Impulses for knowledge


„Katastrophen“ fallen nicht vom Himmel. Vielmehr handelt es sich um Prozesse, die in unterschiedlicher Geschwindigkeit ablaufen können und dabei sowohl eine natürliche, eine kulturelle sowie eine technische Dimension aufweisen. Wissenschaftler unterschiedlicher Disziplinen sondieren im Rahmen dieses Diskurses die Möglichkeiten einer interdisziplinären Erforschung von Trockenheit und Dürre als „slow onset disasters“ im mediterranen Raum. Erkenntnisziel ist es dabei, Verlaufsformen und Wiederholungsstrukturen von Dürren zu identifizieren. Als Jahrhunderte alte „Kontaktzone“ eignet sich der mediterrane Raum besonders gut, um die langfristigen Wechselwirkungen von Umwelt, Kultur und Technik zu untersuchen.

Lorsch Abbey (Kloster Lorsch) has had an enormous influence on European history since it was founded in 764. It gained particular significance in the Carolingian age when donations multiplied the Abbey's holdings until they occupied all of the Rhine Valley from today's Switzerland to the Netherlands. The scriptorium of the Benedictine Abbey is responsible for extraordinary manuscripts of cultural and historical significance such as the Lorsch Gospels and the Lorsch Codex.

Thanks to the internet, traditional print and radio media have become increasingly integrated with telecommunications. This process has profoundly changed our society. Utterly new communication platforms and services, such as social networks and a variety of marketplaces for online business, have come into existence. Additionally, devices receive both IP addresses and telecommunications connections and are therefore not only programmable but also controllable via the internet, making them capable of continually delivering data. Automobiles play a key role in this integration: We are at the start of a decade that will herald the integration of telecommunications and automobile technologies.

Climate change policy, which, as understood and implemented by many of the world's governments, is guided by the Kyoto Protocol, has not lead to any appreciable reduction in world-wide green-house emissions in the past twenty years. The reason for this lack of progress lies in the structural weaknesses of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) or Kyoto Protocol. This agreement was doomed to failure from the start because it was based on a misunderstanding of the ways in which climate change needed to be dealt with politically, a systematic misunderstanding which dominated thinking from 1985 -2014.

Ladenburg Roundtable

In the main offices of the Daimler and Benz Foundation in Ladenburg, academics from a range of disciplines meet with experts from the business world to discuss whether a specific research project deserves funding. A central concern in the evaluation of every project is its social relevance and the resulting benefits for humankind.

Applying for and promotion