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Universities for Enlightenment: Kann Wissenschaft Freiheit sichern?

Plenary / Panel
German and English language

Sicherheit und Freiheit der Wissenschaft: Konzepte, die einander bedingen oder widersprechen? Wo die Freiheit des Denkens und des Wortes eingeschränkt ist, sind auch Sicherheit, Zukunft und Menschenrechte in Gefahr. Können Europas Universitäten das Fundament der Aufklärung erfolgreich behaupten?

President, University of Zurich
Rector, University of Maribor
Rector, University of Rijeka
Acting President, Universities Austria
Editor, Die Presse, Vienna Chair

Prof. Dr. Michael HENGARTNER

President, University of Zurich

 Michael Hengartner is the 83rd president of the University of Zurich (UZH) and since January 2016 president of swissuniversities, the Rectors' Conference of Swiss Higher Education Institutions. The Swiss-Canadian citizen, born in St. Gallen, Switzerland, grew up in Québec City, Canada, and studied biochemistry at the Université Laval. After his PhD studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with Nobel laureate H. Robert Horvitz, he led for seven years a research group at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in the USA. In 2001, he became the first occupant of the Ernst Hadorn Endowed Chair for molecular biology at the Institute of Molecular Life Sciences at UZH. From 2009 to 2014, he was dean of the Faculty of Science. Michael holds an Executive MBA from IMD, Lausanne and is the recipient of several awards for his research on the molecular basis of apoptosis, among them the Swiss National Latsis Prize, Josef Steiner Cancer Research Award, and an honorary doctorate from Sorbonne Université. In 2010, Michael received the Credit Suisse Award for Best Teaching at UZH. Michael founded and/or sat on the board of a number of start-ups, including the biotech company Devgen (co-founded 1997) and the scientific consultancy company Evaluescience (co-founded 2008).

Prof. Dr. Zdravko KACIC

Rector, University of Maribor

 Prof. Dr. Zdravko Kačič received his Dr. Sci. degree in 1992 from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Maribor, Slovenia. In 2003 he become a full professor at the same institution.His bibliography includes 668 units, from which he authored or co-authored 96 articles published in scientific journals. He was visiting professor at University of Umea, Sweden, guest researcher at University of technology Berlin, Germany, and the University of Technology Munich, Germany. He was leader of several research programs funded by Slovenian Research Agency, and cooperated in numerous international research projects.


Rector, University of Rijeka

 Snjezana Prijić Samarzija, Ph.D., is a full-time professor at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Rijeka. An expert in the fields of social philosophy, epistemology and applied ethics, she is the key founder and first director of the University of Rijeka Foundation, and has founded the Centre for Advanced Studies South East Europe, which she also directs. Prior to her rector’s mandate, she was the vice-rector for students and studies for eight years. Throughout fifteen years of active participation in university management, she has assumed the role of an expert in numerous national and international committees, advisory boards and HE bodies in the domains of: strategic management and leadership in HE; social responsibility of HE and community-oriented learning and research; strategy for human resources in research and ranking policies; quality assurance and student-centered learning, and performance-based agreements. Prijić-Samarzija has authored six books and more than eighty scientific articles, and has edited thirteen companions in the domain of humanities and social sciences. She was an international journal editor, a leader and participant in fifteen research and professional projects, and has chaired the organizing committees of over forty international conferences.

Dr. Oliver VITOUCH

Acting President, Universities Austria

2000-2002 Research Scientist, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin
2002-2003 Associate Professor, University of Vienna
since 2003 Full Professor of Cognitive Psychology, University of Klagenfurt
2006-2012 Chairman of the Senate, University of Klagenfurt
2008-2010 President, Austrian Psychological Society
since 2012 Rector, University of Klagenfurt
2015-2016 President, Alps-Adriatic Rectors’ Conference (AARC)
2016-2017 President, Universities Austria (uniko)

Mag.a Bernadette BAYRHAMMER

Editor, Die Presse, Vienna

since 2009: Editor Die Presse (Domestic desk), Vienna