One University - One Book


Everyone knows the adventures of the comic book character Asterix under the rule of the Romans. But what medical, technical, natural, or social backgrounds are actually to be found in the stories about the brave little Gaul? What biochemical facts can Getafix refer to when preparing a magic potion? Which mechanical and physical laws are interpreted in a very creative manner when Obelix beats up Romans?

In this project, sequences on these and many other topics are identified in Asterix® comics, then taken apart and put back together from a scientific and tongue-in-cheek perspective. On closer observation, the potential of the allusions made in these stories, whether knowingly or accidentally, is far more powerful than an initial, superficial reading might suggest. Each individual topic is prepared together by a topic sponsor and an expert and presented in different formats – from lecture to workshop to sesterce slam – with help from the audience.

One University - One Book is a joint program from the Stifterverband and the Klaus Tschira Foundation in cooperation with ZEIT Verlag.


Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 4:30pm to 6pm

Asterix – What Catches Your Eye?

We warmly invite all participants to take part in this event, where you will look through Asterix comics searching for scientific or social approaches, questions, or allusions in small groups and discussion rounds over coffee and cake.
No prior knowledge is required for this: you can draw conclusions through group discussions on the ideas and try out the systematic approach to the phenomena depicted in the comics yourself.

Besides the work in small groups where you are free to focus on a topic(s) of your choice, everyone will also be addressed a key question. If you wish, you may present the insights gained in your group afterwards.

If by the end of the session, you simply cannot leaf through an Asterix comic without stumbling over further approaches every second image and wanting to satisfy your growing scientific curiosity, you will have fully achieved the objective of this event.

Where? Library at the Helmholtz-Institute for Biomedical Engineering, Pauwelsstraße 20
Lecturers Professor Martin Baumann, Ricarda Bardenhewer
Admission Free
Language German

Thursday, August 22, 2019, 4:30pm

Software Development for Reliable Transportation

It was already necessary to organize crazy traffic in ancient Rome... Nowadays, vehicle fleets and employee shifts must be planned and optimized, and public transportation operations monitored and controlled. The required adaptive IT systems are created using modern methods: agile development is the magic potion. Here you can find out how and why these systems are used at the exciting interface between software development and operational planning and control in public transportation.

With tailor-made IT systems, IVU Traffic Technologies AG has been ensuring punctual and reliable transportation in the world's major metropolises for 40 years with over 500 employees. It cooperates with RWTH institutes in research and teaching in computer science and transportation in a variety of ways. For example, the Information Management for Public Mobility Offers event has been successfully held with support from IVU employees for seven years now.


Lecture hall 1385|219 - H08 at C.A.R.L., Claßenstraße 11

Admission Free
Language German

Friday, September 27, 2019, 4:30pm

Orgies! Orgies! Orgies!

The not-so-spectacular Roman cuisine and its decadent reflection in collective memory. It may conjure up images of gluttons gorging on disgusting dishes for hours, only getting up to vomit and allow enough space for the next ten courses to fit in their mighty guts – this idea of 'late-Roman decadence' is still quite deeply entrenched in common perception.

Was it really that bad back then? As is often the case, Asterix symbolizes a modern cliché: the most beautiful orgies have only been depicted by historical novels since the 19th century and, of course, later on, by the movie theater. Even so, antiquity is not fully undeserving of its bad reputation...


Lecture Hall 1385|219 - H08, C.A.R.L. Lecture Hall Complex, Claßenstraße 11

Admission Free
Language German