Creating the Future
© Foto-Grafikatelier Gudrun de Maddalena

Local Science & Global Challenges

Sympo­sium 2015

The first public sympo­sium of the Hector Fellow Academy was held on 02nd, July 2015 in cooper­a­tion with the Univer­sity of Tübin­gen. Repre­sen­ta­tives of science and politics were invited to discuss the topic “Local Science and Global Challenges”.

Profes­sor Bernd Engler, presi­dent of the Univer­sity of Tübin­gen and Profes­sor Eberhart Zrenner, Hector Science Award winner 2013 and organizer of this event, greeted around 90 guests who had come to Tübin­gen at record-break­ing summer temperatures.

During her speech There­sia Bauer, Minis­ter of Science, Research and the Arts in Baden-Württem­berg, empha­sized the central respon­si­bil­i­ties of science to ask the right and relevant questions with respect to address­ing global challenges. She also pointed out that good research policy has to ensure and protect acade­mic freedom. For this purpose the minis­ter furthers “Realla­bore” (approx.: practi­cal lab), in which repre­sen­ta­tives of sciences, politics and govern­ment work together on practi­cal projects. She regards the creation and protec­tion of free spaces for scien­tist as the main task of good research politics. Right now this freedom is threat­ened through the depen­dence on short-term third-party funds, the late acade­mic indepen­dence and because of the focus on applic­a­ble research. Accord­ing to her to control these threats it is neces­sary to have a better balance of project and basic funding of the universities.


Talk on "Short-term measures or long-term strat­egy? Perspec­tives of research policy to solve global challenges".

Video in German


Profes­sor Antje Boetius from Max-Planck-Insti­tute for Marine Micro­bi­ol­ogy in Bremen presented insights into the myste­ri­ous deep-sea. She raised the question for instance, how species in the wide and deep ocean find each other for mating. Often during expedi­tions on the see ground new species are being identi­fied, which are never again met after­wards. In what way this points to the extinc­tion of these species, couldn’t be answered until now. She criti­cizes, that only that kind of research is funded, which aims to enables economic growth with the help of the oceans. She described the future of the ocean as “warm, high, acidic and low in oxygen”. Against this background and the signif­i­cant meaning of the ocean for mankind, she regards a better under­stand­ing of processes and activ­i­ties in deep-sea as central. For this purpose bring­ing together and combin­ing knowl­edge gained in various disci­plines is essential.


Talk on the topic "Future Ocean — Strange Worlds Under­wa­ter, Big Problems Above Water".

Video in German


Viewpoints presented in both speeches were after­wards discussed together with Profes­sor Bernd Engler, Profes­sor Carolin Huhn (Platform Environ­men­tal System Analy­sis, Univer­sity of Tübin­gen) and Profes­sor Doris Wedlich (Head of Division for biology, chemistry & process engineer­ing, Karlsruhe Insti­tute of Technol­ogy). The partic­i­pants talked about the respon­si­bil­i­ties of differ­ent stake­hold­ers as well as essen­tial frame­work condi­tions in order to solve global challenges. Here the relevance of inter­dis­ci­pli­nary research consor­tia was highlighted, where both funda­men­tal and applied research should be taken into account. In addition, a dialogue and cooper­a­tion between partners from acade­mic, polit­i­cal, economic and social fields is required.


Video in German


Wissenschaftliche Vorträge

Prof. Dr.

Antje Boetius


Hector Fellow since 2013

There­sia Bauer


Minis­ter for Science, Research & the Arts Baden-Württemberg


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