aula kleinFrom 7 to 9 October 2015, twenty scholars from nine universities took part in the interdisciplinary conference 'Scriptural Interpretation at the Interface between Education und Religion' hosted by the Department of New Testament Studies at the University of Göttingen and held at Mariaspring.

Over almost two decades, scholars in biblical and religious studies from the universities of Durham, Göttingen and Groningen have met every second year in order to jointly explore 'Themes in Biblical Narrative' (TBN). Now, this well-established partnership has been put on an even broader basis.

Het Kasteel RUGThe U4 network cluster conference of the cluster Social Sciences, Economics and Law (SSEL) on Governance of a Contemporary Multilateral Institutional Architecture is organized from 4 to 6 November 2015 in Groningen in the congress center Het Kasteel.

The conference includes the following panels:

1. Governance of Politics, Conflicts and Interventions

2. Governance of E-Democracy and Internet Architecture

3. Governance of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity

The U4 cooperation is especially intended to take stock of academic research activities within the participating universities. The aim is to disseminate research, stimulate research cooperation, provide a venue for innovative and multi-disciplinary research approaches and critical reflection. The conference theme of governance of a contemporary multilateral institutional architecture from the systems' and individual perspectives calls for a transnational, interdisciplinary and cross boundary approach of societal challenges. It will be looking at social processes and governance interactions via informal as well as formal rules, private as well as public actors to create social sustainability. This may occur at all levels in a society – a multilevel phenomenon.

Download the conference programme


Panels | Timeline | Organizers | Costs and venue | Conference registration

parenthoodWhen reproduction moves from the private sphere to a medical setting, it gives rise to a whole set of new issues and decisions to be made by lay people. The interdisciplinary Parenthood Research Group was set up in 2011 to conduct an empirical bioethics study about the meaning of genetic and non-genetic parenthood for families using assisted reproductive technologies. One of the aims of the GOA Parenthood project was to identify elements that are considered morally relevant by the (candidate) parents, the known donors, or the children; elements that are new (and potentially) challenging for the way bioethics is currently looking at questions that involve families.

RectorsThis year's 7th U4 Rectors' Meeting took place at the University of Göttingen on 23 and 24 November. During the annual Rectors' Meeting the activities of the past year were evaluated and the rectors decided on a strategy and agenda for the upcoming U4 year.  

To this end, the four academic clusters and the cluster for institutional management presented their work-in-progress and future actions for 2015.

In the framework of the Rectors' Meeting the university directors, the cluster chairs and the student representatives also took the opportunity to discuss further actions. Within the margin of the meeting the Multilingualism research network organized its first kick-off workshop.

Postponed Motherhood smallAdvances in reproductive medicine, like in-vitro fertilization and germ cell donation, have a high potential to change our perception of family and parenthood dramatically.

Recent research in reproductive medicine focuses on infertility due to advanced age. Within the last ten years, it has become possible to store oocytes through cryopreservation. Due to this improvement in egg-cell vitrification, the option for healthy women to freeze their unfertilized egg cells, so-called ‘social freezing’, is now likely to become clinical routine.

The participants discussed this new technology, compared different legal and ethical approaches on an international level and debated the normative concepts of late parenthood in light of a family-ethics approach.