Impulses for society

Impulses for society

Pandemics, climate, and war - in the last two years we witnessed how important scientific progress is for overcoming multiple crises. Without this progress, we could neither recognise nor solve crises.

In the Corona pandemic, we realised how much we depend on understanding what research does and how it can help.

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Ulrike Grote
Senator for Science, Health, Nursing and Equality of Berlin

No matter how complex science may be, it must remain explainable and accessible. And this is especially true in times of fake news and conspiracy theories. As Berlin‘s science senator, I am very grateful that our science institutions, with their diversity and internationality, do not conduct research in ivory towers, but remain accessible to all citizens. This is what the Berlin University Alliance and Verbund BR50 of non-university research institutions are all about. But above all, this is achieved in an outstanding way during the Berlin Science Week. It‘s all about bringing science and society into dialogue with each other.

This year, the focus is on a question that is particularly close to my heart: What can a more sustainable world look like and what can research and science contribute to it? We have all experienced devastating heat waves and droughts in Germany and Europe this year. The adverse health effects for vulnerable groups are fatal, not to mention the social, ecological and economic consequences that affect everyone. With the effects of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, all these challenges culminate in what we all perceive as a threatening scenario. It is precisely now that science is called upon to find new approaches and answers and to carry impulses into society. I am looking forward to the interesting insights at the Berlin Science Week.


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Steffen Terberl
Leiter Geschäftsstelle Zukunftsorte

The future will be good because we’re shaping it” is a slogan of Zukunftsorte Berlin. Is so much optimism allowed in times of “covid crises”, “energy crises”, “climate crises” and a terrible war in Europe? Yes, it is! Because optimism is the most important driving force in times of crisis. We will only change course if we believe collectively in a good future. But belief alone is not enough: we need further research and must use the newly created knowledge to generate much-needed social and technological innovations. Which innovations can help us defy climate change in the Berlin-Brandenburg region will be shown at our Climate Day: “Future is when houses make a (good) climate and the city becomes edible!”

8. NOV ab 10.00, POP Kudamm,
in Person, Deutsch
Klima-Tag: „Zukunft ist, wenn Häuser (gutes) Klima machen und die Stadt essbar wird!“

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Claudia Mareis
Co-Sprecherin Exzellenzcluster „Matters of Activity. Image Space Material“, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. PHOTO Reinhard Wendler

The climate crisis shows that we need a new way of dealing with materials. How can we make better use of leftover material? What can we learn from biological processes with regard to industrial material processing? What do materials and artefacts teach us about our relationship to the environment or history? These questions are explored in the exhibition “Material Legacies” at the Kunstgewerbemuseum, which was developed in close cooperation with design researchers from the Cluster of Excellence “Matters of Activity” at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. I find it particularly exciting how the latest developments in materials research, design, technology and architecture are set in relation to traditional crafts and historical objects in the collection.”

3. NOV 18.00, Kunstgewerbemuseum Berlin,
in Person, Englisch
Eröffnung der Ausstellung: “Material Legacies”
Ausstellung: 04.11.2022 bis 26.02.2023

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Susanne Schmidt
Institute of Advanced Sustainabilty Studies Potsdam (IASS)Space Material“, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Sustainability experts often speak of a “knowledge-action gap”. What if it’s not only knowledge but also a keenness of our senses that plays a central role in the transformation to more sustainable action?

“Haptic Hortus” is an installation at the Prinzessinengärten in Berlin during Science Week and is situated in an old nail salon. The location, with its history of touch, mirrors another such place: the Botanical Garden Berlin and its encounters between plants and people. Three workshops focused on choreography, sound and touch set the work in motion each time anew, leaving it with traces of haptic encounters.

1. – 6. NOV 16.00 – 20.00, Prinzessinengärten Berlin,
in Person, Deutsch | Englisch
Haptic Hortus. (Touching Plants, or: How to Turn a derelict Nail Salon into a Botanical Garden for a Week.)

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Katja Durkin
Leiterin Global Affairs, Universität Zürich

One of the first conditions of happiness is that the link between Man and Nature shall not be broken” once wrote Leo Tolstoy. If one were to summarise the formation of the earth up to the present time in one day, 24 hours, then humans would have been on this planet for 3 seconds. 3 seconds. In less than 3 seconds, we as Homo sapiens sapiens have disturbed the balance of nature to such an extent that for a few milliseconds, sustainable development and the preservation of the planet‘s natural, life-support systems have been on everyone‘s lips. They affect us all, but not all equally or at the same time – at least until now. Therein lies the hesitation of many states to act. We can wait a little longer, we think irresolutely, indifferently or hopefully. But the next second of happiness, to use Tolstoy‘s words, is in our hands.

4. – 5. NOV 9.30 – 19.30, CAMPUS,
in Person, Deutsch | Englisch
U. a. Wasser als Lebenselixier in der Biodiversitäts- und Klimakrise; Digital Gold; Zurück in die Zukunft? Nachhaltigkeit und die Entwicklung neuer Textilien