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China Academic Network

Scientific Forum at LMU Munich

München, 10/27/2017

The LMU–China Academic Network (ChAN) was set up to stimulate academic exchange in research and studies between LMU and China’s leading universities. The Network is holding its Third Annual Scientific Forum in Munich this weekend, following last year’s successful meeting hosted by Zhejiang University in Hangzhou. This year’s gathering will be attended by 140 researchers from both countries, who will discuss the results of ongoing joint projects and develop ideas for new collaborations and interdisciplinary dialog – in areas extending from Medicine and the Biosciences through the Humanities and Social Sciences to Physics and Environmental History.

Foto: International Office LMU

The meeting will focus on topics that are of great significance for both sides. “In recent years, interest in environmental studies and environmental issues generally has grown more rapidly in China than anywhere else in the world, not only in technical fields like Engineering and the Natural Sciences, but also in the Humanities and Social Sciences,” says Professor Christof Mauch, Director of the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society at LMU and an Honorary Professor at Renmin University in Peking. Indeed, the development of Environmental History in Germany, both on the institutional level and with respect to research, has greatly benefitted from close cooperation with partners in China – and vice versa. A further example for the close academic ties forged between the two countries is the Workshop which will follow the Scientific Forum. On 3-5 November, researchers and fellows based at the Rachel Carson Center will play host to environmental historians and geographers from Chinese partner universities, to discuss their own research projects and explore the prospects for bilateral research and exchange initiatives. The title of the Workshop, “Asia and the Pacific: Environments - Cultures – Histories”, evokes China’s global interconnectedness and points to the fact that environmental changes have always been accompanied by cultural transformations.

The Scientific Forum organized by the LMU-China Academic Network gives young researchers the chance to present their work, and in particular the results obtained in the course of joint German-Chinese projects, to a wider audience. “Based on my own experience, I can emphatically state that the Forum is tremendously stimulating, and is enormously effective in forwarding our common projects,” says Professor Martin Biel, who holds the Chair of Pharmacology at LMU. “Person-to-person contacts between German and Chinese researchers are very helpful, insofar as they not only illuminate issues specific to our respective disciplines, but also clarify aspects of the intercultural nature of our relationships.” Biel also serves as Coordinator of the LMU-Tongji Junior Research Group, which is based at Tongji University in Shanghai. This Chinese-German project exemplifies a central component of the Network as a whole: reciprocal visits by members of the Junior Research Group to Shanghai and to Biel’s Institute in Munich, in order to carry out experiments, learn new techniques, discuss progress and develop new ideas.

The LMU-China Academic Network has enabled LMU to strengthen and consolidate its links with selected universities in China, such as Peking University and Renmin University in the country’s capital, Fudan and Jiaotong in Shanghai and Zhejiang University in Hangzhou. In addition to the annual Scientific Forum, the ChAN also provides support for research visits, as well as resources for the organization and implementation of small-scale workshops and Summer Schools involving participants from LMU and its Chinese partner universities.

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