• Rotes Rathaus with open-air exhibtion"Wissensstadt Berlin 2021" im Vordergrund

    “Wissensstadt Berlin 2021” – Festival of Research

“Berlin wants to know”: “Wissensstadt Berlin 2021” is getting underway with a large open-air exhibition in front of the Rotes Rathaus. More than 50 Brain City Berlin institutions are taking part. In discussion rounds, lectures, performances, science slams and live demonstrations, they will shed light on socially relevant issues.

A city is at the centre of the action. More precisely: a city in the centre of the city. Because the temporary open-air exhibition for the “Wissensstadt Berlin 2021” festival is located directly in front of the Rotes Rathaus. From 26 June to 22 August, in the three “city districts” of Climate, Health and Living Together, everything will revolve around questions that shape our everyday lives, such as: Under what conditions do we live together? How can we turn our fear of the future into joy for the future? Will climate change lead to systemic change? Or: How is knowledge turned into health? The aim of this exhibition and an extensive open-air programme with more than 100 discussion rounds, lectures, music and theatre performances, science slams, live demonstrations, cinema evenings and a kids’ university: to further strengthen the exchange between science, politics and society.

“Berlin wants to know” is thus the motto of the “Wissensstadt Berlin 2021” festival. The programme brings alive the fact that Brain City Berlin is a versatile, interdisciplinary, cosmopolitan and extremely innovative science location as well as the home of many top science and research institutions: with internationally renowned institutions such as the Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the Helmholtz Association, the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and numerous colleges and universities. 

This Berlin science festival is a “warm invitation to dialogue, to new impressions and to learning”, says the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller. “Science and research are driving social progress. They allow us to overcome boundaries and get on top of challenges together. Recent months in particular have shown this”. 

50 partners and well over 100 events

More than 50 Berlin institutions are participating in the open-air exhibition in front of the Rotes Rathaus – from the Alice Salomon Hochschule Berlin (ASH Berlin) to companies such as Bayer and Pfizer to the “Jugend forscht” Foundation and the “Salon Fähig” science variety show. On the occasion of the 200th birthdays of physiologist and physicist Hermann von Helmholtz and physician and politician Rudolf Virchow, a special exhibition on the first floor of the Rotes Rathaus will illuminate the lives of these two leading and very well-known researchers from Berlin parallel to the central events.

These birth anniversaries also provided the impetus for the “Wissensstadt 2021" initiative. “We can learn from Hermann von Helmholtz and Rudolf Virchow that science has a social responsibility and can help people live better, healthier and fairer lives in a city”, explains Prof. Dr. Christoph Markschies, President of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. “Both have also advocated that science must be free in order to really have an effect for a healthy and just society”. 

And what comes after the exhibition?

Even after the end of the central exhibition event in front of the Rotes Rathaus in mid-August, Brain City Berlin will still be dominated by science. From summer to the end of the year, Berlin institutions large and small and stakeholders from the science and research communities are planning numerous activities – in the digital space as well as in the institutions themselves. Two international highlights in 2021 are the “Berlin Science Week” in November and the World Health Summit in October.

Berliners and visitors to the city can look forward to a colourful and exciting programme. This is also emphasised by Moritz von Dülmen, managing director of Kulturprojekte Berlin GmbH, which has realised the joint project “Wissensstadt Berlin 2021”. “It’s about creating meeting spaces, breaking down barriers, lifting the curtain – and we do that with the aid of exhibitions, science shows, theatre, performances and cinema. We want to show that science can be entertaining and colourful”. (vdo)

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