Barbara Ercolano (astrophysics) and Klaus H. Goetz (political science) are spokespersons of the two new CAS Research Groups. Barbara Ercolano's group will react to the latest observation programs that have demonstrated the existence of an overwhelming richness of extra-solar planetary systems; the CAS Research Group, which includes Philip Armitage (Stony Brook University), Cathie Clarke (Cambridge), Xuening Bai (Tsinghua University) as well as Doug Johnstone (Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Centre), will develop photoionization and thermal models covering an area stretching from the inside of the disk to its atmospheres and winds. Unpredictable, abrupt changes – sometimes described as turbulences – are the focus of research to be conducted by Klaus H. Götz. The Research Group will particularly investigate the question of whether extraordinary dynamics in both national and global politics are becoming increasingly frequent and what causes them. The group includes Keith Dowding (Canberra), Michael Howlett (Simon Fraser) and André Kaiser (Cologne).