Science & Technology

Editors: Anna Mallach and Corlett Novis (PIMEDIASCITECH@GMAIL.COM)
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Meet Zurich’s brightest minds – at UCL and all around London

Meet Zurich’s brightest minds – at UCL and all around London

This is a paid for article by Zurich meets London.

Zurich is often thought of simply as an economic powerhouse set in beautiful scenery.

There is much more to this picturesque city than that, however. As part of the Zurich meets London festival in May, the city’s leading academic institutions will visit various London universities and tech hubs – including UCL – to share their latest achievements and showcase their track record of innovation and technological excellence.

How to map the brain


According to recent statistics, one third of the UK’s population will suffer from some form of mental disorder at least once in their life, a fact that makes brain research more relevant than ever. Researchers at UCL and the Neuroscience Center Zurich, run by the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich, have joined forces in using innovative methods to shed light on the functions of the human brain. Bringing together expertise from neuroscience, psychiatry and mathematics, these scientists are pioneers in the field of “computational psychiatry”, a novel approach that aims to develop models of brain circuits and the algorithms they implement. These models will help neuroscientists to better understand changes in brain function that result in mental health disorders such as schizophrenia or depression. Specialists from Zurich and London will discuss latest developments in this evolving field in an academic workshop and a public lecture at UCL.

When: Wednesday, 18 May 2016 from 18:15 to 19:15

Where: UCL Institute of Child Health, Kennedy Lecture Theatre, 30 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1EH

Register here

Childhood trauma and healthy ageing


To identify key factors for healthy ageing, psychologists at the University of Zurich have begun an in-depth study of the so-called “Verdingkinder”, one of Switzerland’s darkest chapters in recent history. Between 1920 and 1960, some 100,000 children were taken away from poor or socially marginalized parents and sent to live with and work for new families, generally poor farmers. Most of these children were severely mistreated by their new families, and they suffered neglect as well as physical, sexual and psychological abuse or trauma. Based on a novel approach combining a variety of psychosocial data and the sampling of specific DNA patterns, the current research aims to identify psychological predictors of healthy aging. Professor Andreas Maercker from University of Zurich will share his insights in a public lecture on Late-Life Effects of Childhood Trauma, organised in partnership with the Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology at UCL.

When: Tuesday, 17 May 2016 from 13:00 to 14:30

Where: University College London, Pearson Building (North East Entrance,) Lecture Theater G22 LT, Gower St, London WC1E 6BT

Register here

Lessons learned from the financial crisis

Financial Market regulations_Foto

These events at UCL form part of a broader festival programme that will look at the influence of the many diverse cultural, scientific and societal ideas and movements that have originated in Zurich and London – and their relevance today. For instance, the two cities number among the most important financial centres in the world and both hold a leading role in the financial industry. The recent global financial crisis has led to increased calls for stricter financial market regulations in both Switzerland and the EU. To explore this issue, a panel discussion on Financial Market Regulation will see experts from the London School of Economics and the University of Zurich debate the challenges of implementing new regulatory frameworks. They will address the question whether regulations between the EU and Switzerland need to be better harmonised and discuss the lessons the UK could learn from this process.

When: Thursday, 19 May 2016 from 18:00 to 19:30

Where: Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Council Chamber, Charles Clore House, 17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DR

Register here

The Future of the Internet

Bild: Anfertigung für ETH Zürich, Globe

As one of Google’s major engineering hubs, Zurich plays an important role in developing computer science and technology. In partnership with Google UK, the seminar The Future of the Internet at Google UK Headquarters will feature researchers from ETH Zurich and London Universities as well as representatives from technology giant, Google. The main themes are the challenges and opportunities in a constantly evolving internet world.

When: Tuesday, 17 May 2016 from 15:00 to 17:00

Where: Google UK, 1–13 Saint Giles High Street, Level 9, London WC2H 8AG

Register here

Beyond the 21st century world of technological innovation, education and research, Zurich also has a vibrant and exceptionally diverse cultural life. Taking as its cue the centenary of the city’s seminal art movement, Dada, the Zurich meets London festival will celebrate the very best that the two cities, Zurich and London, have to offer. Nourishment for the mind is nothing without nourishment for the body, however. The festival hub at Borough Market will present an irresistible selection of local specialities. Visitors will be able to savour such exotic Swiss delicacies as Tirggel, Biberli and Stadtjäger.


Zurich meets London