Prof. Dr Markus Hengstschläger studied genetics at the University of Vienna, has also conducted research at Yale University and most recently was appointed Professor of Medicine at the University of Vienna where he is currently Head of the Institute of Medical Genetics. The scientist, who has received many awards and much international recognition, is the recipient of the Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic and is also Vice-Chairman of the Austrian Bioethics Commission and a member of the University of Linz’s University Council.
We face many quandaries that have been answered before in one way or another, but the current pandemic brings an unannounced and unprecedented questions with it. While many people feel that things used to be simpler, the act of the matter is that we are being confronted with more and more both familiar and unfamiliar questions. This provides us with opportunities as well as problems and perhaps a sentiment of things getting progressively worse. Perhaps the reason can be found in a human instinct that causes uncertainty to be uncomfortable, with our ancestors depending on a capability to deal with sudden, unpredictable problems. Prof. Hengstschläger finds the most valuable human talent to be that of finding solutions, moreover the special form of creativity that comes to task while answering questions that no one has answered yet. The importance of promoting and developing this talent cannot be understated and is key to being prepared for the unpredictable.