Focus on Fellows – The Branco Weiss Spirit
Branco Weiss Fellows excel in research on the boundary between science and society. The following profiles show what selected fellows have achieved during their fellowship.
Technology in the brain
Patricia Monteiro (Fellow 2016–21)
Worldwide, one in four people will suffer a mental illness in the course of their lives. While almost every part of the human body can be replaced today, the brain remains largely a black box. That is why Patricia Monteiro chose neuroscience as her field of research.
Robots to go
Marco Hutter (Fellow 2014–19)
In the last ten years, robots have experienced an extreme boost in terms of autonomy – in other words they can move freely. One of the world’s leading pioneers in this field is Marco Hutter, from 2014 to 2019 a Branco Weiss Fellow and since 2015 a professor at the Robotic Systems Lab at ETH Zurich.
Of Diet and Health
Suzanne Devkota (Fellow 2013–18)
Our diet can actually cause disease and influence its course. As this finding took hold, researchers’ interest in the interactions between people’s diet and their microbiome increased tremendously. Branco Weiss Alumna Suzanne Devkota has been one of the pioneers in this research since 2007.
Unconventional Atomic Physics
Amar Vutha (Fellow 2014–19)
Making an atomic clock that’s a thousand times more precise than any existing one was Amar Vutha’s premise when he applied for a Branco Weiss Fellowship in 2014. Six years later he’s still in pursuit of his original idea, but he hasn’t been able to resist venturing into new fields as well.
Breaking New Ground in Eyewitness Interviewing
Annelies Vredeveldt (Fellow 2013–18)
The findings of Branco Weiss Alumna Annelies Vredeveldt have up-ended traditional views on discussion between eyewitnesses and inspired the introduction of a new investigative tool: the collaborative eyewitness interview.
Uncertainty in Science
Karim Bschir (Fellow 2012–17)
Scientists are not only obliged to find truth and maintain objectivity, they also bear a moral responsibility for the negative consequences of their actions, insofar as they were foreseeable, says Branco Weiss Alumnus Karim Bschir.