The HAC Kolleg on Fire —  Ottawa 28 and 29 May 2009

Fire, once considered one of four basic elements, has shaped our Universe and moulded our behavior from the beginning of time. Fire pervades the history of ancient civilizations as much as it affects our daily lives. Literature or history, anthropology or geology, art or basic science – all are replete with images and events that involve fire. Today’s fires include the fire of rhetoric, the ‘fire’ at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC), laser light shows and awe-inspiring works of art.

The 2009 Kolleg with the theme of “Fire” was the second national symposium organized by the Humboldt Association of Canada (HAC). It marked the 150th anniversary (Gedenkjahr) of Alexander von Humboldt 1769 – 1859. This multidisciplinary symposium attracted academics from different Canadian and German universities, several key researchers from the National Research Council, and leading scientists from other Canadian and German institutions. We were also honored by the presence of His Excellency Matthias Höpfner, Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany, who also hosted a welcome dinner for delegates at the embassy.