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Swiss Alpine Club stirs debate over history’s racist scientists

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 09/29/2017 - 11:00
The Swiss Alpine Club’s recent decision not to revoke the honorary membership of a controversial Swiss glaciologist raises the question: can a person’s contributions to society be judged separately from their prejudices? In early August, the Swiss group “Démonter Louis Agassiz” (Dismantle Louis Agassiz) requested that the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC) rescind the honorary member status of Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz, a glaciologist and naturalist born in canton Fribourg in 1807. The group argued that Agassiz, known for his pioneering work in the field of glaciology, should not have SAC honorary membership because he made racist statements and conducted research about superior and “degenerate” races. Agassiz was only the second honorary member in the club’s history, according to Hans Fässler, a historian specialising in slavery and racism issues who founded the Démonter committee. To him, the SAC represents a link with “certain Swiss myths”, such as the idea that the country has ...
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Science under duress in Turkey

Swissinfo EN - Fri, 09/29/2017 - 11:00
The tense situation in Turkey is making it increasingly difficult to conduct research there. Foreign scientists working in Turkey are also aware of this, and they describe diminishing freedoms and a vague sense of fear. ​Our call is answered by an anthropologist on the Aegean coast of Turkey. She travelled there just a few days ago to find out more about the political situation: "I would like to know what kind of research is at all possible here at the moment". She would rather not offer any information whatsoever right now – and the same goes for other researchers. In order not to endanger either her, her partners in Turkey or their current research, some of the sources for the following text remain anonymous. This anthropologist has been researching in Turkey for many years now. What kind of research will remain possible in the future is something that she cannot guess yet: "Either way it will become more difficult to do research here". She is one of several researchers from ...
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WACKER to Build New Production Facilities for Dispersions and Polymer Powders in South Korea

News Machinery - Fri, 09/29/2017 - 01:14

·   With An Annual Capacity Of 80,000 Metric Tons, New Polymer Powder Plant Supplements The Ulsan Site's Supply Chain - ·   New Dispersions Reactor Line Will Produce Sufficient Raw Material For Spray Drying - ·   Construction Work To Start In Late 2017, With Completion Expected In Q1 2019 - ·   Around €60 Million To Be Invested - ·   Ceo Rudolf Staudigl: “The Expansion Of The Ulsan Site Will Strengthen Our Market Position As The World's Leading Manufacturers Of Dispersions And D...

Read the full story at http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=214433

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How joining a foreigners' club can make you stronger

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 09/28/2017 - 17:00
Tama Vakeesan was born in Switzerland – to Tamil parents from Sri Lanka. This week, she joins a club for foreign women called "Femmes-Tisch" in her home town of Langenthal, which provides members with different forms of training such as German classes, and helps them to integrate in Swiss society.   It's run by the non profit group, interunido, which specialises in migration and integration issues and is funded by the town, canton and federal government. (SRF Kulturplatz/swissinfo.ch) 
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Call on Congress, urge Americans abroad

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 09/28/2017 - 11:03
No matter where you live, you’re never too far away to call the people representing you in Congress. That’s the philosophy of a politically engaged group of Americans based in Zurich.  The group has been urging American expats around the world to get in touch with their members of Congress – and to post photos of themselves doing so on social media. As part of the six-day #nottoofarawaytocall campaign in September, 60 Americans posted photos from 25 countries, including Switzerland, Cote d’Ivoire, South Africa, Australia, Japan, Thailand, Colombia, Haiti, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Israel, and many others in Europe.  “What we were trying to do was to normalize political behavior, but we didn’t tell people what to call about,” explains Sara Petchey, a Texan PhD student in teacher education at the University of Zurich. She herself had never phoned a senator or a representative before this campaign – launched by Action Together: Zurich, CH, a volunteer organization of Americans, ...
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Why a Polish/Scottish couple became Swiss

Swissinfo EN - Thu, 09/28/2017 - 11:00
A Polish/Scottish couple decided to apply for Swiss citizenship to boost their children's integration. This is their story. (Julie Hunt, swissinfo.ch) David Kirk comes from Rothesay on the Isle of Bute in Scotland. Dominika Wieczorek Kirk is from the town of Piastow in central Poland. They came to Switzerland as research scientists, and met here. Dominika works at the Swiss multinational healthcare company, Roche, in Basel. David used to work for the pharmaceutical giant, Novartis. He is now a house husband, and takes care of their two small children.     + How difficult is it to become Swiss? When he arrived he could already speak German having worked previously in Germany. Their children have been learning German at daycare. The Kirks like Switzerland because it is clean, relatively safe and offers a comfortable standard of living. When they decided to apply for Swiss citizenship, they had to attend “interesting” courses to find out about Swiss history. Although the couple ...
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