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Falling Walls Circle – Plenary Table: Transatlantic Science Bridge in Key Science and Technology Developments

Desy & Carnegie Science, Falling Walls Foundation | Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, Cornelia Denz, Young-Kee Kim, Arik Willner, Eric Isaacs, Maria Leptin

Conditions to cooperate in the international science arena are becoming increasingly complex as scientific communities address urgent challenges while respecting technological sovereignty. The session will address the role of transatlantic cooperation on key science and technology developments. Panelists will discuss the challenges and opportunities of multilateral partnerships in various areas such as quantum computing and semiconductors and biopreparedness research.

Supported by DESY & Carnegie Science.


Asmeret Asefaw Berhe

U.S. Department of Energy

Asmeret Asefaw Berhe is the Director of the Office of Science for the U.S. Department of Energy. She holds degrees in Soil and Water Conservation, Political Ecology, and Biogeochemistry. Her research focuses on soil science, global change science, and political ecology, particularly the soil system’s role in regulating the Earth’s climate and the relationship between the environment and human communities. She has held leadership positions in various scientific organizations and is involved in initiatives promoting equity and inclusion in science. Berhe is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and has received numerous awards for her contributions to the scientific community.

Cornelia Denz

Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt

Cornelia Denz has been President of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt since May 2022. There she supports the development of modern metrology along the major technological challenges. She is also an Associate Professor at the Department of Physics at Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität (WWU) Münster. She received her PhD in physics from TU Darmstadt on optical neural networks. Her research focuses on nanophotonics, biophotonics, and in information optics.

Young-Kee Kim

The University of Chicago

Young-Kee Kim is Louis Block Distinguished Service Professor of Physics at University of Chicago. Prior to Chicago, she was Professor of Physics at University of California, Berkeley. She earned BS and MS from Korea University, and Ph.D. from University of Rochester.

She is an experimental particle physicist, co-led Tevatron Collider’s CDF experiment, and was Deputy Director of Fermilab. She is President-Elect of the American Physical Society (APS).

She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a foreign member of the Korean Academy of Science and Technology. She received the Ho-Am Prize in Science, and is a fellow of APS.

Arik Willner

Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY

Laser and accelerator physicist Arik Willner initially took on the position of Chief Technology Officer in 2016 and reorganising the transfer area. In this role, he was appointed “Associated Director for Innovation” in August 2018 responsible for the translation-oriented activities, the bridge and networking to industry, the start-up activities at DESY as well as the development of the ecosystem for innovation incl. customized infrastructures (e.g. DESY Innovation Factory).

Eric Isaacs

Carnegie Science

Eric D. Isaacs is a condensed matter physicist and the 11th president of the Carnegie Institution for Science, a private, nonprofit research organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. As president of Carnegie Science, Isaacs leads the Institution’s investigators in forefront research in plant biology, developmental biology, Earth and planetary sciences, astronomy, and global ecology.

Isaacs came to Carnegie from the University of Chicago, where he served as the Robert A. Millikan Distinguished Service Professor in Physics and Executive Vice President for Research, Innovation and National Laboratories. In that role, he provided direct oversight of  Argonne National Laboratory and Fermilab for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. He also led the University’s founding-partner relationship with the Giant Magellan Telescope project. He previously served as Provost of the University of Chicago. Isaacs spent five years as Director of Argonne, one of the nation’s largest science and engineering research centers. As Argonne’s Director, Isaacs earned a reputation as a nationally recognized institutional strategist and advocate for scientific research and its importance in driving the U.S. economy. He joined the University and Argonne in 2003 as the founding director of the Center for Nanoscale Materials, where researchers study and create materials at the atomic and molecular scales.

He began his career as a postdoctoral fellow at Bell Laboratories, where he went on to serve as director of the semiconductor physics research and materials physics research departments. Isaacs holds a Ph.D. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree from Beloit College. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and of the National Academy of Inventors. He has authored or co-authored more than 100 scholarly publications.

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.



About the Venue
Radialsystem – Lecture Hall
Holzmarktstraße 33
Berlin, 10243 Germany

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