Fall Semester 2020 Ringvorlesungen

Lectures on Humans, Health and Pestalozzi’s Legacy

The University of Zurich’s latest round of public Ringvorlesungen explores what it means to be human, education in the age of technology, health in a digital society, and gender in the Middle Ages. The lecture series kicks off on 15 September.

Nathalie Huber

Roboter
Roboter
What has become of Pestalozzi's legacy in today's technology-oriented times? The lecture series of the Volkshochschule Zürich and the Commission UZH Interdisciplinary provides an educational panorama. (Image: iStock.com / PhonlamaiPhoto)


In the Fall Semester, the University of Zurich reopens the doors of its lecture halls to the public. Public events complying with the relevant hygiene measures can once again take place. The latest round of public Ringvorlesungen kick off on 15 September and can be attended either on site or viewed as podcasts.

The lectures shed light on relevant topics from a wide range of subjects and address key aspects that concern us all. 

Understanding humans

What does it mean to be human? Scientists and clerics have attempted to answer this question for millennia, and their ideas have long complemented each other’s fields. Since the Enlightenment, however, the idea of humankind has mainly been shaped by the natural sciences. And yet, the methods and findings of this line of research must also be scrutinized. For example, is there such a thing as free will, or are our actions defined by the neural activity in our brains? And if, as some brain researchers believe, our actions are predetermined, how can we then be held accountable for them? 

Organized by the Commission UZH Interdisciplinary, this lecture series gives renowned experts a platform to shed light on what it means to be human, touching on anthropological aspects such as freedom, faith, evolution, knowledge, law, economy, technology and death.

Education in the age of technology

The Volkshochschule was founded about a century ago, with the aim of providing people with a comprehensive education and equipping them for the challenges of our times. What has become of the ideals of the past and the legacy of Pestalozzi in today’s age of technology? The series of 10 lectures, organized by the Volkshochschule Zürich and the Commission UZH Interdisciplinary, serves up a cornucopia of educational topics, from holistic ideals to techno-utopianism. Attendees will learn, for example, whether humans are generally primed for a digital world, or how artificial intelligence can help make education more efficient and individual.

Health in a digital society

Health care provision through mobile digital devices, or mobile health, is setting new standards. Mobile measuring devices, for example, enable us to keep track of various body functions, such as our pulse, blood pressure, blood sugar or calorie burn rate. This innovation comes with the promise of giving us more control over our health. But is this true? And if so, what might be the price for our trust in sensory measurements and artificial intelligence? These and other questions, including the issue of electronic patient files, will be addressed by international digital shapers and out-of-the-box thinkers in the lecture series of the Digital Society Initiative.

Gender in the Middle Ages

How were male and female gender roles defined and passed on in the Middle Ages? Which female and male role models are conveyed in religious and literary texts? What liberties to act did men and women have in the Middle Ages? Answers to these questions are provided in the Ringvorlesung of the Center for Medieval Studies Zurich. The lecture series includes topics such as gender-specific ideas of humility in the Middle Ages, gender order in sports and games, women in the works of Boccaccio, or concepts of femininity in medieval Japan.

Ringvorlesungen Fall Semester 2020

 

Being Human: Science and Faith

Tuesdays, 6:15pm to 8:00pm, weekly from 15 September to 15 December 2020
University of Zurich, City Campus, entrance Karl-Schmid-Str. 4, 8006 Zurich
Room: Lecture hall, KO2 F-180
Organized by: Commission UZH Interdisciplinary 

Limited seating, registration required, lectures will be recorded as podcasts

Program and registration

 

Pestalozzi and the Robots. Education in the Age of Technology

Thursdays, 6:15pm to 8:00pm, weekly from 8 October to 10 December 2020

University of Zurich, City Campus, Karl-Schmid-Str. 4, 8006 Zurich
Room: Lecture hall, KO2 F-180

Organized by: Commission UZH Interdisciplinary 

Limited seating, registration required, lectures will be recorded as podcasts

Program and registration

 

Health in a Digital Society: More Power to the People? 

Thursdays, 6:15pm to 7:45pm, every second week from 24 September to 17 December 2020

University of Zurich, City Campus, Rämistrasse 69, 8001 Zurich
Room: Event room, SOC E-010

Organized by: Digital Society Initiative

Limited seating, registration required, lectures will be made available in real time through Zoom and recorded as podcasts

Most of the lectures in this series will be held in English.

Program and registration

 

Gender in the Middle Ages. Constructs, Images, Discourses

Tuesdays, 4:15pm to 6:00pm, weekly from 15 September to 8 December 2020

Organized by: Center for Medieval Studies Zurich

Lectures available online only. Prior registration required

Program and registration

Nathalie Huber, Editor UZH News

Write Comment

The editorial team reserves the right to not publish comments. We will not publish anonymous, defamatory, racist, sexist, otherwise prejudiced, or irrelevant comments. UZH News will also not publish comments with advertising content.

Number of remaining characters: 1000