VDS Meets ...

Once per term, VDS fellows invite high-profile decision-makers and innovators other fields of science, the private sector, politics or the arts to engage in an informal discussion, shaped by and for the VDS Physics students to raise awareness for societal challenges and opportunities. The event is organized and attended by fellows from both VDS Physics and VDS-Mathematics and has been renamed from initially "Physics meets..." over "Science meets..." to finally "VDS Meets...".


VDS Physics meets: Space

On 24 January 2019 the third event took place in the Schrödinger Lecture Hall at ESI. The following speakers were present for the panel discussion:

  • Priv.-Doz. Dr. Friedrich Kupka
    Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany
  • Dr. Oliver Jennrich
    Fundamental Physics Mission Scientist and Science Directorate at the European Space Agency (ESA), the Netherlands

Local organizers:

Yaakov Fein (VDS-P), Dennis Meier (VDS-M), Valeria Milotti (VDS-P), Dang-Khoa Nguyen (VDS-M) and Katharina Werbach (VDS-P)

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VDS Physics meets: Medicine

On 29 May 2018 the second joint event took place. The following speakers were present for the panel discussion:

  • DI Manfred Bammer, MAS
    Competence Unit Biomedical Systems, Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT)
  • Marie Doumic, PhD
    Wolfgang Pauli Institute, University of Vienna
    Inria Paris
  • Priv.-Doz. Dr. Bianca Gerendas, MSc
    Vienna Reading Center, Medical University of Vienna
    Christian Doppler Laboratory for Ophthalmic Image Analysis

Bringing together both mathematical and physics experts resulted in a successful and fruitful exchange. 

Local organizers:

Anna Breger (VDS-M), Yaakov Fein (VDS-P), Manjil Saikia (VDS-M) and Katharina Werbach (VDS-P).

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VDS Physics meets: Applied Science

On 16 November 2017 the first joint meeting between VDS Mathematics and VDS Physics was established. The following speakers were present for the panel discussion:

  • Prof. Franz Rammerstorfer
    Institute of Lightweight Design and Structural Biomechanics (ILSB), Vienna University of Technology (TU).
  • Prof. Krzysztof Pietrzak
    Institute of Science and Technology (IST) Austria
  • Dr. Andrey Krasovskii 
    International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)


Moderated by VDS fellows Axel Böhm and Katharina Werbach, an interesting discussion about applied science and fundamental research took place. We heard from each of the speakers about their experiences, the advantages and disadvantages of a life dedicated to either profession. Professor Pietrzak and Dr. Krasovskii, who work on cryptography and mathematical modeling, respectively, shared that they are able to maintain the freedom to set their own scientific goals in their fields of applied research. From Professor Rammerstorfer we learnt more about the Christian Doppler Laboratories and how they bridge the gap between academia and industry.

Local organizers: 
Florian Aigner (VDS-M), Axel Böhm (VDS-M), Yaakov Fein (VDS-P), Daniel Scherl (VDS-M) and Katharina Werbach (VDS-P).


Physics meets: Policies and Public Awareness

The first event in this series took place on 26 January 2017 and focused on Science and the General Public. The following speakers were present for the discussion:

  • Mag. Barbara Weitgruber, Sektionschefin, Head of the department for scientific research and international affairs at the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy.
  • Oliver Lehmann, Science journalist 
  • Univ. Prof. Dr. Christian Köberl, Director of the Natural History Museum, Vienna.