Humboldt-Kolleg Digest: Limits and Interfaces in Science

Humboldt Kolleg Digest

This publication resulted from the investments of Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in the Brazilian researchers.

The Humboldt Foundation sponsors people, not projects or institutions. This fact demonstrates respect to the human being. The freedom and independence of the researcher are valued in the free choice of the place and the study to be made. This includes choosing their host institutions themselves. This way, a worldwide network of excellence has been growing over the last five decades, comprising people who have a special relationship to the Humboldt Foundation, to Germany and to each other.

The Humboldt Kolleg is an international scientific event that takes place in many countries sponsored by theAlexander von Humboldt Foundation. It intends to congregate the Humboldtians, potential candidates to scholarships, and scientists from different parts of the host country and some researchers from Germany. The beneficiary countries of its research programs usually create a club to help to keep the Humboldtians in contact with the Foundation and to spread their opportunities.

The Brazilian Humboldt Club organized this event with the theme “Limits and Interfaces in Science” that was carefully chosen to arouse interest from the different scientific research areas.

As a physician, I propose comparing science to the Human Body. In medicine, the illnesses manifest in different organs or segments of the body. Therefore many specialties and sub-specialties exist to deeply study each problem. Likewise, many scientific research fields are required to the researchers. However, a localized symptom must be linked to the whole body, so that the physician doesn’t forget to treat the full patient and not only an organ. Different systems are interconnected and dependent on each other so that every system has its own importance to a global health. The same occurs in Science. When a research comes to an end, it is remarkable how much the results are linked with others fields. Science must also be seen through an integral perspective so that the researchers are fully applied.

Any scientific development always modifies the course of others research fields, although researchers are not always fully aware of that. Again using the medicine as an example, this relationship is clearly observable through the revolution caused by the early diagnosis of many diseases. Sophisticated and more specific exams determine longevity with quality of life. As a consequence, the number of elderly people is increasing, as well as their healthy and useful life. Since people are getting older, diseases are becoming more usual and health, in general, is becoming more expensive, what affects social and economic issues. There is no reason to decrease or stop social and professional activities based on previously established ages, but some new laws have to be incorporated or adapted to the new needs of our contemporary society.

The world is advancing really fast. What we see as truth today may not be the same tomorrow or in a different place. That’s why scientific interrelation is crucial and constant communication is the most important way to keep updated.

This work reflects our effort to contribute to communication in the scientific world. 


Marisa Campos Moraes Amato 


Humboldt Kolleg Digest

Português, Brasil