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Adlershof Journal July/August 2020:

Let’s talk! Innovation starts with finding the right words

Digital translators: Will learning languages soon become obsolete? // Language as a tool: the power of the spoken word // Detective work against dementia: early diagnosis of Alzheimer's

From the Editor

Much to say

Mother tongue, foreign language, programming language, sign language, night writing, marketing language, teenage slang, body language – I could go on forever. You probably guessed what I’m talking about by now: it’s communication. Language is an incredibly wide subject and in a state of constant change. In this issue, we wanted to find out how Adlershof’s scientists communicate.


Our staff writer Nora Lessing met up with a mathematics professor and a planetary researcher to do so. At pitches and competitions for showcasing research results, using incomprehensible scientific jargon is becoming a thing of the past. Instead, researchers are increasingly faced with the task of presenting scientific issues in a concise, accessible, and entertaining way. Media trainer Sylvia Acksteiner has some tips on how to do this successfully.

As a site with an international reach, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that not everybody in the Science City Adlershof speaks German. This is another reason why we will take a look at language learning in this issue. From Google Translate to DeepL, machine translation software has made considerable progress. Will it make translators and interpreters obsolete? Will we soon stop learning foreign languages? Of course there is more than one good reason to learn a foreign language, which is easy to tell when talking to language teachers like Yvonne Dertinger and Yanik Avila. After all, immersing oneself in a different language and culture is an irreplaceable experience.

We also touch upon the power that language has. This issue’s essay and an article on gender-sensitive language make clear: we carry a responsibility for how we use language.

Here’s to communicating well!

Sylvia Nitschke


Illustration: D. Mahnkopf © WISTA Management GmbH


The power of the spoken word: Language is a valuable tool

Essay by Paulina Czienskowski, independent journalist from Berlin:

Language is our tool – it shapes the life-world of all of us. If we wish to contribute to this, we must be diligent and attentive when using it There are days when I wish I had a remote control to simply switch off all the...

Yvonne Dertinger. Foto: privat


In conversation with Yvonne Dertinger, an intercultural trainer

viadrina sprachen GmbH in Adlershof not only conveys language but also intercultural differences:

Though language trainers are anything but rare, they are in high demand. Nuances of a language are best taught one-on-one, says Yvonne Dertinger. She has been teaching German as a foreign language for 13 years, and now also...

Saša Petrović © WISTA Management GmbH


The language enthusiast

Saša Petrović is a technology manager at the Photovoltaics Centre in Adlershof:

What was is that brought her to Adlershof in the end? It all came down to two things that Saša Petrović had loved since her days at school. Her enthusiasm for languages, especially German. And a knack for the natural...

Alan Akbik, HU © WISTA Management GmbH


Hey, foreign language!

How do machine translations fare in providing accurate translations?:

Using smartphone-based translation apps or Google Translate on their computers are invaluable tools to many. The software is continuously improving. But how does it work? What are its limitations? And will our children stop...

Ulrich Köhler, DLR © WISTA Management GmbH


Of wild numbers and snapshots in space

Two natural scientists told us how they carry their scientific insight out into the world:

Colourful experiments, spectacular images, and elegant equations. There are countless ways of communicating insights from the natural sciences to the general public. But what applies to the applied natural sciences can’t...

Carola Schipke und Team © WISTA Management GmbH


Detective work against dementia

Adlershof Start-up Predemtec is working on a procedure for early detection of Alzheimer’s:

Based on blood analysis and its own algorithms, Predemtec AG has been working on a procedure for early detection of Alzheimer’s Disease since 2011. Their team has identified six biomarkers that, in their concentration and the...

Sprachlehrer Yanik Avila und Gastwissenschaftler © WISTA Management GmbH


Getting the words out

The German courses at IGAFA are not about perfect grammar – more importantly, they help to start conversations with others:

‘At the office, everything is very international and we speak a lot of English,’ says Ardian Gojani, who came to the Adlershof-based Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) three years ago and develops...

Illustration HU Hauptgebäude © Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin


Spoken pauses and respect

About the effects of gender-sensitive language:

Gender-inclusive language – some find too much fuss is being made about it, others say it is still not enough. How do Adlershof-based scientists and entrepreneurs address the issue? Late in May, (social) media was alight...

S. Acksteiner © WISTA Management GmbH


Serious research, light presentation: Why media training is so important

The applicants for Adlershof’s Dissertation Award receive professional coaching:

Three newly graduated PhD students competed for the Adlershof Dissertation Award at the Erwin Schrödinger Centre of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU). They had only 15 minutes for each presentation, followed by a Q&A,...

H. Fitzke, LFM Mikroanalytik © WISTA Management GmbH


The asbestos scouts: On the hunt for the hazardous fibres

The analytics company LFM (Labor für Mikroanalytik) examines building materials for hazardous substances in low concentrations:

Labor für Mikroanalytik (LFM), an analytics company, was founded in Adlershof just one year ago. The main task of its employees is to trace asbestos and other hazardous mineral fibres. Their services are in high demand. While...

Short News


Micro-urban lab

Smart floors, solar-powered sofas, and solar signposts controlled by touchscreens could soon become a reality at Adlershof’s Science City. These are but some of the ideas that 14 students at Technical University Berlin (TU) have proposed. Commissioned by WISTA Management GmbH, they are developing a smart city information concept for Adlershof. The aim is to increase the experience and visibility of high-tech applications on the site through the intelligent use of smart city applications. Based in the human-machine interaction course of TU Berlin, the student project kicked off in April. The focus is on making the area’s utilities, lighting, information, and leisure smarter. The first step was to collect ideas. The students now have until July to refine their concepts.



Adlershof 5G

WISTA Management GmbH acquired a 5G campus license for the Technology Park Adlershof. This makes Adlershof one of the first locations to have access to the new mobile phone standard. The benefits: with a speed of up to 10 Gbit/s, 5G is 100 times faster than 4G, it significantly reduces latency, and safeguards availability. Moreover, ca. one million devices can interact with one radio cell, which is 5000 times the previous amount. The range of application includes smart manufacturing, controlling, managing, and optimising (critical) infrastructure, smart city, e-health, smart farming, and connected cars.



Falling Walls Lab Adlershof

The North German qualification round of the Falling Walls Lab is being jointly organised by the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) and IGAFA. On Friday, 2 October at 2 pm, applicants have the chance to present their forward-looking and socially relevant insights, research projects, ideas, initiatives for three minutes.

Registration opens on 6 September:



Open-air theatre now open

After a forced hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Adlershof Theatre has reopened in June. An open-air stage was built behind the house with enough seats for 150 people.

Ticket orders: Phone: 030 23934579 /



Printed LEDs

For the first time ever, a team of researchers from Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin were successful in producing light-emitting diodes (LEDs) from a hybrid perovskite semiconductor material using inkjet printing. This opens the door to the broad application of these materials in many different electronic components.

Editorial Staff

Sylvia Nitschke
WISTA Management GmbH
Director Print

+49 30 6392-2238
+49 30 6392-2236


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Best of Adlershof 2017
Compilation of articles from Adlershof Journal and Adlershof Special