Boundary Experiences of Human Life between Biomedical Explanation and Lived Experience

The DFG research training group "Life Sciences - Life Writing" is a joint research project by the Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz and the University Medical Center Mainz. It aims at establishing mutually shared methodological pathways to topics in life sciences and life writing related to boundary experiences of human life. It proceeds from the hypothesis that life sciences and biomedicine on the one hand and the humanities and cultural sciences on the other hand approach the same subject of man in his life-world from different angles. If we assume that life sciences and life writing can each be understood as a specific set of narrative practices, in which the significance of explanations and models depend to a large degree on the ways in which empirical data, explanations, and experiences are narrativized, what emerges then is an approach for establishing common methodological perspectives on man in his life-world.


Current Research Projects



July 2021: GRK-Alumna Dr. Davina Höll receives prestigeous "Deutsche Studienpreis 2021" by the Körber Foundation

GRK-Alumna Dr. Davina Höll has been awarded the prestigeous "Deutsche Studienpreis 2021" for her outstanding dissertation on the role of the Cholera in 19th century literature. In her research, Dr. Davina Höll explores what literature can contribute to the process of making sense of and coping with a worldwide pandemic. Literature, as Davina Höll suggests, does not only provide a way to process the hardship and horror of a pandemic, but contributes to this processing in a unique way by creating its own knowledge about plagues and diseases. In this sense, literature in itself can be a "powerful instrument" in coping with one's own powerlessness. A research, that started well before the current Covid pandemic, but couldn't have been more timely and much needed.

We congratulate Dr. Davina Höll very much for this outstanding award and well-earned praise of her excellent work!

You can read the full press release by the Körber Foundation here.

June 2021: Interview by the RBB with GRK-fellow Fabian Hennig about (in)equality regarding contraceptives

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Pill, the RBB asks why there's still no equality with regard to contraceptives. Read the full article here (in German).

March 2021: GRK-Alumna Davina Höll receives Johannes Gutenberg University Prize

Davina Höll, GRK-Alumna and former junior member of the Gutenberg Aacademy receives this year's Johannes Gutenberg University Prize of Faculty 05, Philosophy and Philology for her PhD thesis „Politik und Poetik der Cholera in der Literatur des 19. Jahrhunderts". Every year, the Faculty 05 awards  graduates who have written the most excellent and outstanding dissertations.

January 2021: New joint publication on the Opioid Crisis

New joint publication by GRK-Fellow Roxana Damiescu and faculty members Prof. Thomas Efferth, Prof. Mita Banerjee, Prof. Norbert W. Paul as well as Dr. David Yue-Wei Lee. The researchers take a closer look on the current Opioid Crisis: "Health(care) in the Crisis: Reflections in Science and Society on Opioid Addiction", published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
Read the full article here.

17.12.2020: Vaccination survey by the Institute for the History, Philosophy and Ethics of Medicine

Just in time for the start of the first Covid-19 vaccinations in Germany the Institute for the History, Philosophy and Ethics of Medicine in Mainz conducted a survey on public opinion on the moral intuitions of the Covid-19 vaccine distribution. The survey was conducted from December 18 until January 8. First results are now online at Ärzteblatt online. Read the full article here.

For further information on the German vaccine distribuition strategy have a look at this SWR interview with Prof. Paul and this article by the Allgemeine Zeitung Mainz.

21.10.2020: New Project on the Treatment of Lung Cancer granted by EU/DLR

The EU and the DLR (Deutsches Luft- und Raumfahrtzentrum) granted the project "Personalized multimodal therapies for the treatment of lung cancer". The project, which is lead by Prof. Bockamp, Institut of Translational Immunology (TIM) at the University Medical Center, aims at researching innovative tumor therapies for lung cancer. The project will start in Mai 2021. Prof. Paul and his team at the Institute for the History, Philosophy and Ethics of Medicine will research the Ethical implications of personalized multimodal therapies.

13.10.2020: "Giving more attention to neglected tropical diseases"

JGU Magazine features the work of Prof. Ute Hellmich and Eric Schwegler on neglected tropical illnesses. Read the full article here.