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UZH News

Review of the Year 2015

From Mother’s Milk to Rocket Launches

On an almost daily basis over the course of 2015, UZH News reported the latest news at Switzerland’s largest university. We take leave for this year by passing review on some of the biggest events of the past 12 months. As of January 2016, we will be ready to serve you again with the latest news, interviews, and videos. 


In September, UZH and ETH Zurich opened their doors for the 2015 edition of Scientifica. The research fair was all about light. (Bild: Frank Brüderli)

Citizens create knowledge

Citizen science has become a firm feature of established research. The University of Zurich has joined forces with ETH Zurich and the University of Geneva in a call for universally binding guidelines and principles for citizen science. In January, scientists and other interested parties discussed at a workshop the conditions under which citizen science can be achieved.

Joint Project in Geriatric Research

UZH, the University Hospital, the Waid Hospital, and the City of Zurich’s care facilities have joined forces in the field of geriatrics to promote research and improve care. Former UZH Vice President Daniel Wyler explained the background information in an interview held in February. (Interview in German)

20th Anniversary of the Center for Ethics

In 2015, the Center for Ethics celebrated its 20th anniversary. The festivities began in March with a panel discussion on the condition of democracy in Switzerland and the world. To conclude the celebrations, the Center was guest at the Theater Neumarkt. (Articles in German)

Teaching Award for Rolf Sethe

At this year’s annual Dies academicus event, legal scholar Rolf Sethe received the Teaching Award for his outstanding ability to motivate students and to encourage effective learning processes. (Articles in German)

New Minister of Education

In May, Silvia Steiner succeeded Regine Aeppli as Minister of Education. To UZH News she talked about her time as a law student, her dual role as Cantonal Director for Education and President of the University Board, as well as the relationship between UZH and the Canton of Zurich. (Interview in German)

A New Chapter for the Nation's Capital

The University of Zurich has a new alumni group in Washington, D.C. The chapter was inaugurated in July in a ceremony attended by ambassador and UZH alumnus Martin Dahinden and UZH president Michael Hengartner.

Professorship for Human Lactation Research

It is not yet known why breastfeeding protects children from illness and infection – a condition that is about to change thanks to the world’s first medical professorship for human lactation research, as announced in July at a media conference. The professorship is scheduled to begin in mid-2016.

Scientifica: Light and Illumination

In September, UZH and ETH Zurich opened their doors for the 2015 edition of Scientifica. This year, the research fair was all about light and featured short lectures, exhibitions, and technology shows that were both educational and entertaining.

Michael Hengartner elected president of swissuniversities

UZH President Michael Hengartner has been elected the new president of swissuniversities, the conference of the rectors of Swiss tier-one universities, universities of applied sciences, and universities of teacher education. In this interview he explains his motivation for accepting this position.

More Decision-Making Authority in Real Estate

The University has been granted greater decision-making authority when planning and managing its real estate assets. In accordance with a decision of the Parliament of the Canton of Zurich in September, UZH will take on a leadership role in construction projects in the future. UZH President Michael Hengartner and Stefan Schnyder, Director of Finances, Human Resources and Infrastructure welcome this decision and discuss the benefits in an interview. (Interview in German) 

Zurich and the Nobel Prize

How do you win the Nobel Prize? Nobel Prize laureate Role Zinkernagel and UZH President Michael Hengartner discussed this and many other questions about the world’s most renowned prize. And for the exhibition “Einstein and Co. Zurich and the Nobel Prize", UZH created 12 videos. The exhibition is open until 23 January 2016.


In the coming years, UZH will be encouraging more massive open online courses, or MOOCs, as reported by UZH News in October. To date, six online lecture series have been held at the University of Zurich, for example, a MOOC in Scandinavian studies about Vikings.   (Articles in German)

Tag der Lehre

This year’s «Tag der Lehre» was the seventh time UZH has held the event celebrating good teaching. During the day, the institutes and departments held special events on teaching and learning, and in the evening ceremony, 51 students received a semester award for their excellent work. (Article in German)

Successful launch of LISA Pathfinder

LISA Pathfinder is a satellite designed to help detect gravitational waves in space,  which Albert Einstein predicted about 100 years ago in his general theory of relativity. UZH physicist Philippe Jetzer is involved at the forefront of this international experiment.

Balgrist Campus

This December, the Balgrist Campus celebrated its grand opening after a four-year construction phase. Diverse research groups have joined forces at the new center for musculoskeletal research and development, where the building has been designed without partition walls to promote collaboration. (Article in German)

Bridge to Practice

  In December the Wyss Translational Center Zurich was inaugurated in an official ceremony. The aim of the new development center, set up by the University and ETH Zurich with a donation from entrepreneur Hansjörg Wyss, is to translate innovative ideas from pure research more rapidly into practice.

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