OST Scientist Network & ASciNA Activities

bridges vol. 20, December 2008 / News from the Network: Austrian Researchers Abroad

The OST network of Austrian scientists & scholars abroad was established by the Office of Science & Technology (OST) at the Austrian Embassy in Washington, DC, and focuses on the outreach of government-related agencies to Austrian scientists in North America. Its main objective has been to support the scientific community with information and specific advice wherever necessary and requested.

Encouraged by the OST, an independent association - ASciNA (Austrian Scientists and Scholars in North America) - was founded in 2002 with local chapters being established throughout the US and Canada. For further information about ASciNA please visit: www.ascina.at

OST Scientist Network Activities

Krampus Goes US

Krampussackerl were welcome giveaways among both kids and grown-ups.

The traditional story of Krampus is fairly dark, but not on December 5, when the OST hosted an Austrian event following the tradition, "Krampus Goes US," at the Embassy of Austria in Washington, DC. The event, which has become part of the holiday festivities for Austrian scientists and scholars in the Greater DC Area, provided ample opportunity to meet and great, and to network. Over 50 Austrians attended the informal gathering with their families, and at this occasion the newly elected ASciNA Greater DC chapter head, Dietrich Haubenberger, was introduced to the guests.


ASciNA Activities

ASciNA Greater Washington, DC

Dietrich Haubenberger

Contact: Dietrich Haubenberger at greaterDC(at)ascina.at

On November 20, 2008, members of ASciNA's Greater DC chapter elected a new chapter president. Dietrich Haubenberger, MD, a clinical neurologist from Vienna, currently on a Schroedinger Stipendium at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS/NIH), was elected as successor to Ruth Pfeiffer, PhD, to coordinate ASciNA activities around Washington, DC.

The popular series of ASciNA talks continued in the last months of 2008 with a lecture by Viennese pediatrician Simona Bianconi, MD, about "Smith-Lemli-Opitz Syndrome," her research topic at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD/NIH). On December 17, past president Ruth Pfeiffer, PhD, presented her work at the National Cancer Institute regarding a risk-prediction model for colorectal cancer.  

The year 2009 will start with the traditional ASciNA lunch on January 5, at 1 pm at the level 2 Cafeteria, NIH, Building 10. More info regarding upcoming talks and other activities can be found under the Washington, DC, section on www.ascina.at


{access view=guest}Access to the full article is free, but requires you to register. Registration is simple and quick – all we need is your name and a valid e-mail address. We appreciate your interest in bridges.{/access} {access view=!guest} ASciNA Greater Boston
Contact: Klaus Podar at greater.boston(at)ascina.at

After the Kamingespraech with Wilhelm Gauster this past October, many of our chapter members went to Vienna in early November for the 1st ASciNA conference. During the conference Werner Olipitz presented his vision of the ASciNA mentoring program, and a workshop was held for all those who were considering going abroad.

As part of the FWF gala, the 1st ASciNA Young Investigator Award was presented to Franziska Michor, a former ASciNA Boston member, and to Stefan Dollinger.

On November 20, the Austrian Business Agency hosted an information evening on "Austria - a top business location" at the Rialto restaurant at The Charles Hotel in Cambridge.

On December 11, Angelika Riemer presented her studies on "the development of a therapeutic HPV vaccine," and the chapter concluded the ASciNA Boston year with the traditional Christmas party on December 14 with homemade Weihnachtskekse, ham, chicken, potato salad, delicious cakes, gulash, wine, beer, and lots of other Leckereien.

The chapter will meet again January 14, 2009.

ASciNa Pacific North
Contact: Julius Halaschek-Wiener at pacific.north(at)ascina.at

From the left: outgoing ASciNA president Eva Schernhammer, ASciNA Young Investigators' Awardee Stefan Dollinger, and Federal Minister for Science & Research Johannes Hahn.

Congratulations to Dr. Stefan Dollinger, one of two ASciNA Young Investigators' Awardees for 2008. Dollinger works at the University of British Columbia, where he directs the Canadian English Laboratory. He was awarded the ASciNA Young Investigator Award 2008 for his book, New-Dialect Formation in Canada: Evidence from the English Modal Auxiliaries (Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 2008).

The book explains the formation of a new variety of English in Canada concerning the modal auxiliaries, by considering features of the input varieties and linguistic change. Based on language contact scenarios, the study aims to answer the question of what a new variety, a koiné, will look like when speakers of different dialects settle in a new place. When American, English, Scottish, and Irish dialect speakers settle a new area - at different times and in different numbers - which features will be taken over by the new variety and which will not? The modal auxiliary verbs provide the material for the analysis.

The ASciNA Young Researchers' Award (€20,000, shared by two researchers) is sponsored by the Austrian Ministry of Research and adjudicated by the International Committee of FWF, the Austrian equivalent of the tri-council bodies. All eligible members of ASciNA were encouraged to enter the competition for the two publications showing best "extraordinary academic excellence" while dealing with "questions of significant theoretical import."

ASciNA Alumni Vienna
Contact: Gottfried Kranz at gottfried.kranz(at)meduniwien.ac.at

Gottfried Kranz took over the chair of the ASciNA Alumni Chapter from Bernhard Voller.

On October 7, the chapter organized a meeting with guest speaker Johannes Kranz, an Austrian scientist working in Central America. He heads the Instituto de Estudios Interdisciplinarios (IEI) Fundación "Casa de los Tres Mundos" in Granada, Nicaragua. Johannes Kranz gave a lecture on global responsibility and justice.

On November 26, the next ASciNA jour fixe featured Max Ruhri, CEO of FAS.research, who focused on social networking.