My principal areas of interest are the following:
  • Health psychology
  • Rehabilitation
  • Psychiatry
  • Innovation in the health system
  • Foods for health
  • Agriculture
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Health psychology

Psychological and other factors which help us stay healthy have kept me busy since the inception of my professional development. Then it was projects about risk and protective behaviour regarding HIV/AIDS, prevention and health promotion, later own projects about functional foods for example and the elaboration of concepts for health in all policies followed. Earlier on the mountain tops of the Blackwood Forest and today when contemplating quietly grazing cattle, the positive influence of the natural environment on our well-being - for which you also find scientific evidence - becomes more and more important.


The ability to carry out a meaningful occupation is a constituent of being healthy. The aim of rehabilitation is, that a person succeeds in that despite physical or mental restrictions, and that for the benefit of the individuum, but also of the society with regard to occupation, tax revenues and avoidance of costs for early retirement. The subjective appraisal of one's own capabilities is an important factor for reaching objective societal goals.


My civil service in inpatient acute psychiatric care led me to my studies in psychology and stimulated a critical awareness for what health and "normal" behaviour and perception are. Some psychiatric patients do not suffer in their subjective experience, what would be an important sign for "illness". Physical and social functions, however, can be severely impaired. Even the neuropsychological insights of the last years cannot explain where the border between health and need for treatment lies. Where there is no threat for a massive objective damage yet, our immense mental variability opens up widely extended individual plots for our personal lives, which crave tolerance from their surroundings, but also offer new possibilities.

Innovation in the health system

What is new, what an innovation? In any case, innovations should not remain stuck in heads or laboratories but reach their target groups in form of a product or service. New pharmaceuticals or types of treatments have improved our life decisively; but disruptive advances also came from systemic changes within and outside of the health system. Rudolf Virchow saw fundamental determinants of health in education, but also in technical circumstances like the disposal of wastewater. Today it again is the design of our cities which shall protect our health in the face of climate heating. Innovation for more health never stops and includes our own mindsets.

Foods for health

The British ship's physician James Lind is looked at as the first who carried out a clinical study. He tested the influence of nutrition on the incidence of scurvy. The necessity of a "healthy", mixed nutrition rich in vitamins is known to everybody since then. Functional foods can help with that. Today we know epigenetic factors which, steered by food ingredients, switch genes on and off and thus influence health and body functions. Over-, under- und malnutrition still are a problem to many. Scarce resources, climate change and demographic transformation need new ways to define our need for nutrients and produce the necessary food items.


Farmers have always been confronted with different, often conflicting challenges: the care for their own family, society's need for food and other plant- and animal-based raw materials, climate, weather, soil and precipitation, local and global markets for input materials and products, financing, labour market, inheritance law, culture, technological development, and not least nature conservation. Unbalanced choices have often led to increased yields, but quite often to abandoning the natural circuit processes, to loss of the synergies and thus to massive negative side effects. Today, with robotics, vertical farming, aquaponics, recycling nutrients and a lot more, novel approaches become visible. And luckily, the romantic and simple life in the countryside is not completely lost yet.

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