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ZEIT Science Forum

The ZEIT Science Forum is a series of discussion events. Founded in 2001, it aims to open controversial contemporary issues to critical scrutiny. The forum takes place at the Leibnizsaal of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Science.

76th ZEIT Science Forum: From the praise and curse of doubt - When do we know what is true?

We humans doubt. Fortunately! In science, for example, 'methodological doubt' is an important instrument for getting to the bottom of things through research. Whether completely new questions are asked or an experiment is repeated, whether new data disprove previous study results or new technologies provide a completely different picture of a research object - our knowledge is always expanded.

To give room to justified doubts and to admit mistakes is therefore indispensable to do good science and to gain new insights.

But what should we do if scientifically proven facts, such as man-made climate change or the need for vaccinations in general, are doubted? Worldwide, research is confronted with an ever-increasing populist scepticism that deliberately works against scientific expertise and enlightenment.

So how can we distinguish a negative doubt that is closed to good arguments from a constructive doubt that takes us further? How do we know when to believe statements? When do we know what is true?

Panelists

  • Thea Dorn, author
  • Katrin Göring-Eckardt, Member of the German Bundestag, Chairman of the Bündnis 90/Die Grünen parliamentary group
  • Prof. Dr. Stephan Rixen, Speaker of the Committee "Ombudsman für die Wissenschaft" and Holder of the Chair for Public Law, Social Economy and Health Law, University of Bayreuth

Hosts

  • Ulrich Blumenthal, Editor "Forschung aktuell", Deutschlandfunk
  • Andreas Sentker, Head of the Department of Science, DIE ZEIT

 

75th ZEIT Science Forum: Oocyte Donation, Surrogacy, Embryo Transfer - Do We Need New Rules For Reproductive Medicine?

 

Martin Grötschel, president of the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften welcomes the audience, Photo: Michael SetzpfandtJochen Taupitz, Photo: Michael SetzpfandtBirgit Mayer-Lewis, Photo: Michael SetzpfandtAnnika Ludwig, Photo: Michael SetzpfandtUli Blumenthal, Photo: Michael SetzpfandtAndreas Sentker, Photo: Michael SetzpfandtThe panelists, Photo: Michael SetzpfandtQuestions from the audience, Photo: Michael Setzpfandt
Martin Grötschel, president of the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften welcomes the audience, Photo: Michael Setzpfandt
Jochen Taupitz, Photo: Michael Setzpfandt
Birgit Mayer-Lewis, Photo: Michael Setzpfandt
Annika Ludwig, Photo: Michael Setzpfandt
Uli Blumenthal, Photo: Michael Setzpfandt
Andreas Sentker, Photo: Michael Setzpfandt
The panelists, Photo: Michael Setzpfandt
Questions from the audience, Photo: Michael Setzpfandt

More than six million Germans are unintentionally childless. Thanks to the rapid development in international reproductive medicine, doctors today are often able to fulfil patients' desire to have children even if it does not work naturally. But in Germany there is a nearly 30-year-old Embryo Protection Act (ESchG) which does not permit a lot of the existing therapies. From a scientific perspective, doctors describe the current legal situation as antiquated and medical ethicists as unjust. Lawyers have long complained that it creates considerable legal uncertainty.

The National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities therefore published a statement in June of this year in which they called for a comprehensive revision of reproductive medicine and also for a uniform reproductive law in Germany.

For it is not only a question of clarifying which treatments may be used, but also who is allowed to. Health insurance companies only cover costs if a couple is married and young and heterosexual. That excludes many persons. It must therefore be regulated what is permitted in reproductive medicine and what forms of family the state permits.

Panelists

  • Prof. Dr. Annika K. Ludwig, gynaecologist, Practice for Women's Health and Prenatal Medicine, Hamburg
  • Dr. Birgit Mayer-Lewis, research assistant, State Institute for Family Research, Bamberg University
  • Prof. Dr. Jochen Taupitz, managing director, Institute for German, European and International Medical Law, Health Law and Bioethics of Heidelberg and Mannheim University

Hosts

  • Ulrich Blumenthal, Editor "Forschung aktuell", Deutschlandfunk
  • Andreas Sentker, Head of the Department of Science, DIE ZEIT

 

74th ZEIT Science Forum: Art and Colonialism - What is the right Way to deal with stolen Artefacts?

Martin Grötschel, President of the BBAW, welcomes the audience, Photo: Kevin FuchsThe audience at the 74th ZEIT Science Forum, Photo: Kevin FuchsHost Andreas Sentker, Head of the Department of Science, DIE ZEIT, Photo: Kevin FuchsThe Panel of the 74th ZEIT Science Forum, Photo: Kevin FuchsArlette-Louise Ndakoze, Research Scientist at SAVVY Contemporary: The Laboratory of Form-Ideas, Photo: Kevin FuchsProf. Dr. Bénédicte Savoy, Art Historian and Head of the Department of Modern Art History at the Technische Universität Berlin, Collège de France, Paris, Photo: Kevin FuchsProf. Dr. Jürgen Zimmerer, Professor of Global History and Head of Research Unit "Hamburg's (post-)colonial Heritage" at the University of Hamburg, Photo: Kevin FuchsHost Ulrich Blumenthal, Editor "Forschung aktuell", Deutschlandfunk, Photo: Kevin Fuchs
Martin Grötschel, President of the BBAW, welcomes the audience, Photo: Kevin Fuchs
The audience at the 74th ZEIT Science Forum, Photo: Kevin Fuchs
Host Andreas Sentker, Head of the Department of Science, DIE ZEIT, Photo: Kevin Fuchs
The Panel of the 74th ZEIT Science Forum, Photo: Kevin Fuchs
Arlette-Louise Ndakoze, Research Scientist at SAVVY Contemporary: The Laboratory of Form-Ideas, Photo: Kevin Fuchs
Prof. Dr. Bénédicte Savoy, Art Historian and Head of the Department of Modern Art History at the Technische Universität Berlin, Collège de France, Paris, Photo: Kevin Fuchs
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Zimmerer, Professor of Global History and Head of Research Unit "Hamburg's (post-)colonial Heritage" at the University of Hamburg, Photo: Kevin Fuchs
Host Ulrich Blumenthal, Editor "Forschung aktuell", Deutschlandfunk, Photo: Kevin Fuchs

In November 1884 the so-called "Africa Conference" began in Berlin, which "sealed" the division and occupation of the African continent. Decades of oppression, torture and exploitation of the people by German companies and the military in East Africa, Namibia, Togo and other parts of Africa were the result. Hundreds of thousands of Africans were murdered or abducted.

To this day, European museums possess many art objects that were stolen or acquired in a colonial context. Provenance research investigates the history of this art and suggests ways of restitution to politicians. Experts from East Africa criticise that they have not been sufficiently involved and that this return transfer cannot be organised. There is a lack of political support on the ground, money and museums.

What is the right way to restitute cultural assets? How does Germany deal with its responsibility? What consequences does colonialism still have for today's art scene and for People of Color in Germany?

Panelists

  • Arlette-Louise Ndakoze, Research Scientist at SAVVY Contemporary: The Laboratory of Form-Ideas
  • Prof. Dr. Bénédicte Savoy, Art Historian and Head of the Department of Modern Art History at the Technische Universität Berlin,
    Collège de France, Paris and Member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities
  • Prof. Dr. Jürgen Zimmerer, Professor of Global History and Head of Research Unit "Hamburg's (post-)colonial Heritage" at the University of Hamburg

Hosts

  • Ulrich Blumenthal, Editor "Forschung aktuell", Deutschlandfunk
  • Andreas Sentker, Head of the Department of Science, DIE ZEIT

73rd ZEIT Science Forum: 70 years of Constitutional Law. Freedom of Science - a success Story?

The Panel of the 73rd ZEIT Science Forum, Photo: Phil DeraMartin Grötschel, President of the BBAW, welcomes the audience, Photo: Phil DeraThe audience at the 73rd ZEIT Science Forum, Photo: Phil DeraMartin Stratmann, President of the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Photo: Phil DeraNadia Al-Bagdadi, Director of the Institute for Advanced Study at CEU Budapest, Photo: Phil DeraAnuscheh Farahat, Professor for Public Law, Migration Law and Human Rights at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Photo: Phil DeraQuestions asked by the audience, Photo: Phil DeraAndreas F. Wilkes, Managing Director of Veranstaltungsforum, in conversation with Nadia Al-Bagdadi and Anuscheh Farahat, Photo: Phil Dera
The Panel of the 73rd ZEIT Science Forum, Photo: Phil Dera
Martin Grötschel, President of the BBAW, welcomes the audience, Photo: Phil Dera
The audience at the 73rd ZEIT Science Forum, Photo: Phil Dera
Martin Stratmann, President of the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Photo: Phil Dera
Nadia Al-Bagdadi, Director of the Institute for Advanced Study at CEU Budapest, Photo: Phil Dera
Anuscheh Farahat, Professor for Public Law, Migration Law and Human Rights at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Photo: Phil Dera
Questions asked by the audience, Photo: Phil Dera
Andreas F. Wilkes, Managing Director of Veranstaltungsforum, in conversation with Nadia Al-Bagdadi and Anuscheh Farahat, Photo: Phil Dera

Interventions in the human genome, the development of artificial intelligence, experiments on animals - to what extent may the freedom of science, research and teaching anchored in the Basic Law go?

According to a survey of 2018, the most important reason for distrusting scientists is their dependence on financial backers. How independent are scientists? What significance does freedom of science have for an open society?

But science itself is also increasingly at risk. In the international area - in Turkey, Hungary and the USA - freedom of science has come under strong pressure in recent years. How do we defend the freedom of research and thought?

Panelists

  • Prof. Dr. Nadia Al-Bagdadi, Director, Institute for Advanced Study and Professor at the Institute of Historical Sciences, CEU, Budapest
  • Prof. Dr. Anuscheh Farahat, Professor for Public Law, Migration Law and Human Rights at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität (FAU) Erlangen-Nürnberg and Member of "Die Junge Akademie"
  • Prof. Dr. Martin Stratmann, President of the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft

Hosts

  • Ulrich Blumenthal, Editor "Forschung aktuell", Deutschlandfunk
  • Andreas Sentker, Head of the Department of Science, DIE ZEIT
  • Art and Colonialism - What is the right Way to deal with stolen Artefacts?
  • 70 years of Constitutional Law. Freedom of Science - a success Story?
  • What are our Virtues still worth?
  • Brain from the laboratory - the new possibilities of organ breeding
  • 70 years WHO - How Healthy is the World?
  • Expertise in a Crisis
  • Language.Power.Politics
  • Defend the Enlightenment! Science in a Post-Truth Age
  • Man and Maschine - The Power of Algorithms
  • The Art of Renunciation
  • „Anywhere – Nowhere“ Excellence Initiative: Where is the journey taking us?
  • Miracle Plant, Designer Babies: The Rebirth of Genetic Engineering - unmatched precise, unmatched secure?
  • Strength evolves out of crisis
  • BIG-DATA: The end of our autonomy and privacy?

Information

05 November 2019, 7 pm

Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Science and Humanities
Markgrafenstraße 38, 10117 Berlin

Topic
From the praise and curse of doubt - When do we know what is true?

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