The motto in 2012 was “Project Earth: Our Future”. The year was dedicated to sustainability research. It is essential for scientists from a very wide range of disciplines to cooperate in order to thoroughly understand the concept of sustainability in terms of a duty to safeguard ecological equilibrium, economic security and social justice. The Science Year 2012 created a superb forum for dialogue on these questions. The German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina took advantage of the opportunity provided by the Science Year to hold public discussion events.
One of these events explored the impact of sustainable living behaviours on democratic societies. How does the concept of sustainability relate to our traditional understanding of justice? In the discussion, the Leopoldina linked social scientific analyses of the impact of ecological change with ideas and research from the humanities on transformations in the way we think about humankind, society and nature. This event encouraged a more intense exploration of “sustainability versus freedom and justice” and promoted dialogue between science and the public.
The event took place on 17 October 2012 in Halle. Two renowned experts briefly presented their views on the concept of sustainability. These presentations were followed by a chaired debate, after which the public was invited to ask questions and discuss the topics.
Fishbowl discussion on 6. Juli 2012. Image: Markus Scholz / Leopoldina
In cooperation with Wissenschaft im Dialog and the Haus der Wissenschaft Braunschweig, the Leopoldina also holds fishbowl discussion events as part of the Wissenschaft kontrovers series. This series focuses on current topics that are of great interest to society. During the Leopoldina Night on 6 July 2012, experts and members of the public took part in a fishbowl discussion entitled “What is science allowed to do?”. On 19 December 2012, there was a fishbowl discussion in Magdeburg on the scientific, economic and political aspects, as well as the concrete consequences of the transition to renewable energy sources in the state of Saxony-Anhalt.
Fishbowl Discussion „Was darf die Wissenschaft?”, Halle, 6. July 2012
Leopoldina-Gespräch „Nachhaltigkeit = Gerechtigkeit?”, Halle, 17. October 2012
Fishbowl Discussion „Kommt der Blackout?”, Magdeburg, 19. December 2012
Recording of the Leopoldina-Gespräch „Nachhaltigkeit=Gerechtigkeit?“
MDR Figaro, 19.11.2012 (MP3, German)
Head of Department Science – Policy – Society, Head of Berlin Office
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