Exhibition Series "Discoveries"
Experience Science at first hand
Count Lennart Bernadotte was intensely engaged with environmental and nature conservation issues as early as the 1950s and 60s. A milestone of his work was the “Green Charter of Mainau”, which, based on his initiative, was formally adopted on 20th April 1961 by representatives from the worlds of politics, business and culture. ‘The very foundations of our lives are endangered because vital elements of nature are being contaminated, poisoned and destroyed’, the Charter observes – a sentence that retains all of its currency to this day. The manifesto describes the conflict between use and preservation of natural resources, thereby laying the foundations for a broad social discussion of the environment.
The co-founder of the Lindau Meeting of Nobel Laureates would have turned 100 in 2009. The memory of Count Bernadotte and his advocacy of scientific dialogue was not only the stimulus for the 2009 Nobel Laureate Meeting, it was also the inspiration for a new project by the Council and the Foundation as part of their ‘Mission Education’: the exhibition “Discoveries” on the Mainau Island, which took place for the first time in summer 2009. It combines two issues that were close to the heart of Count Lennart Bernadotte: enthusiasm for research and commitment to nature and sustainability.
How can we treat the planet responsibly? Can we save valuable resources and conserve them for future generations? How can sustainability be incorporated into our everyday lives? The exhibition took up these questions and showed the contribution made by scientific research to answering them. The exhibition, like the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting – which is also organised by the Council and Foundation of Nobel Laureate Meetings – wanted to awaken an interest in science and research among young people. But unlike the meeting, where up-and-coming scientists meet Nobel Laureates, the “Discoveries” exhibition was deliberately aimed at the general public.
The “Discoveries” exhibition was a three-year project. Each year, the focus of the exhibition was on a different area of sustainability research. In 2010, the spotlight was on “Energy”, and in 2011 visitors were invited to explore the many facets of the topic “Health”. The first exhibition dealt in detail with the sustainable treatment of the planet’s most important resource: water.
The series of exhibitions was funded largely by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, which provided the infrastructure for the project. The former Federal Minister Annette Schavan took on the role of patron. The exhibition “Discoveries” was also part of the “Research Expedition Germany”, an initiative in the Science Year 2009, which promotes dialogue between the general public and the scientific community throughout Germany. Like the exhibition, its objective is to interest young people particularly in scientific research.
"Discoveries 2011: Health"
The final part of the exhibition series "Discoveries" extended the debate on the significance of science and research to the broad public. Aligned with the nationwide campaign "Year of Science 2011-Research for Our Health" of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the focus was on health research. Visit Website
"Discoveries 2010: Energy"
The second leg of the exhibition series "Discoveries" focused on the future of energy. The objective was to draw attention to the challenges imposed by climate change and global population growth, to present the latest research methods and proposed solutions, and to promote societal dialogue about the necessary restructuring of the world's energy supply. Visit Website
"Discoveries 2009: Water"
The first exhibition dealt in detail with the sustainable treatment of the planet's most important resource: water. In twenty pavilions, a large number of exhibits provided an insight into their research results and enabled visitors to explore the subject of water in all its diversity. Supported by partners from the fields of science, research, business and politics; the exhibition aimed towards creating a sustainable dialogue between the scientific community and the general public. Visit Website
Participating for the first time in the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting was a fantastic experience. The very nice and fruitful exchanges I had with young scientists from all around the world, their perception of research careers, motivations and expectations truly enriched my own vision on the actual evolution of science in the context of a globalized world.
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