Everything that is thrilling, controversial, and fun about science and technology
ETH Zurich – Where the future begins! Our university for science and technology dates back to the year 1855, when the founders of modern-day Switzerland created it as a centre of innovation and knowledge. At ETH Zurich, students discover an ideal environment for independent thinking, researchers a climate which inspires top performance. Situated in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, ETH Zurich is pioneering effective solutions to the global challenges of today and tomorrow. ETH Zurich has an excellent reputation in scientific circles: 21 Nobel laureates have studied, taught or researched here, and ETH regularly ranks as one of the world’s top universities.
ETH series on the topic of uncertainty, part 2
The threat of Climate Change is similar to the Corona Pandemic. Covid-19 and Climate evoke Uncertainty on many levels and are both global problems that affect every single one of us. In the second episode of our Uncertainty-Series, we talk to the renowned ETH Professors Reto Knutti and Tony Patt and student and Climate activist Annabelle Ehmann. In this episode of the ETH podcast, everyone reveals how he or she deals with uncertainty in Climate Change.
ETH podcast series on the topic of uncertainty
This past year has been strange and strenuous. Patience and endurance are what all of us need on many levels. The Corona-Virus-Pandemic not only changed the way we interact, work, and study, it also brought out Uncertainty in many aspects. In the December Episode of the ETH-Podcast, we talk to Tierry Hörmann, the old, and Luca Dahle the new president of VSETH, the umbrella organisation of all students, and how they reach out to fellow students. ETH-Rector Sarah Springman joins the talk and compares this phase with competing in a triathlon without the finishing line in sight. All three guests also talk about the few positive aspects of the crisis. This year's end episode marks the beginning of a Podcast-series touching on the topic of Uncertainty. In our next episodes, we will talk to scientists and students about Uncertainty regarding the field of Climate as well as Cyber Security.
United in virtual space
Sometimes it only takes a few seconds to separate life into a before and an after. Joachim Schoss talks about such a moment when he had a horrible motorcycle accident. He lost his arm and shoulder as well as a part of his leg 18 years ago. Joachim is the president of Myhandycap, a Foundation for people with disabilities and chronic illnesses, and he is also an ambassador of the Cybathlon. ETH-Robotics Professor Robert Riener joins the Cybathlon-Episode of the ETH-Podcast and talks about how he came up with the idea of a competition for people with physical disabilities and how the competition fuels scientific progress.
A question of time
At the moment, nothing seems to be the way it was. There is a „before" and „during" regarding the pandemic. Many people in the world are impatient while waiting for a COVID-19-vaccine. Why is it taking so long, and because of the pandemic, might it be smart to get a flu shot this fall? In the ETH-Podcast, we talk to two immunologists about these questions: Professor Emma Slack from ETH and Johannes Trück, a pediatrician from Kinderspital Zürich.
How future leaders in the field of sustainable development are mastering global challenges
Poverty has many faces. The question of affordable nutrition, water, housing, and energy are just some factors poor people face in their everyday life. The initiative ETH for Development (ETH4D) wants to tackle poverty not by “saving” people from a bad situation but by improving certain circumstances, such as access to off-grid electricity. The Executive Director of ETH4D, Adina Rom, and Ph.D. student Churchill Agutu are guests of the ETH-Podcast and talk about how research and practice can make a difference in fighting poverty.
ETH computer scientists Julia Vogt and Fanny Yang work in the field of Machine Learning and Medicine. While Fanny builds models, Julia applies the theories in different projects collaborating with hospitals. In the ETH-Podcast, both researchers talk about what drew them to their field, and why machines will never replace human beings in the medical field.
Lynn Kaack and David Dao on how to stop the global warming
Climate change hasn’t been hitting the headlines quite as much in recent months – but that’s not because the situation has improved. ETH Zurich researchers Lynn Kaack and David Dao spoke to the ETH Podcast back in March about how we can use AI to help in the fight against climate change. At that time, climate change was still one of the dominant topics in the media, thanks in part to Greta Thunberg and the Fridays for Future movement. Then came the virus, and everything else became irrelevant. The ETH Podcast also produced a special series on COVID-19, which pushed back the episode with Lynn Kaack and David Dao. We have now supplemented the pre-lockdown podcast with current statements from the two researchers. Because we wanted to know what had changed for them.
Lynn Kaack and David Dao on how to stop the global warming
Climate change hasn’t been hitting the headlines quite as much in recent months – but that’s not because the situation has improved. ETH Zurich researchers Lynn Kaack and David Dao spoke to the ETH Podcast back in March about how we can use AI to help in the fight against climate change. This episode of the ETH podcast is about Lynn Kaack’s and David Dao’s work on the energy transition and forests, their work with the organisation Climate Change AI, and their take on research, activism and policy. We pushed back the podcast that had been produced before the lockdown due to our special series on COVID-19 and it has now been supplemented with current statements from the two researchers. Because we wanted to know what had changed for them.
Interview with Detlef Günther, Vice President for Research at ETH Zurich
The coronavirus pandemic forced ETH Zurich to suspend almost all its experimental research in mid-March. This was a major challenge, especially for Detlef Günther, ETH’s Vice President for Research. "But now I see a little more light at the end of the tunnel," he says in the podcast. After all, experimental research is now being stepped up again, albeit with restrictions, as the strict rules on physical distancing and hygiene still apply. Full occupancy is therefore not possible in many laboratories. Despite the adverse circumstances, Günther also sees some positive consequences of the pandemic: it has brought together many disciplines that were previously not connected with each other. His hope is "If we preserve just 20 percent of this mentality, we will definitely bring ETH much further forward in solving future challenges". The podcast episode with Detlef Günther concludes ETH’s ten-part #COVID-19 special series. Of course, the coronavirus will keep the world busy for some time yet and the topic will certainly play a role in upcoming podcast episodes. However, it's also time for the ETH Podcast to find its way back to a normality where different topics have their place and are explored again in more detail.
Contact tracing and respecting privacy
Various contact-tracing apps are currently being developed worldwide to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Apps are seen as a necessary tool in the battle to contain coronavirus infections, but they also raise many ethical questions – not least of which is how to implement digital contact tracing in accordance with data protection. Effy Vayena, Professor of Bioethics, nevertheless remains optimistic that digital technologies can help reduce the speed at which the virus spreads. "We are currently dealing with a variety of technologies that are able to protect our privacy while still serving their purpose," she says.