Two new fellows of the Gutenberg Research College start work in Mainz

Volcanologist Donald Dingwell and Kant researcher Eric Watkins are among the worldwide leading experts in their fields

4 August 2017

Two new fellows of the Gutenberg Research College (GRC) have recently taken up their work at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). These are the volcanologist Professor Donald Dingwell of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München and the philosopher and Kant expert Professor Eric Watkins of the University of California in San Diego, USA. Both will be coming to Mainz University on a regular basis over the next five years to conduct research here. "Thanks to the support of the GRC, we have been able to recruit these leading researchers, thus reinforcing the international network of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz," emphasized Professor Thomas Hieke, Director of the Gutenberg Research College.

Professor Donald Dingwell is one of the world's leading volcanologists and among the most frequently quoted geoscientists. He has become renowned for his experimental studies of the physics of volcanic systems. At JGU he will be joining Professor Jonathan Castro of the Research Unit VAMOS—Volcanoes and Atmosphere in Magmatic Open Systems to establish a group that will investigate the release of halogens during and after volcanic eruptions. "The aim of this fellowship is to put Mainz on the map as an international hub of volcanology research," stated GRC Director Professor Thomas Hieke.

Since the publication of his book "Kant and the Metaphysics of Causality" in 2005, Professor Eric Watkins has been one of the most prominent scholars on the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, its background and development. His expertise and excellent international contacts will undoubtedly contribute to making Mainz a center of Kant-related research. Close cooperation with the Kant Research Center at the JGU Department of Philosophy and its Kant professorship, a post that is currently vacant, is planned. In addition, collaboration with the Kant researcher Professor Marcus Willaschek of Goethe University Frankfurt is also on the agenda. Watkins intends to organize conferences, workshops, and summer schools at Mainz University, featuring prominent speakers. "By inviting Professor Eric Watkins as a GRC fellow, we can turn Mainz and the Rhine-Main region into Germany's paramount focus for Kant research," Hieke pointed out.

As an expert committee, the Gutenberg Research College (GRC) is the central institution promoting cutting-edge research at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. By awarding fellowships it can attract excellent researchers to the university. Moreover, the GRC advises the university administration with regard to strategic issues, such as the continuing development of JGU's research profile and applications for participation in excellence competitions.