After Nature: Humboldt Lab Opens Inaugural Exhibition

On 20th July 2021, the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin will be opening the Humboldt Lab with its inaugural exhibition “After Nature”. The exhibition in the Humboldt Forum deals with the interactions between climate change and biodiversity loss as well as the global crises of democratic principles of order. It draws on a wide array of voices from scientific research in order to address the effects of man-made changes to the global environment. The title of the exhibition refers in equal measure to both the destruction of species and ecosystems and the idea of “learning from nature”. The exhibition on the first floor of the Humboldt Forum encompasses a 150-square-metre foyer and a main hall of 600 square metres. Admission to the Humboldt Lab is free.

A glimpse inside the Humboldt Lab © Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin /
schnellebuntebilder / Inside Outside | Petra Blaisse / Photo: Philipp Plum

Research questions and approaches to solutions from the world of science 

Scientists from various disciplines address their research questions and enter into a dialogue with the public on a kinetic wall. Historical objects from the collections of the HU and other universities elucidate answers to these topical questions from the history of science. Three academic archives are being revisited for the exhibition and, when viewed together, they enable a space for in-depth historical examination of the questions raised by the exhibition. Before entering the exhibition space, the public passes by an interactive projection of a school of fish. This projection points in equal measure to the sensitivity of ecosystems and biodiversity and the threats these face. The research approaches of the seven Berlin Clusters of Excellence – Math+, Matters of Activity, NeuroCure, Science of Intelligence, SCRIPTS, Temporal Communities and UniSysCat – shine a light on the diversity of research conducted by the Berlin University Alliance. 

The design of the exhibition itself is reminiscent of a modern cabinet of curiosities, in which the objects are constantly entering into new relationships with one another via a movable hanging system. The exhibition will be continuously updated.

Prof. Dr-Ing. Dr Sabine Kunst, President of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin:

The challenges of our time call for an intensive exchange among all of us in order to work together on solutions and progress from knowledge and understanding to action. The Humboldt Lab gives us the opportunity to conduct the dialogue between science and society on an even broader level. 

In addition to the Clusters of Excellence of the Berlin University Alliance – a consortium in which the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, the Freie Universität Berlin, the Technische Universität Berlin and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin collaborate as part of the Excellence Strategy competition launched by the federal and state governments – numerous institutes and departments of the HU, together with their national and international partner organisations, as well as student research projects and initiatives are playing a part in shaping the content of the exhibition. 

The Humboldt Lab is part of the Open Humboldt initiative, which the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin uses to further expand the dialogue between science and society.

Source: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin


European Higher Education Organization

European Higher Education Organization is a public organization carrying out academic, educational and information activities on higher education in Europe. The EHEO general plan stresses that: Higher education systems require adequate funding and, as an investment in economic growth, public spending in higher education should be protected. The challenges faced by higher education require more flexible governance and funding systems, which balance greater autonomy for education institutions with accountability to stakeholders. Thus, EHEO plans: improve academic and scientific interaction of universities; protect the interests of universities; interact more closely with public authorities of European countries; popularize European higher education in the world; develop academic mobility; seek funding for European universities.

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