Press Portal

Berlin Science Week @HU

Of art and social change: The HU presents numerous exciting and diverse events during Berlin Science Week

Social change requires cultural change – but what role does art play in this? As part of this year’s Berlin Science Week, the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin investigates the ambivalent interrelationships between culture, science and politics. The events will be held in person in the main building of the Humboldt-Universität, in the Humboldt Lab in the Humboldt Forum and in the Tieranatomisches Theater (Veterinary Anatomy Theatre). Entrance is free, but registration is required. 

2021 sciencely app IG

New for Berlin Science Week: sciencely in the “Science Station”

To mark Berlin Science Week, the Humboldt-Universität and are launching the “sciencely” app. The app invites you to playfully explore the HU’s exhibition in “Unter den Linden” underground station and the surrounding area. Via image recognition or selection in the app, you can chat with subjects of the exhibition, architectural details, monuments or even underground station signs. The app is available for free in the App Store and Play Store – in German and English.

Overview of the programme for Berlin Science Week @HU

Art as a Catalyst – (How) Do Art and Culture Drive Social Change?

Tuesday, 2nd Nov. 2021, 7:00 p.m. 
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Senatssaal, Unter den Linden 6, 10117 Berlin


  • Prof. Dr-Ing. Dr Sabine Kunst (President of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) 
  • Prof. Dr Manuela Bojadžijev (Berlin Institute for Empirical Migration Research, HU Berlin)
  • Stefan Schmidtke (Head of Programmes & Managing Director, Kulturhauptstadt Europas Chemnitz 2025 (Chemnitz, European Capital of Culture 2025))
  • Samuel Kramer (Author)

Hosted by: Sabine Kieselbach, journalist

Can art and culture be the engine that drives social change? Representatives from politics, science and civil society often seek support from art in order to bring about change. But what influence does art have on society, and what influence does it want to have? What opportunities and risks arise for each of the respective sides when connecting art and societal concerns? Guests from the worlds of science and culture discuss.

Exploitation, Forced Labour, Flight and Migration – Modern Forms of Slavery

Wednesday, 3rd Nov. 2021, 7:00 p.m.
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Senatssaal, Unter den Linden 6, 10117 Berlin


  • Friedel Hütz-Adams (Südwind, Institute for Economics and Ecumenism) 
  • Prof. Dr Herbert Brücker (Berlin Institute for Empirical Migration Research, HU Berlin)

Hosted by: Suhana Elisabeth Reddy (IRI THESys, HU Berlin)

Forced labour, human trafficking or the recruitment of child soldiers – even though slavery has been banned across the world since at least the UN Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, it has not been abolished. Even today, human trafficking and forced labour takes place around the world, and human rights organisations cite the number of victims as being in the millions. This panel discussion examines the role that modern forms of slavery play today, as well as how these relate to migration.

The Mobility of the Scene – Mosse Lecture on Contemporary Theatre

Thursday, 4th Nov. 2021, 7:00 p.m.
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Senatssaal, Unter den Linden 6, 10117 Berlin


  • Prof. Dr Juliane Vogel (University of Konstanz)
  • Prof. Dr Stefan Willer (Department of German Literature, HU Berlin)

The dramatic scene is a fleeting and agile form. Scenes disturb the framework into which they are integrated. Juliane Vogel examines the political potential of a form that opens up new spaces of appearance wherever it goes. 

The talk marks the beginning of this semester’s series of Mosse Lectures, which are dedicated to “contemporary theatre” and spark conversations on the self-staging of the present.

Spoken Word I: The Language of the Political

Friday, 5th Nov. 2021, 7:00 p.m.
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Senatssaal, Unter den Linden 6, 10117 Berlin

  • Keynote speech by Dr Clara Herdeanu
  • Performance by Bas Böttcher, Yasmin Hafedh, Dominique Macri, Dalibor Marković, Tanasgol Sabbagh

“I have a dream” or “Imagine” – the spoken word is powerful and mobilises the masses, both as poetic art and as a political slogan. How does spoken word as poetry react to the spoken word of politics today? How do they influence one another, and how do they mark themselves as distinct from one another?

The event will be curated by Bas Böttcher.

Spoken Word II: As an Interface between Media and Art

Saturday, 6th Nov. 2021, 7:00 p.m.
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Hörsaal 2002, Unter den Linden 6, 10117 Berlin 

  • Keynote speech by Prof. Dr Shintaro Miyazaki (HU Berlin)
  • Performance by Wolf Hogekamp (author) and Danielle de Picciotto (author and musician)

In art, image, word and media coalesce in a variety of ways – with sometimes astonishing effects on common perception. The evening presents spoken word at the interface between digital poetry, media art and lyric poetry, using film and performance.

Prof. Dr Petra Anders (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), curated by Bas Böttcher.

Meet the Scientist

A journey through the brain, live – an encounter with neuroscientists

Monday, 1st Nov., 6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.
Prof. Dr Andrea Kühn / Dr Lucia Feldmann (NeuroCure)

Wednesday, 3rd Nov., 4:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.
Christian Ebner (NeuroCure)

Thursday, 4th Nov., 4:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.
Dr Prateep Beed (NeuroCure)

Wednesday, 10th Nov., 4:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.
Dr David Owald (NeuroCure)

These events will take place in the Humboldt Lab in the Humboldt Forum, Schloßplatz, 10178 Berlin.

Are you interested in the latest findings from brain research? Do you have a lot of burning questions about the functions of the brain? Then visit the NeuroCure research station in the Humboldt Lab. On four days during the Berlin Science Week, scientists from the Cluster of Excellence will explain their research to you and answer questions. 

Meet the Scientist – Adaptive Digital Twin 

Thursday, 4th Nov., 1:00 p.m.–1:45 p.m. (English)
Dr Lucius Fekonja (Matters of Activity)

Thursday, 4th Nov., 2:00 p.m.–2:45 p.m. (German)
Dr Lucius Fekonja (Matters of Activity)

These events will take place in the Humboldt Lab in the Humboldt Forum, Schloßplatz, 10178 Berlin.

The “Adaptive Digital Twin” project from the “Matters of Activity” Cluster of Excellence aims to map the central nervous system of healthy subjects and patients in digital space. Researchers from various disciplines study and develop co-adaptive models that enable simulation, statistical analysis and visual inspection of the brain using individually obtained functional and structural data. Lucius Fekonja, expert in scientific visualisation, elucidates the methods.

Exhibition Tour: Stretching Materialities

Wednesday, 3rd Nov. 2021, 4:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.
Tieranatomisches Theater, Philippstraße 13, 10115 Berlin

Matter is dead? As if! The exhibition “Stretching Materialities” by researchers and designers from the “Matters of Activity. Image Space Material” Cluster of Excellence at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin makes it possible to experience the vitality and activity of matter in a completely new way.

The Well-Tempered Hygrometer

Thursday, 4th Nov. 2021, 3:00–4:00 p.m.
Hermann von Helmholtz Centre for Cultural Techniques, Object Lab, Philippstraße 13, 10115 Berlin

The “Well-Tempered Hygrometer” by artist and architect Anna Kubelík is an installation and construction sculpture from 2013. The title reveals the hybrid nature of the work: on the one hand, the artist conceived it as a geometric interpretation of the Well-Tempered Clavier by Johann Sebastian Bach by making very direct and precise references to this foundational work for keyboard. On the other hand, the construction is a measuring instrument which is used to display changing atmospheric conditions in the surrounding space.

Further information 

Berlin Science Week @HU


Hans-Christoph Keller
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Press Spokesperson

Tel.: 030 2093-2946