The earth shakes, buildings wobble and may even collapse – burying people beneath them. Earthquakes can have devastating consequences for people and nature. As yet, it is impossible to predict them precisely, and this is no less true of volcanic eruptions. Numerous researchers in Germany are working on ways to better predict such risks. In this edition we present a number of exciting ideas and projects. You can also read why a young biophysicist is so enthusiastic about doing a PhD in Germany, learn about current funding programmes, discover our number of the month and find out what the air we exhale can tell us about cinema films.