veranstaltungssaal of the University Library, 1.OG

The lecture is free and open to the public.



April 5, 2018: STS Colloquium Series "Society/Environment/Biology"

The interrelationships between society, the environment, and biology are becoming ever more complex and important. Concepts such as disease, genes, ecologies, and biomedicine have taken on new meanings in politics, law, ethics, popular culture, and the sciences themselves. Navigating and understanding this changing landscape poses challenges that span academic disciplines.

STS Colloquium Summer 2018The Chair in Science and Technology Studies invites you to the Colloquium Series "Society/Environment/Biology" this summer semester. All lectures  by world-renowned scholars in Science and Technology Studies, History of Science, and History of Medicine are open to the public and will be followed by discussion.

When? Thursday, April 19, 2018, 16.00  The first talk is by Jenny Reardon on "Just Genomes?"
Prof. Reardon will be speaking on governance, ethics, and justice after the Human Genome Project.

Where? All talks will take place in the Veranstaltungssaal of the University Library

You can find an up-to-date calendar of talks here.



March 19, 2018: Successful funding of the research project "Mind the Meaning"

Prof. Freitag


The Chair for Epistemology and Theory of Science has successfully applied for funding for the research project "Mind the Meaning – The Philosophy of Psychological Expressivism". The project, headed by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Freitag, is funded by the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung for Wissenschaftsförderung and will start in spring / summer 2018. For more information on the project, please see our research site or contact Dr. Marc Andree Weber.




March 14, 2018: Talk by Dr. Kirsten Lund-Jürgensen (Pfizer Inc.)

Academia meets Industry Lund-Jürgensen


Next week Dr. Kirsten Lund-Jürgensen, Executive Vice president and president of Pfizer Global Supply at Pfizer Inc., USA will give her talk on "Working in a Global Pharmaceutical Company: Expectations and Opportunities". The talk is part of the seminar series "Academia meets Industry", which aims at stimulating transdisciplinary discussions between university members and high profile managers.

When? Wednesday, March 14, 2018, 17.00 (s.t.)

Where? Lecture Hall Weismannhaus, Albertstr. 21 a



March 5, 2018: Announcement of two C.H. Beck Teaching Fellowships

Job Offers Beck Fellowships


UCF invites applications for two C.H. Beck Teaching Fellowships for the module Responsibility and Leadership II in the Bachelor program Liberal Arts and Sciences.

With these fellowships, the C.H. Beck Foundation promotes the combination of practical and academic contents when teaching Respnsibility and Leadership.

More information on the fellowships can be found here. The application deadline for this round is March 31, 2018.




February 28, 2018: Course Catalog for Summersemester 2018 is now online

UCF Course Catalog



We have finalized the Liberal Arts and Sciences Course Catalog for the Summer Semester 2018. The LAS Course Catalog includes detailed information (Instructor, Course Description, Dates and Times) on the upcoming Block and Semester long courses as well as on the Course Registration procedure. You can download the Course Catalog, as well as older Course Catalogs and other handbooks, here.




February 20, 2018: Deutschlandfunk Feature – "Von der DNA zum Verdächtigen"

STS Freiburg Logo

The public debate on Forensic DNA Phenotyping is ongoing in Germany. In this context, the multidisciplinary initiative STS@Freiburg that was co-initiated at the UCF Chair in Science and Technology Studies in November 2016 is being heard and consulted by media and decision-makers.

In their 45-minute feature from earlier this week, Deutschlandfunk covered recent developments and interviewed a number experts from throughout Europe – including UCF's Prof. Veronika Lipphardt. The audio is available here.



"Research Design Across Disciplines" – Conference (February 9/10, 2018)

In the LAS course Research Design Across Disciplines (RDAD), fourth-year students refine their academic skills, learn about the contexts of research, and develop research proposals of their own. The course ends with a self-organized conference at which the students present and discuss their proposals before embarking on their B.A. or B.Sc. theses.

The RDAD conference 2018 will take place on February 9th and 10th. It includes panel sessions on topics such as "Global Actors and their Foreign Policies", "Views on Humanity", "Improving Human-Environment Interactions", or "The Human Body between Health and Disease" as well as a Poster Session.

The full program is available here.

UCF Research Design Conference 2018


January 24, 2018: UCF at the European Court of Human Rights and Council of Europe

A group of 40 students from University College Freiburg, from the Faculty of Law-University of Freiburg and EUCOR partner University of Basel accompanied by Dr. Stoyan Panov (UCF) attended a hearing of the European Court of Human Rights on 24 January 2018. The group witnessed the Grand Chamber hearing of the highly politically contentious case of Navalnyy v. Russia in the European Court of Human Rights. The case concerned the numerous detentions of Mr. Alexey Navalnyy, his right to a fair trial, and the freedom of political assembly in Russia. After the hearings, the group met with a lawyer from the Registry of the Court who discussed what it is like to work at the Court.

UCF Strasbourg Excursion 2018-1
ECtHR building, Strasbourg

UCF Strasbourg Excursion 2018-2
Meeting with a lawyer from the ECtHR

In the afternoon, the group visited the Council of Europe and attended the hearing and Q&A session of the Prime Minister of Denmark, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, before the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Afterwards, Mr. Alun Drake from the Directorate of Communication of the Council of Europe met with the group and presented on the function of the Council of Europe followed up by a Q&A session on the current challenges that the Council of Europe is facing. The visit to the Grand Chamber's hearing of the ECtHR and the Council of Europe was particularly valuable for the participants in the Public International Law and International Law in Practice courses. 

UCF Strasbourg Excursion 2018-3
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

UCF Strasbourg Excursion 2018-4
Council of Europe, Strasbourg

The excursion was possible thanks to kind support by Alumni Freiburg!


January 24, 2018: Job offers

UCF is seeking to hire:

More information is available under Job Offers. We are looking forward to your applications!


January 16, 2018: Finance and Banking – Expert Interview with Mr. Alan Gerry

Expert Interview Alan Gerry

The ongoing LAS Governance Course "Finance and Banking", taught by Dr. Gerhard Kempter, covers topics such as the global financial industry, bank regulation and management, and the power of money. In the context of this course and in order to provide first-hand insights, an expert interview via Skype will take place with the self-made billionaire Mr. Alan Gerry

This session is open to all who are interested in economics and finance. It will focus on topics such as financial regulation, risks, and crises, but also on cryptocurrencies and Donald Trump's tax reform.

When? On Tuesday, January 16, 2018, 18:00 – 20:00

Where? Lecture Hall 1016 (Kollegiengebäude I, ground floor)


Alan Gerry

Mr. Alan Gerry 


Liberal Arts and Sciences – Key Dates 2018

For prospective LAS students, we would like to announce the following key dates for 2018:

1. LAS Open Days
In spring 2018, UCF will again open its doors for prospective students. The Open Days 2018 will take place on Friday, April 20 and on Friday, June 8. More information is available here.

2. Application Period
The application period for starting the LAS program in October 2018 is June 1 – July 15.

3. Interview Week
The LAS selection interviews will take place from in the week of July 30 – August 3. Please see our Application and Admissions page for more information; and please note that we will update our application guidelines early 2018.

Join us




UCF Holidays 2017-2018

We would like to thank everybody who contributed to making 2017 a very positive year for UCF – students, staff, professors, the many supporters and friends. We look forward to continuing our collaborations of many kinds in 2018.

And we wish everybody peaceful and inspiring holidays as well as a great start to the New Year 2018.


December 15−16, 2017: Workshop think4: "Self-Consciousness"

Workshop Self-ConsciousnessOn December 15−16, 2017, the think4 workshop "Self-Consciousness − Philosophy Meets Empirical Science" will take place.

Subjects that exhibit self-consciousness are able to consciously recognize mental and bodily states as their own. Philosophical, neuroscientific and psychological theories of self-consciousness seek to account for this ability at different levels of explanation. Relevant questions are, for instance: How does self-consciousness emerge in a brain? Is self-consciousness in any interesting way distinct from the awareness of other things? Is it a non-conceptual, pre-reflective feature of all experiences? Further questions concern our way of referring to self-conscious states and the specific kind of knowledge that we seem to have of ourselves. The aim of this workshop is to explore contemporary neuroscientific and psychological answers to these questions and to discuss concepts and theories that philosophy can offer.

The program is available here. Participation is free and open to all who are interested. Kindly register via email to:



December 7, 2017: FRIAS Lunch Lecture by Prof. Lipphardt and Prof. Pfaffelhuber

FRIAS Lunch Lectures


On December 7, Prof. Veronika Lipphardt and Prof. Peter Pfaffelhuber will give the FRIAS Lunch Lecture on "Mixed methods in interdisciplinary collaboration: A case study in Population Genetics". This lecture is part of the FRIAS series "Quantitative vs. qualitative methods across science: Mutual reinforcement, (un)happy co-existence, or source of schisms?".

When? 12:15 − 13:00 on December 7, 2017

Where? KG I, HS 1015



November 22, 2017: LAS at the Open Day of the University of Freiburg

On November 22, the University of Freiburg opens its doors and UCF with its Liberal Arts and Sciences Bachelor program is part of it. Come visit us for:

1. Info Session on Liberal Arts and Sciences

  • by Thorsten Leiendecker, LAS Program Coordinator
  • 12−14h, UCF, Alte Universität, Bertoldstr. 17, first floor, room 01036a

2. LAS Course session "Sciences, Technology & Society"

  • by Dr. Nicholas Buchanan
  • 12−14h, KG 1224, Kollegiengebäude I
  • Science and technology are defining characteristics of our world. But how is scientific knowledge made, how are technologies developed? Read more.

3. LAS Course session "Environment Risks and Us"

  • by Prof. Dr. Dirk Bunke
  • 16−18h, KG 1231, Kollegiengebäude I
  • In this course students explore the complex relationships between human activities, the environment and resulting risks  for human health as well as for the environment. Read more.

To make the planning of your day and navigation at the University easier, the University of Freiburg provides a special app for its Open Day. We are looking forward to seeing you at UCF!

Tag der offenen Tür qr code



October 31, 2017: CREATES Project Kick-Off

Creating Responsive, Engaging and Tailored Education with Students (CREATES) is an Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership focusing on educational approaches that encourage student agency and self-directed learning. The project is funded by the European Commission for 3 years. UCF's project partners are:

On October 31, the CREATES project team – including UCF's Dr. Ursula Glunk – met for the first time in Lüneburg:


We are proud to be part of such an experienced and inspired higher education community. Over the next three years, UCF staff members and students will work together with our international colleagues in order to develop best practices and toolkits for (1) creating engaging classrooms, (2) designing advising approaches that support students in taking ownership for their learning path throughout the curriculum. We will share our findings with educators, students, and higher education decision-makers through training events, conferences, and publications. So: stay tuned for more!


October 14, 2017: LAS Graduation Ceremony

On October 14, 2017 we celebrated our second Liberal Arts and Sciences Graduation Ceremony. Over 200 people joined us to congratulate and bid farewell to the LAS Graduates 2017. We would like to thank all of you for making this celebration a memorable day for all of us. More information and photos are available here.

Graduation all Graduates



October 9-13, 2017: Welcome to our new students

Last week we welcomed our new LAS students at UCF. During the Welcome Week the students met their teachers and visited info sessions where they learned everything about the structure and organization of the study program. Besides that, they got to know each other and their fellow LAS students, tried the Mensa for the first time and had fun at pub crawls and the big Opening Celebration. We wish you a good start here at UCF!

LAS Welcome Week Poster LAS Welcome Week Cohort LAS Welcome Week Pub Crawl
LAS Welcome Week Mensa LAS Welcome Week Common Room LAS Welcome Week Opening Celebration

(Photos by Tom Burggraf)


September 22, 2017: Award Ceremony for Dr. Lya Pfeifer – Max Kade Foundation

On September 22, the University of Freiburg awarded Dr. Lya Friedrich Pfeifer the honorary senator distinction. Lya Pfeifer devoted her career to strengthening relations between the United States and Germany. Since 2003, she is President of the Max Kade Foundation, a foundation that promotes exchange between students and academics in the US and German-speaking countries. Beyond transatlantic exchange programs, the foundation has supported the construction or renovation of student dorms across Germany, three alone in Freiburg.

In January 2017, the foundation agreed to gift $600,000 to University College Freiburg in order to renovate and refurbish two lecture halls at the Alte Universität. They were last renovated during the reconstruction of the Alte Uni complex after the Second World War. With the generous donation from the Max Kade Foundation, the University can put the lecture halls to full use and to achieve their full potential as central learning and interaction spaces. 

We thank Dr. Lya Friedrich Pfeifer and the Max Kade Foundation for their huge support!

Lya Pfeifer Ehrensenatorenwürde Alte Uni Stich

For more information, please see the University of Freiburg press release and the portrait of Lya Pfeifer in the Badische Zeitung.


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