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Wissensstadt Berlin 2021

Program

Research affects everyone! This is obvious in the pandemic; but it is also evident when looking at the lives of Rudolf Virchow and Hermann von Helmholtz, whose 200th birthdays we are currently celebrating. In 2021, Berlin will therefore become the City of Knowledge - and the MDC will be there. Our program:

Open air exhibition on health, climate and living together

June 26 - August 22 | Open air exhibition

 June 26 - August 22, 2021

From artificial intelligence and climate protection to smart or stressful living in tomorrow's cities, Corona and the genetic scissors: the MDC participates in an open air exhibition which highlights Berlin's ideas on protecting our climate and our health as well as solving issues of living together - three closely interwoven yet independent topics that are represented as urban districts.

In the district health, the MDC presents new single-cell technologies and their potential to change the way diseases are diagnosed and treated. Visitors will find answers to questions such as: When is a cell ill? How can cells be cured? Are cells related to each other? How do algorithms detect diseases? And can organs be grown in the laboratory?

Further information

Location

Open air exhibition
Square in front of the „Rotes Rathaus“
10178 Berlin

 

Helmholtz – a giant of science

July 1 | Panel discussion | Ticket required

July 1, 2021, 6 pm

German only

Hermann von Helmholtz is considered a pioneer of science in the 19th century. His research and interests led to groundbreaking discoveries in fields as diverse as medicine, meteorology and physics. In light of his 200th anniversary, the major biography of this exceptional scientist is now being published in German for the first time.

Hermann von Helmholtz was not only a great man during his lifetime, however; his achievements are also of great benefit to us today. The philosopher of science Prof. Dr. Gregor Schiemann and the physician Prof. Dr. Simone Spuler explore the scope of Helmholtz' achievements and the influence they still have today.

An event organized by the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers e.V. with the publishing house wbg Theiss.

Further information

Location

Central stage in front of the "Rotes Rathaus"
10178 Berlin

 

 

About the dream of a Berlin "cell clinic" and the desire to treat diseases before they break out

July 1 | Panel discussion | Ticket required

July 1, 2021, 7:30 pm

German only

Single-cell technologies were named "Breakthrough of the Year" by Science magazine in 2018: It is now possible to dissect organs, tumors, or even entire insect larvae into individual cells, measure their gene activity and, with the help of high-performance computers and artificial intelligence, reassemble the individual cell analyses into a whole organ or organism. "It's as if we invented a super microscope with which we could look into every cell in a tissue, into all the cells at once, and see what's going on molecularly in the cell – for example, when and why it gets sick," says Nikolaus Rajewsky.

Almost every cell contains the entire genetic material of the respective human being encoded in four letters that are strung together to form a book with billions of letters. As long as the cell is alive, it is busy reading the complex blueprints. Deciphering this reading of the "book of life" is the goal of the joint research initiative of the three research institutions Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) at Charité, the Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology (BIMSB) of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine and Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin.

Prof. Christopher Baum, physician and molecular biologist, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Berlin Institute of Health at Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin.

Dr. Denes Hnisz, Group Leader, Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics

Prof. Nikolaus Rajewsky, Systems Biologist, Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine and Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, also a physicist, concert pianist and Leibniz Prize winner

Prof. Simone Spuler, Head of the Research Group "Myology" and the University Outpatient Clinic for Muscle Diseases, Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine and Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Further information

Location

Central stage in front of the "Rotes Rathaus"
10178 Berlin

 

The best of the Scientific Image Contest

July 2 & 9 | Exhibition | Action booth

July 2 & 9, 2021, 3-8 pm

We showcase the prettiest, funniest and most interesting images from our research. Fun facts, background stories are included. The images stem from ten years of Scientific Image Contest at the Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften at the biomedical research campus Berlin-Buch.

Further information

Location

Square in front of the „Rotes Rathaus“
10178 Berlin

Booth: Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine

 

Lab Olympics

July 2 & 9 | Competition | Action booth

July 2 & 9, 2021, 3-8 pm

Who can pipette the fastest? Who weighs the most accurately? Who can find information in biological databases? Play with us! In this competition, citizens have a chance to do what scientists usually do ...

Further information

Location

Square in front of the "Rotes Rathaus"
10178 Berlin

Booth: Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine

 

MDC Lab Selfie Booth

July 2 & 9 | Action booth

July 2 & 9, 2021, 3-8 pm

Slip into the role of a scientist for a moment and take a memorable photo. We provide scientific gear and you take a selfie. Done!

Further information

Location

Square in front of the "Rotes Rathaus"
10178 Berlin

Booth: Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine

 

Snip, snip, the gene is gone

July 2 & 9 | Quiz | Action booth

July 2 & 9, 2021, 3-8 pm

CRISPR - the molecular gene scissors are a hot topic. But what can this powerful tool really do? Can it indeed make us younger and healthier and bring back extinct species? Play the "CRISPR traffic light" with us and find out what is possible with CRISPR today, what can become possible in the future and what is and remains pure fantasy.

Further information

Location

Square in front of the "Rotes Rathaus"
10178 Berlin

Booth: Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine

 

Research Insights

July 2 & 9 | Conversations | Action booth

July 2 & 9, 2021, 3-8 pm

MDC scientists talk about science and life in science: careers, research, family. What do cancer, COVID-19 and neurological diseases have in common? Come over and find out! Did you know that cancer, COVID-19 and neurological diseases start at the molecular level. Ask us now!

Further information

Location

Square in front of the „Rotes Rathaus“
10178 Berlin

Booth: Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine

 

Civil Science Match: For a healthy Berlin

July 9 | Table tennis | Action booth

July 9, 2021, 3 - 8 pm

Get out of the universities, get to the table tennis plate! Scientists from the Genshagen Circle and other scientific institutions will be taking on questions of the public at the Rote Rathaus in a sporting way: What fuels rockets? What could – besides Corona – be the major health threats to mankind? How do languages develop? Since when has racism existed? How long does it take for a banana peel to turn into soil? Inquisitive Berliners and visitors to Berlin will direct their questions to scientists from a wide range of disciplines in a sweaty 1:1 game, doubles or relays.

Afterwards, we will discuss central questions about a "healthy city of Berlin" in a panel discussion: What is important for "health in the city of Berlin"? Which ideas do citizens and experts have for making Berlin a healthy city? What should Berlin’s "health of tomorrow" look like?

Further information

Location

Square in front of the "Rotes Rathaus"
10178 Berlin

Booth: Stand: Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften

 

Real or Fake: Health

July 9 | Science Show | Ticket required

July 9, 2021, 4:30 pm

German only

"You are kidding! Or not?" Scientists report on current research in an entertaining way and promote a critical awareness of the manipulability of scientific findings along the way. How? With the "Real or Fake" quiz show. Some tell fact-based stories that may sound bizarre, while others deceive the audience. All they have to do is deliberately add false, but believable-sounding information to their theses. The viewers vote on what they believe to be fact or fiction – until the solution may finally surprise them... This unique show sensitizes the audience’s understanding of deliberate misinformation and the potential misinterpretation of facts.

The non-profit association for the promotion of education "Besser Wissen e.V." uses entertainment to encourage critical scientific thinking.

Further information

Location

Central stage in front of the "Rotes Rathaus"
10178 Berlin

 

Reality TV at the MDC

Insights on Youtube

July 9, 2021, 5 - 12 pm

A working day in a research lab what does it look like? What do scientists do? How is a lab organized? Watch our scientists as they go about their daily work like in reality TV our camera followed the action in two research labs at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine on one day. Interviews, lab concert and mini-brains in a petri dish included.

Link to Youtube video

 

rbb TALKING SCIENCE - When science meets society: Rudolf Virchow and Hermann von Helmholtz

July 20 | Panel discussion | Reservation recommended

July 20, 2021, 7:30 pm

A science for health and the idea of the humane

Efforts to research disease date back to the beginnings of human history, from antiquity (Hippocrates, Galen) through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance (Paracelsus) to the medicine of the Enlightenment. In the 19th century, the turn to the natural sciences took place, to which the "Berlin School of Medicine" with its famous representatives Rudolf Virchow and Hermann von Helmholtz also contributed. In a conversation with Julia Vismann, Detlev Ganten presents the development of medicine with a focus on Berlin, the city where the legendary Charité was founded as early as 1710, the city of Virchow and von Helmholtz. Against this background, it becomes possible to ask anew the question of the balance that is the secret of human health.

Language: German

Reservation recommended

Further information

Location

Central stage in front of the "Rotes Rathaus"
10178 Berlin

 

Directions

Centre of the "Knowledge City Berlin 2021

Square in front of the Red City Hall
10178 Berlin-Mitte

Barrier-free


By public transportation

  • U-Bahn U-Bahn to Rotes Rathaus: U5; S+U Alexanderplatz: U2, U5, U8; U Klosterstraße: U2
  • S-Bahn S-Bahn to S+U Alexanderplatz: S3, S5, S7, S9
  • Bahn Regionalbahn to Alexanderplatz: RE1, RE2, RE7, RB14
  • Bus Bus to Rotes Rathaus: 200, 300; Jüdenstr.: 248, 300; Spandauer Str./Marienkirche: 100, 200
  • Tram Tram to Spandauer Str./Marienkirche: M4, M5, M6; Alexanderplatz: M2, M4, M5, M6

Timetables of the Verkehrsverbund Berlin-Brandenburg (VBB)
By car

  • A114: Follow the signs to Berlin-Zentrum/Berlin-Pankow to the end of the highway, then take the B109, Prenzlauer Promenade, Prenzlauer Allee, and Karl-Liebknecht-Straße, then turn left onto Spandauer Straße. The Berlin Town Hall will be on the left side of the street.
  • A100: Take the Kaiserdamm Süd exit, turning onto Kaiserdamm (B2/B5); keep going straight through the roundabouts, turn right onto Ebertstrasse, turn left at Potsdamer Platz onto Leipziger Straße, and then left again onto Spandauer Straße. The Berlin Town Hall will be on the right side of the street.

Parking (for a fee)

  • In the median on Grunerstraße
  • Rathauspassage parking garage, Grunerstraße 5-7

Source: Berlin.de

Safety

Access restriction

As part of the contact reduction to contain the coronavirus, we may control access to limit the number of people and ensure spacing. You have the opportunity to reserve a free ticket for some events in advance (see program). This will ensure you a seat and avoid possible waiting time.

It is also possible to visit without a reservation, but the events are subject to restrictions on the maximum number of visitors, so spontaneous admission cannot be guaranteed.

A negative rapid test is not necessary according to the current Infection Protection Ordinance.

Covid-19 protective measures

To contain the further spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, standard infection control measures apply. Please observe the AHA formula on site: Obligation to wear a mask, observance of the minimum distance of 1.5 metres, observe hygiene.

Review

Wissensstadt Berlin 2021 kicked off in late June with an extensive program that offers a glimpse into what the city’s scientists are working on – all under the motto “Berlin wants to know.” The MDC is hosting events that bring science to life and give the public an opportunity to discuss the medicine of tomorrow.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused many events in Berlin to be held outdoors. This includes the action days organized by the Wissensstadt Berlin research festival on the square in front of the Rotes Rathaus, which give citizens an opportunity to learn about science and take part in special activities like Lab Olympics. The MDC had its own booth on July 2 and July 9. “On the second day it was raining, and we were worried that no one would come. But people actually queued up patiently at our booth to take part in the different activities,” says Inga Patarčić, a PhD student at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) and co-organizer of the MDC’s activities during Wissensstadt Berlin. In the Lab Olympics competition players can earn points by completing various tasks – such as taking precise measurements or transferring liquids using a pipette. The player who has the most points at the end of 30 seconds wins.

© Felix Petermann, MDC

The main aim of Wissensstadt Berlin is to bring science to life and tell the story of how the city’s scientists are exploring the big questions of the future – climate, health, and coexistence – and what that research will look like going forward. What counts the most is engaging in dialogue – and having fun, with the Lab Olympics a prime example. “We want to make research accessible to the public and show what it’s like to be a scientist and conduct biomedical research in a modern laboratory,” says Patarčić. In addition to the activity booth, the MDC has organized various workshops and its researchers are participating in panel discussions and other events, such as the Real or Fake quiz show that lets audience members vote on what they believe to be fact or fiction.  

Presenting and discussing new approaches to medicine

Simone Spuler is a genetic muscle disease expert at the Experimental and Clinical Research Center (ECRC ), a joint institution of Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the MDC. The researcher and physician participated in two panel discussions: “It’s important to me to engage in a public discussion on gene therapies for muscle diseases,” she says. “I want to explain precisely what we are doing in an easy-to-understand way.”

“It’s important to me to engage in a public discussion on gene therapies for muscle diseases,” she says. “I want to explain precisely what we are doing in an easy-to-understand way.”
SImone Spuler
Simone Spuler Head of the group "Myology"

The panel did not just explore scientific questions. It brought together people from different areas of society – government, industry, healthcare, and science – to discuss topics such as what role Berlin will play in the cutting-edge research of the future. Stefanie Mahler of the German Stem Cell Network (GSCN) experienced just how exciting that can be. On July 1 she attended the panel discussion on cell therapies, in which MDC researcher Professor Nikolaus Rajewsky participated along with Simone Spuler. The systems biologist outlined a vision of Berlin as a hub for cell therapy that could also prove to be a draw for excellent scientists from other disciplines. Other panelists included Professor Christopher Baum, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH), and Dr. Stefan Frank of the pharmaceutical group Bayer. They added perspectives from science policy and industrial research. “There’s a lot happening right now, there’s a pioneering spirit,” said Mahler after the discussion.

Great interest in training opportunities at the MDC

Patarčić, who now works in the Communications Department, has lots of experience in bringing science to the public. She is well acquainted with the Long Night of Sciences, an event in which the MDC has participated for many years. “Presenting science in the middle of the city is quite different than doing so in the outer district of Buch,” she says. “The people come out to the campus are those who already have a strong interest in science or want to see friends or relatives working at the MDC.” Most people end up at the Wissensstadt Berlin at the Rotes Rathaus by accident, and many of them, Patarčić observes, have no connection to research whatsoever. Once at the activity booth, some visitors are particularly interested in career prospects at the MDC. How fitting it is that here they can not only learn about the MDC’s scientific research, but also look through flyers about training opportunities at the Center and talk to researchers about their path to biomedicine.

Text: Wiebke Peters

The MDC will be informing the public about the opportunities and promise of cell-based medicine at the Wissensstadt Berlin exhibition, on the square in front of the Rotes Rathaus, until August 22, 2021.

 

Further information