Richard R. Ernst
Richard R. Ernst acted since 1976 as a full Professor of Physical Chemistry at ETH Zürich, and he retired in 1998. He was born 1933 in Winterthur. He finished 1962 his studies at the ETH Zurich with a dissertation on nuclear magnetic resonance in physical chemistry. 1963 he joined Varian Associates as a scientist and developed Fourier-transform NMR, noise decoupling, and several other techniques. 1968 he returned to ETH Zurich, became 1968 Lecturer, 1970 Assistant Professor, 1972 Associate Professor, 1976 Full Professor. Since 1968, he headed a research group devoted to methodological developments in liquid state and solid state NMR. He developed two-dimensional NMR and novel pulse techniques. He contributed to the development of medical magnetic resonance tomography, and in collaboration with Professor Kurt Wüthrich to the development of the NMR structure determination of biopolymers in solution. Lately, he was involved in the study of intramolecular dynamics
He was president of the Research Council of ETH Zurich and was a member of the Swiss Science Council, of the COST Committee, and of the Foundation Marcel Benoist. Presently, he was a member of the Hochschulrat of the Technische Universität Munich, and Vicepresident of the Board of Bruker BioSpin AG, Fällanden. He is on the editorial board of more than 10 scientific journals.
He received numerous honors, including the Nobel Prize for Chemistry (1991), the Wolf Prize for Chemistry (1991), the Horwitz Prize (1991), and the Marcel Benoist Prize (1986). He received honorary doctor’s degrees of ETH Lausanne, Technische Universität Munich, Universität Zurich, University Antwerpen, Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, University Montpellier. King George University of Lucknow, University of Allahabad, Charles University. Prague, University National de Cordoba, Ricardo Palmo University, Lima, KIIT University, Bhubaneswar, and University Bern. He is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, of the Royal Academy of Sciences, London, of the Deutsche Akademie Leopoldina, of the Russian Academy of Sciences, of the Korean Academy of Science and Technology, and honorary member of many further societies.
Today, he is giving frequently lectures on the societal responsibility of scientists, being aware of the pitfalls of current egomaniac trends in our global society. In addition, he is much involved in studies and conservation of Central Asian art. He became active also in Raman spectroscopy for identifying pigments in ancient paintings.
Academic teachers, researchers, and institutions carry great responsibility in shaping a beneficial future for all global citizens. They are responsible for educating and inspiring future leaders in politics, business, and academia. A new spirit shall be developed in our universities that is based on cooperation, foresight, and compassion to counterbalance our all pervasive money-mindedness and our egomaniac cravings for materialistic goods that led us into the present global economic disarrays. The philosopher Hans Jonas has cast his most valuable advice into the Imperative of Responsibility: “Act so that the consequences of your action are compatible with the permanence of genuine human life on Earth.”
An Intercultural Discourse
After a few brief remarks on the significance of labyrinths and mazes, in particular in Asian traditions, a counterpart of such metaphoric geometric diagrams is discussed and visualized, namely the significance and the beauty of Tibetan Mandalas. Mandalas are representations of the Buddhist universe and serve during meditation as guidelines towards enlightenment. Mentally unifying apparently opposing forces is essential in this context, in the sense of Unity in Duality, Dependent Origination, or rTen ‘brel. In contrast to a classical labyrinth, no strictly “correct” pathway is pre-defined, and the liberty of the searching spirit is not inappropriately channeled. An incredible wealth of most beautiful Mandalas has been created during the past centuries.
Surprisingly, pathways that resemble labyrinths can also be found in mathematical search procedures for scanning a two-dimensional (or higher-dimensional) parameter space. A few brief remarks are made regarding the scanning of k-space in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) where a great number of procedures and pathways for sampling k-space have been developed and are today in daily usage in clinical scanners.
In between these two “extremes”, the author is involved in intercultural teaching activities, providing Tibetan Monks and Geshes in South India a first introduction into Western scientific reasoning in an attempt to build intercultural bridges for mutual benefit.
Diese Website wird in älteren Versionen von Netscape ohne graphische Elemente dargestellt. Die Funktionalität der Website ist aber trotzdem gewährleistet. Wenn Sie diese Website regelmässig benutzen, empfehlen wir Ihnen, auf Ihrem Computer einen aktuellen Browser zu installieren. Weitere Informationen finden Sie auf
The content in this site is accessible to any browser or Internet device, however, some graphics will display correctly only in the newer versions of Netscape. To get the most out of our site we suggest you upgrade to a newer browser.