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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Kosmos Lectures

In his famous Kosmos lectures in the Senate Chamber of the Humboldt-Universität and today’s Gorki Theatre, Alexander von Humboldt brought the whole world and every scientific discipline within the span of his attention. He looked at the world from a global perspective in which natural and cultural phenomena are connected in a mutual symbiosis. In the ten Kosmos lectures marking this anniversary year scientists and scholars from around the world will address the various topics from Humboldt’s lecture series and approach them from a present-day point of view.

 

6 April 2019: Opening Lecture

 

At the venue of the historical Kosmos lectures, the HU lecture series marking the 250th birthday of Alexander von Humboldt will be opened by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and climate researcher Paulo Artaxo. As an environmental physicist, Artaxo is one of South America’s most prominent scientists. He played a leading role in the 2007 IPCC Climate Change Report, for which he and his team won the Nobel Peace Prize.

With: Prof. Paulo Artaxo, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil

Opening by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier 

Date

6 April 2019, 5 p.m.
Venue: Gorki, Am Festungsgraben 2, 10117 Berlin

Language: English


Questions about the event via mail: Veranstaltungen-250avh@hu-berlin.de

An event in co-operation with the Maxim Gorki Theater.

 

25 April 2019: Humboldt’s revolutionary view of the Earth – a chance for the Anthropocene

 

Alexander von Humboldt was a revolutionary visionary who saw the Earth and its landscapes as a system of interconnected components in space and time. Such a way of seeing is more urgent than ever if we are to make the impending sustainability transformations we need. Humboldt’s new view of the Earth provided a pioneering “Humboldt programme for the Anthropocene”.

With: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Lucht, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Date

25 April 2019, 7 p.m.

Venue: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Unter den Linden 6, 10117 Berlin

Language: German

Further Information

Registration  
Questions about the event via mail: Veranstaltungen-250avh@hu-berlin.de

 

2 May 2019: Human nonsense that disrupts the natural order – Climate Change and/or Democracy

 

As in few other areas of policy and politics, climate policy exposes the erosion of public trust in science and democracy. Confidence that democracies will be able to get on top of the challenges presented by climate change is dwindling, while autocratic regimes such as China are viewed as forerunners. Democracy is being held up against these views of things as the political system that is ultimately best able to deal with climate change. A close look as Humboldt’s way of doing science can create an awareness of plural perspectives on climate. Democracy is able to admit these perspectives and bring them into (conflicting) dialogue with each other.

With: Patrizia Nanz, Institute for Sustainability Transformation Research Potsdam

 

Date

2 May 2019, 7 p.m.

Venue: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Unter den Linden 6, 10117 Berlin

Language: German

Further Information

Registration 
Questions about the event via mail: Veranstaltungen-250avh@hu-berlin.de

 

 

23 May 2019: A Journey to the Chimborazo, cradle of Plant Geography

 

We will be following in Humboldt’s footsteps to explore his groundbreaking insights into broad patterns in nature, his importance for plant geography and the relevance of his holistic procedure for solving today’s global challenges.

With: Naia Morueta-Holme, University of Copenhagen

Date

23 May 2019, 7 p.m.

Venue: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Unter den Linden 6, 10117 Berlin

Language: English

Further information

Registrations 
Questions about the event via mail: Veranstaltungen-250avh@hu-berlin.de

 

 

6 June 2019: „“Making oneself related” – Relationships between Human and Environment

 

Current research approaches and historical perspectives from the collections of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

The Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin will have an exhibition in its own space in the Humboldt Forum in the Berlin City Palace. In his Kosmos lecture head curator Gorch Pieken will be presenting the concept for the opening exhibition, which is intended to make a contribution to important current topics in a dialogue between students, scientists, scholars and visitors. The core of the exhibition will deal with the impact of humanity on its environment and present current research projects, objects from the university’s collections and the results of working in various university archives.

With: Dr. Gorch Pieken, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Date

6 June 2019, 7 p.m.

Venue: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Unter den Linden 6, 10117 Berlin

Language: German

Further Information

Registration 
Questions about the event via mail: Veranstaltungen-250avh@hu-berlin.de

 

 

20 June 2019: Criticism and Compromise – Humboldt as Politician

 

Alexander von Humboldt was a political writer. His collected writings show how resolutely he engaged as a public intellectual in international matters – against slavery, for the emancipation of the Jews and in the presidential election campaign in the USA. They also show the limits of his commitment and the compromises he made with authoritarian governments. His testimony in both these regards is of utmost topicality today.

With: Oliver Lubrich, University of Berne

Date

20 June 2019, 7 p.m.

Venue: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Unter den Linden 6, 10117 Berlin

Language: German

Further Information

Registration 
Quesions about the event via mail: Veranstaltungen-250avh@hu-berlin.de

 

 

29 August 2019:  Sustainable Development Goals within Planetary Boundaries: Utopia or Panacea?

 

Scientific evidence is mounting that humanity is facing growing global environmental risks which could trigger irreversible systemic changes. A shift to sustainability is increasingly being seen as not only necessary for prosperity and social cohesion but also as possible and attractive. The question is whether we can change our ways fast enough.

With: Prof. Johan Rockström, Swedish University for Agrarian Sciences, Uppsala and Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

Date

29 August 2019, 7 p.m.

Venue: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Unter den Linden 6, 10117 Berlin

Language: English

 

Further Information

Registration 
Questions about the event via mail: Veranstaltungen-250avh@hu-berlin.de

 

24 October 2019: How Trees contribute to interdisciplinary environmental and climate Research

 

Environmental and climate information that can be precisely dated by the year can be gained from various tree ring parameters such as ring width, wood density, anatomical structures and chemical compositions. Dendrochronology thus offers a unique archive and precise tool for analysing human-environmental systems at the interface of archaeology, biology, climatology and ecology. The scientific potential and methodological limits of dendrochronology will be demonstrated, with examples from current research projects ranging from the cell to the hemisphere and from the present to the last ice age.


With: Ulf Büntgen, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, UK

Date

24 October 2019, 7 p.m.

Venue: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Unter den Linden 6, 10117 Berlin

Language: German

Further Information

Registration 

Questions about the event via mail: Veranstaltungen-250avh@hu-berlin.de

 

 

14 November 2019: Scientific Communication then and now

 

Humboldt was a gifted scientific communicator. His lectures inspired a wide audience and his books were bestsellers. How did scientific communication function in his day, and how does it work today?

With: Sir Philip Campbell (astrophysicist), Springer Nature Guest Professor, University of Heidelberg

A lecture initiated by the Klaus Tschira Foundation and the Holtzbrinck Publishing Group.

Date

14 November 2019, 7 p.m.

Venue: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Unter den Linden 6, 10117 Berlin

Language: German

Further Information

Registration 

Questions about the event via mail: Veranstaltungen-250avh@hu-berlin.de

 

 

28 November 2019: Closing Lecture - Kosmos: Entangled Worlds

 

This lecture will be discussing Alexander von Humboldt’s role in the Age of Enlightenment and Discovery and how his idea of the ‘web of life’ resonates with Oceanic philosophies and complex networks, opening up new pathways to the future.

 

With: Prof. Dame Mary Anne Salmond, University of Auckland

Date

28 November 2019, 5 p.m.

Venue: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Unter den Linden 6, 10117 Berlin

Language: English

A lecture in co-operation with the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

Further Information

Event Registration 

Questions about the event via mail: Veranstaltungen-250avh@hu-berlin.de