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Check out the top stories of the past week at our European partner site,

First Meeting of German ScienceBloggers
Last Friday the German ScienceBloggers met in Munich in real life. Until the meeting, most of us only knew each other via blog, e-mail or phone. So we enjoyed this opportunity for a personal exchange and we collected lots of very good ideas.

The top statement of the day was: “My boss knows I am a blogger.”

If you would like to see what we look like and what we experienced, Beatrice (of Neurons) has posted two articles with many pictures of ourselves and impressions of our visit to the Pinakothek der Moderne, the modern art museum in Munich.

i-244d969ddc8ecf0e082fc27417f9b4ba-Mittagstisch mit Thilo Küssner links.jpg

Creationists Come To Europe
We thought we were safe from creationists, and considered them as an American phenomenon. This has changed rapidly. Tobias doesn’t want to believe what we have just learned: Close to Heidelberg, which is well known as a prosperous city of students and thinkers, a Bible park will be built. A similar adventure park is planned in Britain.

“Last week I heard a talk by Nobel laureate Harry Kroto, in which he warned that the creationist movement from the U.S. will arrive in Europe soon. I didn’t believe it.”

Critiquing German Education
The 2008 Education Report for Germany is ready, and once again, say the bloggers, it provides a bad testimony about the state of the country’s educational system. Marc writes:

“There is hardly a country in which the social background of children affects educational opportunities as much as in Germany. The number of those who leave school without qualifications is higher than in other countries. The number of students in international comparison is low.”

And recently, Tobias asked a high school teacher from a special school for gifted children in Schwaebisch Gmuend whether you may only get scholarships in Germany if you are highly gifted.

“You don’t have to pay for studying at the University of Freiburg if you are gifted. Is this some kind of effective promotion of elites or nothing else but marketing?”

Would You Invite All These People Into Your Home?
In this E.U. public service video, your son gets visits from the goon squad, prostitutes and their johns, a plinking Cyberman and a very kind man who would like to show little Anna something…


That’s all for now. Note that links in this article are to blog posts in German—but their authors are usually happy to respond to comments in English. Danke!

This newsletter is compiled by managing editor Beatrice Lugger.