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Molecules, Law, and Universality

The European Research Council is supporting three mid-career researchers in Berlin with ERC Consolidator Grants.

News from Nov 30, 2018

The European Research Council (ERC) is supporting a chemist and a Japanese studies scholar from Freie Universität Berlin, as well as a scholar of Romance languages and literatures from Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. The researchers will each receive a Consolidator Grant amounting to up to two million euros to implement a research project over a maximum period of five years.

Sebastian Hasenstab-Riedel, a professor of chemistry at Freie Universität Berlin, had proposed a project entitled “Untersuchung der Grenzen von hoch potenten Oxidationsmitteln: Vorhersage, Validierung und Darstellung von ungewöhnlichen Molekülen am Rande der Stabilität” [Investigating the Limits of Highly Potent Oxidants: Prediction, Validation and Presentation of Unusual Molecules on the Verge of Stability]. The aim of the research project is the development of new oxidants and oxidizing media.

The theme of the project by Urs Matthias Zachmann, a professor of history and culture of modern Japan at Freie Universität Berlin, is “Recht ohne Gnade: Japanische Standgerichte und Militärgerichte im Asiatisch-Pazifischen Krieg [Rights without Mercy: Japanese Drumhead Court Martials and Military Courts in the Asian-Pacific War] (1937-1945).” It will address the relationship between law and violence in what is probably the most momentous war in modern East Asian history.

Markus Messling, vice director of the Centre Marc Bloch and a professor of Romance literatures at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, received the Consolidator Grant for his research project “Minor Universality. Narrative World Productions after Western Universalism.” It will address an issue central to our current understanding of the world: according to the epistemological and ethical critique of European universalism, how are new conceptions of universality produced that leave behind a centering and hegemonic logic?

With the ERC Consolidator Grant format, the European Research Council supports pioneering projects by researchers who have already established themselves in their field. A total of 291 researchers from all over Europe have received these grants. The total funding of 573 million euros is part of the EU’s Horizon 2020 Framework Program.