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Falling Walls Circle – Round Table: Science and Politics: Between Independence, Interdependence and Partnership

Falling Walls Foundation, Berlin University Alliance | Geraldine Rauch, Alexandra-Gwyn Paetz, Alessandro Allegra, Maria Leptin, Andrew Hurrell, Armaghan Naghipour

Grand societal challenges can no longer be solved in ivory towers and back rooms. Diverse expertise and multidirectional exchange are increasingly important. But how can such collaboration work without compromising the autonomy of individual fields?

Focusing on Science & Politics, this round table will explore how scientific knowledge can be offered comprehensively and neutrally and how policy makers can contribute experiences to ongoing research.

To better exploit the great potentials, following questions will be discussed:
What are innovative modes of knowledge exchange?
How can we ensure transparency and independence, and to what extent should we integrate exchange into everyday work?

The event is cohosted by our partner Berlin University Alliance.

This event will be accessible for our digital audience by livestream free of charge here at 10.00 am.

Falling Walls Circle Tables give the spotlight to world-leading scientists and science strategists, along with policy-makers from academia, business and politics to shape the agenda of the future of science.

About the Venue
Radialsystem – Studio A
Holzmarktstraße 33
Berlin, 10243 Germany

Since April 2022, Prof. Dr. Geraldine Rauch has been the President of the Technical University in Berlin. She was born in Heidelberg and studied mathematics at the University of Bremen. After completing a research stay at the Cardiff University of Wales, Dr. Rauch was employed as a research fellow at the Institute of Medical Biometry and Informatics at the University of Heidelberg. Three years later, she became the Head of the Research Group Clinical Trials. In 2015, she acquired her habilitation in Medical Biometry before accepting the position of University Professor (W3) for Medical Biometry at the Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) in January 2017, where she worked as Deputy Director of the Institute of Medical Biometry and Epidemiology. She has been employed at the Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin since July 2017 as University Professor (W3), where she worked as the Director of the Institute of Biometry and Clinical Epidemiology.

Alexandra-Gwyn Paetz has assumed the role of managing director of the Berlin University Alliance (BUA) as of June 1, 2022 and in this capacity also heads the BUA collaboration platform, which functions as a corporation under public law.
Ms. Paetz comes from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), where, as Head of Strategic Corporate Development and Communications, she played a key role in shaping the successful merger into a research university in the Helmholtz Association.

Alessandro is a science policy researcher and professional interested in understanding and shaping the interface between science, policy, and society in Europe. He is currently Policy Assistant to the European Commission’s Deputy Director-General for Research and Innovation, having previously worked at UNESCO, the Royal Society of London, the UK Royal Society of Biology, and the European Commission’s Scientific Advice Mechanism. Coming from a background in the philosophy and sociology of science and technology, Alessandro has conducted research on expert advice in EU policymaking at University College London (UCL) and the Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Maria Leptin

European Research Council

Maria Leptin is the President of the ERC.
After her PhD in Basel, Switzerland, postdoctoral research in Cambridge, UK, and leading a research group at the Max-Planck-Institute in Tübingen, she became professor at the Institute of Genetics, Cologne. She spent research visits at UCSF, the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, and the Sanger Institute, Hinxton, UK.
From 2010 to 2021, Leptin was the Director of EMBO.
Leptin is an elected member of EMBO, the Academia Europaea, the German National Academy, Leopoldina, an Honorary Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences, and holds an Honorary Doctorate from the EPFL, Lausanne.


Andrew Hurrell is Montague Burton Emeritus Professor at Oxford University and a Senior Research Fellow at Balliol College, Oxford. He is the academic co-director of the Oxford-Berlin Research Partnership. He is a Senior Research Fellow in the Law Faculty at Humboldt University and one of the directors of the Kollegforschungsgruppe ‘The International Rule of Law: Rise or Decline?’; and he holds an Einstein Visiting Fellowship associated with the SCRIPTS Cluster of Excellence, Contestations of the Liberal Script. He is a specialist in International Relations and his work is concerned with the changing character of global order in the 21st century.

Armaghan Naghipour

Staatssekretärin für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Gleichstellung Berliner Senat

Armaghan Naghipour is the Permanent Secretary for Science, Research and Gender Equality for the State of Berlin. A trained lawyer, she was the Personal Policy Advisor to Berlin’s Senator for Justice, Consumer Protection and Antidiscrimination prior to her current position. Before that, she served as Legal Advisor for the Parliamentary Group of the Greens in the Berlin House of Representatives. She also worked as an Attorney for Migration and Family Law and held a scholarship for an interdisciplinary research project focussing on integration at the Akademie für Politische Bildung in Tutzing. Her legal training took place in Heidelberg, Cologne and Berlin, including stations abroad in Bangalore and New York City. During this period, she participated in numerous research projects in the field of public international law at the Max Planck Institute in Heidelberg, the University of Cologne and for Stanford University.“

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