Press Release 094/2011

Thinking about Japan

Scientific and Musical Event at KIT on the Occasion of the Japanese Natural Disaster and Reactor Accident at Fukushima in March This Year
Kreist um die Katastrophe in Japan: eine Veranstaltung am KIT mit Eindrücken,  Erfahrungen und wissenschaftlichen Aspekten.  (Foto: Studienzentrum für Sehgeschädigte)
The event at KIT will focus on impressions, experience, and scientific aspects relating to the catastrophe in Japan. (Photo: Studies Center for Visually Impaired Students)

For several weeks, scientists of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have analyzed the impacts of the natural disasters in Japan on the nuclear power plants at Fukushima in working groups of the Helmholtz Association under the direction of KIT. Urgent questions are answered on the KIT websites. An event on June 09, 19 hrs, at the Gerthsen-Hörsaal on Campus South will offer another type of approach to the disaster that marked a major turning point for many of us.

“Ohnmacht und dennoch … (Helplessness and still…)”: With a combination of scientific presentations by KIT experts, reports of students, poetry, and music, the event initiated and organized by the Studies Center for Visually Impaired Students under the auspices of the KIT Presidential Committee will focus on the tsunami and the following reactor accident. After the welcome by the Head of the Studies Center for Visually Impaired Students, Joachim Klaus, and a welcome address by KIT Vice President Dr. Peter Fritz, the program will continue with two reports by students who passed a traineeship at an industrial company in the Japanese capital when the catastrophes happened.

Dr. Joachim Knebel, expert for reactor safety and Chief Science Officer at KIT, and Dr. Ellen Gottschämmer from the Geophysical Institute will then report about the current situation and about research into natural disasters.

The musical and poetic parts will then lie in the hands of Gerhard Jaworek and pianist Martin Engel. Jaworek, member of the staff of the Studies Center for Visually Impaired Students, will deal with the catastrophe in a musical and literary way under the heading of “Die Welt ist nicht mehr wie sie war” (World no longer is as it was before). Engel, student of the master class of Professor Kalle Randalu at the Karlsruhe University of Music, will play romantic pieces by Franz Liszt and Robert Schumann.

The Studies Center for Visually Impaired Students (SZS) founded in 1993 initiated this event due to their long and close relations to Japanese scientists and students, universities, and research institutions. Japanese scientists frequently stay at SZS, Japanese students regularly participate in the annual International Camp on Communication & Computers for visually impaired and blind adolescents, and diploma theses of SZS students are supervised by Japanese university teachers.

The program of the event is available at

Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 9,600 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 23,300 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.

tr, 07.06.2011


Monika Landgraf
Head of Corporate Communications, Chief Press Officer
Phone: +49 721 608-41150
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
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The press release is available as a PDF file.