This year’s international SILBERSALZ Science & Media Festival was all set to take place in Halle (Saale) with the theme “Ahead of us, the future - #unitedbyknowledge.” From June 15–19, the Robert Bosch Stiftung’s Science in Society team and partners invited us to explore different standpoints and to rethink our relationship with the world and one another.
“Everything is interaction.” Alexander von Humboldt had already reached this core realization as early as 1803, discovering unity in diversity and recognizing that our environment can only ever be considered in relation to human activity. In its fifth year, the SILBERSALZ Festival took Humboldt’s theory as a starting point to take a closer look at different aspects of this interconnectedness, this bond and interdependency, and put our relationship with our environment to the test. Offering exhibitions, films, events, and panels, SILBERSALZ aimed to get people talking: What connects us? What divides us? How do we bridge these gaps? “When guests, filmmakers, and academics come together on an equal footing and discuss these questions, this creates an environment where everyone can learn with and from each other. The festival offered a wide range of free events for all age groups with the aim of making science accessible and, in the long run, creating responsible citizens and promoting greater trust in science – especially among young people who will be the ones to shape the future”, says Henry Alt-Haaker, Senior Vice President Strategic Partnerships and Robert Bosch Academy.
Festival visitors could expect a diverse program, ranging from an evening with biologist and techno DJ Dominik Eulberg, to panels with TV presenter Dr. Eckart von Hirschhausen and scientist Prof. Dr. Harald Lesch, to a virtual reality installation exploring the world’s oldest rainforest. In addition, the Robert Bosch Stiftung’s Democracy team has organized a panel to mark the final day of the festival on Sunday to discuss new forms of democratic participation. The panel featured representatives from our partner organizations “European Democracy Hub”, “Consul”, and “es geht LOS”, as well as South African activist and Robert Bosch Academy fellow Kumi Naidoo.