Philipp Lachenmann: DELPHI Rationale


Dialogue with Science

Science makes an important contribution to the development of our society. In the public perception, however, it embodies not only progress but is also felt to be a threat to human safety and security. The more the sciences noticeably change the conditions of our lives, the more they are called upon to enter into a constructive dialogue with society. In order to enable citizens to actively participate in this discussion, it requires a broad science education and an understanding of scientific research. The Ernst Schering Foundation pursues these objectives through a variety of initiatives. It organizes and supports science lectures for a wider audience, holds public discussions and symposia on controversial scientific topics, and promotes science communication in Germany. As part of its programs on science education, it helps get children and young people excited about science at an early age.

The Debate – Facts, Research, Positions

26.04.2017, Berlin | Fake news, alternative facts, conspiracy theories – the public debate on many topics challenges or ignores scientifically proven facts; public discussions on controversial issues are rarely fact-based or enriched with scientific background knowledge. Therefore, the initiative Wissenschaft im Dialog (Science in Dialogue), the Science Media Center Germany, and the Technische Universität Braunschweig have launched the platform “The Debate.” It offers a space for discussing controversial science topics and scientific perspectives on socially relevant and much-debated topics. This happens in the form of live debates, factual videos, multimedia information tools, and interviews. The first live debate, on May 19, 2017 at the Haus der Wissenschaft in Braunschweig, will deal with the topic of “Self-Driving Cars.”



Lecture Series: Life in Numbers

31.05.2017, Berlin | During the 2017 summer term, the Integrative Research Institute of Life Sciences (IRI) at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, with support from the Ernst Schering Foundation, hosts the colloquium “Life in Numbers.” The colloquium features lectures by outstanding international scientists who present their current research in the field of quantitative biology. June will see two lectures in the five-part series: On June 1, at 4 p.m., Peter Lénárt from the EMBL in Heidelberg will give a talk entitled “The same, only different: How does the cytoskeleton adapt to meisosis-specific functions?,” and on June 22, at 4 p.m., Joe Howard from Yale University, USA, will talk about “Microtubules, motors, and morphogensis.” The IRI Colloquium is aimed at students, doctoral candidates, researchers as well as the interested public.



What Drives Us Apart – Hate Speech in the Digital Age

05.04.2017, Berlin | The internet and the social media have made political and personal diffamation an everyday occurrence. So-called hate speech is malicious, direct and often not even anonymous anymore. The inciters gain adherents, and their hatred is shared. However, hatred is not a media but a societal problem. On April 21, 2017, the Ernst Schering Foundation and the Stiftung Brandenburger Tor will host a discussion evening on this topic.




Science in the Dinosaur Hall 2016

02.01.2016, Berlin | How does my internal clock determine my daily rhythm? What is living in the deep sea? Can plants communicate? These and many other questions will be answered by scientists from disciplines as different as marine biology, ecology, chronobiology, and psychology in a lecture series entitled “Science in the Dinosaur Hall” at the Natural History Museum in Berlin. They will take us into foreign worlds, solve mysteries of nature, and vividly explain abstract phenomena.

The lecture series “Science in the Dinosaur Hall” is co-organized by Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, the Natural History Museum in Berlin, and the Ernst Schering Foundation. Together, we invite you to eight evening lectures in the Dinosaur Hall, which will take you into the fascinating world of science. Following the lectures, you will have the opportunity for an exclusive visit to the museum until 10 p.m.




STATE of Emotion – The Sentimental Machine

21.10.2016, Berlin | Emotions are a fundamental source of our most personal experiences in the world and motivations to act, as well as a central element of our interaction with others. They have been considered the essence of what it means to be human, and what it means to be you. Entitled “STATE of Emotion – The Sentimental Machine,” this year’s STATE Festival in Berlin from November 3 to 5, 2016, brings together the latest developments and works at the intersection of current emotions research and artificial intelligence. It creates a meeting ground for science and the public, where scientific inquiry meets artistic expression: open, participatory and interdisciplinary.

State Festival, (c) STATE Festival, Montebelo, Grafikladen



Symposium “The Evolution of Medicine to Evolutionary Medicine”

24.10.2016, Berlin | Evolutionary medicine sheds light on the interaction between environmental influences and human genetics as well as between the evolution of diseases and human susceptibility. It integrates evolutionary biology and medicine and includes topics that play a major role in both disciplines, such as, for example, epidemiology, infectious diseases, and the evolution of disease genes. It aims to understand how diseases work and to explore their evolutionary causes, as such insights can make a significant contribution to biomedical research. In order to build new bridges between evolutionary biology and medicine, the Integrative Research Institute of Life Sciences (IRI) at Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, on November 10, 2016, holds a symposium entitled “The Evolution of Medicine to Evolutionary Medicine” as part of its “Interdisciplinary Dialogue” series.




Public Lecture on Molecular Chaperons

13.09.2016, Berlin | Proteins perform a variety of essential tasks in all cells of our body. In order to fulfill their biological functions, these chain-like molecules must fold into specific three-dimensional patterns. This process was originally thought to occur spontaneously. However, work by Prof. Dr. Franz-Ulrich Hartl, director of the Cellular Biochemistry Department at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, showed that in our cells protein folding is mediated by chaperones. Incorrectly folded proteins tend to clump together to aggregates, which disturb cell functions in various ways and can cause neurodegenerative pathologies, such as Alzheimer’s dementia, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease. The insight offers opportunities for novel therapeutic approaches.

On September 23, 2016, the Freie Universität Berlin will host in cooperation with the Ernst Schering Foundation a public lecture by Professor Hartl on the topic “Molecular Chaperones: Their Role in Protein Folding and Neurodegenerative Disease.”

Franz-Ulrich Hartl_Foto: Axel Griesch, MPI für Biochemie



Video about Prof. Hartls research (in German only)



European Students’ Conference 2016

01.09.2016, Berlin | “Facing Antimicrobial Resistance – Research Revolution Wanted” is the title of the 27th European Students’ Conference, which takes place on September 23–26, 2016, at the Virchow Clinic of the Charité Berlin. Focusing on antimicrobial resistances, which are rapidly increasing worldwide, the ESC takes a closer look at the causes and consequences of the declining efficacy of antibiotic therapies. In the late 1960s, the war against infectious diseases was seen as largely won, but recent years have shown that this chapter is far from closed.

European Students' Conference



Vaccination: Global Consequences of Individual Decisions

01.09.2016, Berlin | On September 16, 2016, the Integrative Research Institute for the Life Sciences (IRI) at Berlin’s Humboldt University presents a lecture on vaccinations by Prof. Dr. Lothar H. Wieler, director of the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin, and PD Dr. Cornelia Betsch from the University of Erfurt. The speakers will look at the willingness to get vaccinated and the global consequences of individual vaccination decisions.

(c) Dirk Brockmann, RKI



Glimpses into the Beyond?

10.05.2016, Berlin | Once again this season, the lobby of the Komische Oper Berlin is the place where art meets science and theory meets entertainment. Continuing their successful cooperation, the Komische Oper Berlin and the Ernst Schering Foundation organize four evening salons featuring renowned scholars and scientists. In conjunction with the opera’s season program, the salons explore topics that are of interest to both science and the world of opera. A playful and relaxed atmosphere for discussion, such as had characterized nineteenth-century salons, is achieved by, among other things, a variety of discussion formats and artistic interventions related to the evening’s topic. Entitled Glimpses into the Beyond?,the fourth salon, on June 20, 2016, at 7:30 p.m., deals with near-death experiences.




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