Impressions from the boat ride by the Land Baden-Württemberg on which Mathilde Bessert-Nettelbeck and Johannes Erhardt presented Störung/Hafraah on the final day of the Nobel Laureates Meeting 2015.

By Mathilde Bessert-Nettelbeck

Pictures: Staatsministerium Baden-Württemberg/ Uli Regenscheit, Top picture: Baden-Württemberg Minister of Science and Arts Teresia Bauer visited our booth.

As one of 23 selected projects Johannes and I had the chance to present Störung/ Hafraah on the Baden-Württemberg Boat trip to Mainau Island on the final day of the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting 2015. At this summit, bringing together 65 nobel laureates and 650 young scientists from all around the world and all disciplines, we joined a boat ride crossing the Lake Constance (that was fortunately air conditioned). At our booth on the 2nd deck we presented a video impression of the project by Maya Rothschild as well as a poster. Additionally, Johannes had brought a variety of implants as exhibits for his and other BrainLinks-BrainTools research projects. We had great discussions with young scientist from countries like Portugal, Thailand, Italy or China. It was a very special experience for me and people were very interested in the remarkable research approach we are all part of in this project.

We also had the opportunity to listen to a panel discussion about science education. One of the participants of the panel impressed me especially: Harold Kroto. He is a chemist who received the Nobel Prize in 1996 and emphasized in the discussion that science education is not only about educating children to become scientists. It also should aim at educating people to think scientifically in their everyday life or in political decisions, no matter what they will do later on. He also had a funny way to present his arguments:“If you make people think, they love you. If you make people really think, they hate you” was what he said in his talk earlier this week. A physicist from Germany pointed out this speech to me earlier when we talked about how science and art can be an inspiration to each other. Harold Kroto often emphasizes this connection. He shows in this essay, how creating a sculpture inspired a key scientific advance in his research about fullerene, so called “bucky balls”, spherical molecules with over 60 carbon atoms.

The boat trip ended with scientists and nobel laureates getting on the dance floor. Johannes joined in as talking became impossible because of the music.  In a way, this was the best demonstration of what our project is about as scientists all together engaged in a new discussion: Moving to the beat.


2 thoughts on “Störung/ Hafraah at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

  1. Hi Mathilde, Thank you for this post! The statement about educating children to think scientifically was really interesting for me because it made me try to understand what “thinking scientifically” looks like – is it a process of deductive reasoning/questioning? Is it about curiosity? Searching for answers? I think when one really loves their field and when what they do really speaks to a type of logics that makes sense for them, they want to spread that passion and logics to everyone else. I feel this way about dance and have often thought the experience and knowledge that comes from dance would be a great addition to all education. At the winter school, I heard that Johannes brought forward the question that perhaps what we need to research is if there is a “dancer’s way” as opposed to dance tools or steps to teach. I liked this challenge of thought very much and now I’m beginning to wonder what the combination of “thinking scientifically” and searching for a “dancer’s way” can bring to reflection, curiosity and problem solving.

  2. Thanks for your comment Monica,
    Curisosity was definitly one of the main aspects of this “scientific thinking” they wanted to pass on. Logical reasoning was the other as well as asking question. To pass on the passion was another aspect. A scientist from Lausanne who works with educators in Africa said, they start from big questions people have in their life (how to treat a desease, get rid of pollution etc.). They try to answer these questions together and on the way learn a lot about science. At the end of the day they have more questions to work with.
    Personnaly, i think going from question to question is a great way to work with your curiosity and to learn the methodology of science. Sometimes, however, you even need to question these discussions of scientists talking to scientists, because with this kind of audience, who would contradict the conclusion that science education has to be promoted.

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