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On Tuesday, 18 October, the annual Gambrinus Forum took place at the industrial club “Westfälischer Industrieklub”. It was already the 26th time that TU Dortmund University had invited representatives of urban society to academic lectures in the heart of Dortmund’s city center. Law professor Gad Barzilai from the University of Haifa, Israel, spoke about how crises can affect politics and society. Professor Michael Quante, a philosopher from the University of Münster, gave a lecture on the topic of “The Time of Sustainability”.
In his welcoming address, Professor Manfred Bayer, President of TU Dortmund University, highlighted the importance of the Gambrinus Forum for connecting international research and TU Dortmund University with the city and its society. This year too, the event was able to stimulate international and regional exchange: Despite different backgrounds and research areas, the two scholars found commonalities in their lectures, particularly with regard to the topic of crisis and the different motivations and perspectives within a society.
Dealing with uncertainty
Professor Gad Barzilai, law professor at the University of Haifa, Israel, gave a lecture on the influence of crises – such as the coronavirus pandemic, the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine or natural disasters – on society and politics. He concerned himself in depth with the question of how the legal system can change in uncertain times and also emphasized the dangers to democracy, for example through the political extremism burgeoning in the crisis. He outlined how national sovereignty, democratic values shared at international level and social movements can protect democracy. What would also help, he said, would be to prepare for times of uncertainty and to establish regulatory mechanisms in advance for dealing with different crises. Only in this way, he continued, would society and the state be strong enough to react to crises and protect democratic values in an emergency.
Professor Barzilai has also served as Dean of the Faculty of Law (2012-2017) and as Vice Chancellor and Head of the International School (2017-2019) at the University of Haifa. He is an emeritus professor at the University of Washington, USA, and has taught in over twenty countries on various continents.
About the time of sustainability
Professor Michael Quante looked at the topic of sustainability from the perspective of practical philosophy. In his lecture, he presented various dimensions of the sustainability debate, in which time is a justifying, motivating and intricately structuring variable. It is about time pressure, for example, and the demands of different generations, about looking at the past, present and future – but also about the biographical position of individuals in time. Is it people living today who have a prerogative? Or those living in the future? Does the past have some meaning for the questions of justice in the present? By asking these and other questions, philosophers can contribute to changing people’s perspective, to creating understanding and to tackling the issue of sustainability in a circumspect rather than hectic way.
Following appointments at the University of Duisburg-Essen and the University of Cologne, Professor Michael Quante joined the University of Münster in 2009 as professor for practical philosophy, where he is also spokesperson for the Center for Advanced Study in Bioethics, a researcher in the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” and Vice-Rector for Internationalization, Knowledge Transfer and Sustainability.
The Gambrinus Fellowships at TU Dortmund University
The Gambrinus Fellowships have facilitated research visits by international scholars to TU Dortmund University since 1993. They were introduced by the Verband Dortmunder Bierbrauer (Association of Dortmund Beer Brewers) on the occasion of the 700th anniversary of the brewing rights of the City of Dortmund. In total, Dortmund has already welcomed over 200 visiting scholars, and a large number of international partnerships have been established. The target audience for the annual Gambrinus Forum, with lectures by internationally renowned scholars, is the non-university public, and it has been held at Westfälischer Industrieklub since 2016.
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Location & approach
The campus of TU Dortmund University is located close to interstate junction Dortmund West, where the Sauerlandlinie A 45 (Frankfurt-Dortmund) crosses the Ruhrschnellweg B 1 / A 40. The best interstate exit to take from A 45 is “Dortmund-Eichlinghofen” (closer to South Campus), and from B 1 / A 40 “Dortmund-Dorstfeld” (closer to North Campus). Signs for the university are located at both exits. Also, there is a new exit before you pass over the B 1-bridge leading into Dortmund.
To get from North Campus to South Campus by car, there is the connection via Vogelpothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at North Campus and use the H-Bahn (suspended monorail system), which conveniently connects the two campuses.
TU Dortmund University has its own train station (“Dortmund Universität”). From there, suburban trains (S-Bahn) leave for Dortmund main station (“Dortmund Hauptbahnhof”) and Düsseldorf main station via the “Düsseldorf Airport Train Station” (take S-Bahn number 1, which leaves every 15 or 30 minutes). The university is easily reached from Bochum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duisburg.
You can also take the bus or subway train from Dortmund city to the university: From Dortmund main station, you can take any train bound for the Station “Stadtgarten”, usually lines U41, U45, U 47 and U49. At “Stadtgarten” you switch trains and get on line U42 towards “Hombruch”. Look out for the Station “An der Palmweide”. From the bus stop just across the road, busses bound for TU Dortmund University leave every ten minutes (445, 447 and 462). Another option is to take the subway routes U41, U45, U47 and U49 from Dortmund main station to the stop “Dortmund Kampstraße”. From there, take U43 or U44 to the stop “Dortmund Wittener Straße”. Switch to bus line 447 and get off at “Dortmund Universität S”.
The AirportExpress is a fast and convenient means of transport from Dortmund Airport (DTM) to Dortmund Central Station, taking you there in little more than 20 minutes. From Dortmund Central Station, you can continue to the university campus by interurban railway (S-Bahn). A larger range of international flight connections is offered at Düsseldorf Airport (DUS), which is about 60 kilometres away and can be directly reached by S-Bahn from the university station.
The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dortmund University. There are two stations on North Campus. One (“Dortmund Universität S”) is directly located at the suburban train stop, which connects the university directly with the city of Dortmund and the rest of the Ruhr Area. Also from this station, there are connections to the “Technologiepark” and (via South Campus) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at North Campus and offers a direct connection to South Campus every five minutes.
The facilities of TU Dortmund University are spread over two campuses, the larger Campus North and the smaller Campus South. Additionally, some areas of the university are located in the adjacent “Technologiepark”.