Human Perception of Singular Hydrological Events

International scientific meeting organized by the International Commission for the Hydrology of the Rhine basin (CHR) and the Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU)

Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg
06110 Halle/Saale


The conference will bring together diverse scientific disciplines.

Theme  of the  international  scientific conference

As a consequence of witnessing several extreme natural phenomena in recent years and the constantly increasing degree of vulnerability these disasters represent to our societies, an interdisciplinary debate of their significance for human life and planning is becoming necessary. For that reason the conference intends to introduce different scientific perspectives regarding these phenomena into discourse. Papers from the fields of natural sciences, humanities, cultural studies and theologies are intended to foster discussion on how to create awareness of such hazardous situations. These will have an enduring presence as an individual and shared experience, so that these events can be prevented, or at least their impact minimised or dealt with more successfully, by change of behaviour in general and by prevention of an advance in such singular events.

We cordially invite you to this conference.

Prof. Dr. Hans Moser                  Prof. Dr. Harald Schwillus                   


Program and timetable

Day 1 - March 21, 2016

09:30 - 10:00 Registration (coffee & tea)
10:00 - 10:30 Welcome and opening of the conference – Prof. Dr. Hans Moser, President of the CHR & Prof. Dr. Harald Schwillus, University Halle
10:30 - 12:00 Keynote on conference theme from a scientific point of view   – Prof. Dr. Günter Blöschl, Technical University Vienna
12:00 - 13:00 Lunch
Session 1 Disaster and Media
13:00 - 13:45 The role of media during disaster. Argumentation and formation of aid programs of Germany after 1945  –  Prof. Dr. Patrick Merziger, Universität Leipzig
13:45 - 14:30 (Scientific) Communication on risk- and disaster management of natural hazards:  Issues on human perception within organizations and people – Dr. Andreas Schwarz, Technical University Ilmenau
14:30 - 15:00 Coffee- & Tea break
Session 2 Climate and Discharge
15:00 - 15:45 Weather chronicler within the context of culture and everyday-life. A journey through the database `Euro-Climhist‘  (Switzerland) 1501-1863 –  Prof. Dr. Christian Pfister, University Bern
15:45 - 16:30 Extreme discharges of  the Rhine and Elbe: probability and consequences – Dr. Jaap Kwadijk, Independent Research Institute Deltares, Delft
16:30 – 17:00 Closing  words on day 1 by Prof. Moser/Prof. Schwillus
  ... walk to the hotel ...
18:00 Conference Dinner in the Dorint Hotel

Day 2 - March 22, 2016

Session 3 Religion and Disaster Management
08:30 - 09:00 Coffee / Tea
09:00 - 09:40 Worships as a contribution to cope with Natural Hazards – Some thoughts from a Liturgy-scientific perspective  – Dipl.-Theol. Brigitte Benz, Universität Erfurt
09:40 - 10:20 Disasters and  the possibilities of human influence in Islam literature from the Middle Ages: an overview – Prof. Dr. Anna Akasoy, Hunter College, New York
10:20 - 11:00 Where has God been, when he was not there? Disasters, children, aid programs  – Prof. Dr. Hans Mendl, University Passau
11:00 - 11:30 The Lions building (`Löwengebäude’) of the University Halle. Some explanations on the conference location. – Dr. Ralf-Torsten Speler, President of the sponsors and friends of the Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg
11:30 - 12:30 Lunch
Session 4 Natural Hazards and (Human) Perception
12:30 - 13:15 Risk perception in case of thunderstorms – Results of representative consultation in Berlin  – Dr. Katja Schulze, Freie Universität Berlin
13:15 - 14:00 Natural hazards: Perception and opinion - Facts and developments –
Andreas Hahn, Gesamtverband der Deutschen Versicherungswirtschaft e.V.
14:00 - 14:30 Coffee- & teabreak
Session 5 Myths and Reality
14:30 - 15:15 From flood to tsunami. Mythic pictures and  explanation of real disasters  – a transcultural view  – Prof. Dr. Monica Juneja, University Heidelberg
15:15 - 16:00 Flood as a risk and an experience – Dr. Christian Kuhlicke, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung Leipzig
16:00 - 17:00 Summary of sessions  and closing – Prof. Dr. Hans Moser / Prof. Dr. Harald Schwillus