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Inspiring Science

May 24, 2024 - The Schauspielhaus Bochum is packed to capacity. But it’s not a new play drawing the crowd; it’s five scientists ready to showcase their research. Among them is RESOLV member Adrian Buchmann, presenting his talk: "Does Water Have Memory?"

Science Slams

"What exactly do you do as a scientist?" is a question many young researchers often face. Particularly in basic research, which can seem like a closed book to many. Events like the Science Slam in Bochum aim to bridge this gap. Here, scientists present their research to a broad audience in an engaging and entertaining way. In just ten minutes, scientists share their findings with a blend of humour and clarity, explaining the essence of their research understandable to all. In friendly competition, the participants compete against each other. Building a bridge between comprehensible science and fascinating entertainment. The winner is chosen by the audience based on the loudest applause.


Does Water Have Memory?

Adrian Buchmann, a doctoral student in Prof. Martina Havenith's lab and part of the Cluster of Excellence RESOLV, investigates aqueous solutions using nonlinear THz spectroscopy. Tonight, he opens the question of whether water has memory. He quickly answers, "No." He then uses the remaining 9.5 minutes of this time to explain how he came to that conclusion. Along the way, he teaches the audience about the hydrogen bond network in water are and how spectroscopy works.  The later by using a bottle of beer to make his point: "If you want to know how much beer is left, you hold it up to the light. Some of the light gets absorbed by the liquid, and you can see the level, in that moment you are doing spectroscopy" This analogy not only draws laughs but also makes the concept clear. After his talk, in a short interview with the host, Buchmann stresses the importance of basic research on water. "Water is crucial in almost all processes in the human body. Understanding its hydrogen bond network and its interactions with e.g. proteins can help us develop new medication" he explains to the host.


Building Bridges with Knowledge

Buchmann receives great applause with a standing ovation but narrowly misses winning to Felix Stegmann, who spoke about the immune system in infection immunology. But ultimately, the real winner is science. At a time when scepticism about research is growing, this event stands as a counterpoint. The passion of the Science Slam participants for their work was infectious. "Seeing what these scientists do and hearing them speak so enthusiastically about their work is impressive. This work is important for our future, and I’m glad I got to learn about it today!" said one visitor after the event. Adrian Buchmann summed up the event by saying: "Events like this are a wonderful opportunity to take science from the labs and into the public. In addition to giving people a feeling for the science they are also a lot of fun"

Leading actor: the solvent

Solvation Science and RESOLV featured in magazine Chemie in unserer Zeit

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