Editorial

The fund-raising campaign that we launched in the last issue of this newsletter turned out to be surprisingly successful. You will remember that we asked you to support the Fellows’ Club in two of its tasks:  to help former Fellows in situations where public money – through the Wissenschaftskolleg – was  not available and to facilitate various special projects. We are very happy to tell you that more than 20.000 euro were donated from former Fellows – much more than we expected – and we express our gratitude to all those who contributed. We will now be able to publish a booklet with the autobiography of Yehuda Elkana and to support individual Fellows who need our help. Together with Harvard’s ‘Scholars at risk’-program we have helped a former Fellow from the Near East to overcome a difficult personal situation. This is the genuine purpose of the Fellows’ Club, and we hope to do more in this field in the future.

The next general Fellows’ Club meeting in Berlin (June 25 - 27, 2015) will be the occasion to discuss possible strategies and we hope that there will be a high level of participation at this meeting to consider this, and other, issues.

We further hope that this issue of the newsletter will provide some interesting reading about the Wissenschaftskolleg, its former Fellows and the evolution of ideas in several different disciplines. This issue is especially rich in reports about successful workshops that have taken place at the Kolleg. These meetings are playing a growing role in the intellectual life of the Kolleg. The workshops are designed to discuss cutting edge problems in new areas and bring together Fellows of the Kolleg and specialists from fields who normally would not meet. Increasingly, these workshops – and especially those of the so-called ‘Fellow Forum’, organized by former Fellows – are having an impact beyond the Kolleg and its members. By focusing on new subjects that cross standard disciplinary boundaries, they are enlarging the discussion of ideas in helpful and interesting ways. In supporting such workshops, the Kolleg is helping to fulfill its critical functions in our scholarly community: to set out new pathways, present new findings, and to initiate new and broader discourses. After all, the Kolleg was often accused of exhibiting aspects of the ivory tower – when, in fact, its function is in many respects that of a lighthouse …

Adam Wilkins
Reinhart Meyer-Kalkus