Words of Welcome Anja Karliczek Federal Minister of Education and Research
The COVID-19 pandemic marks a turning point – in particular as regards research and its visibility in society. The relevance of scientific breakthroughs for everyday life has hardly ever been so obvious to such a broad public. Teams of experts have identified ways to minimise the risk of infection with the coronavirus and developed effective vaccines at record speed. The virus has not yet disappeared but, thanks to the outstanding scientific work done worldwide, we are gradually going back to normal: We can again meet with family and friends. We can talk to each other face to face at events. School students are back in the classroom. We are confident that we will overcome the pandemic.
This experience should also guide us when addressing other challenges such as climate change. Tackling climate change requires excellent solutions from science. Great hopes are being placed on solutions such as green hydrogen or methods for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. In my view, it is important that we engage in a dialogue with the public so that scientific breakthroughs can quickly become good practice. This is the only way towards building a sustainable and climate-neutral society and economy.
The Falling Walls Conference provides a forum for researchers and their pioneering work. It encourages young talent, strengthens international cooperation and supports exchange between science, industry, politics and society. This is what makes it so valuable. The only way to tackle the grand challenges is to take joint action – across borders.
Member of the German Bundestag
Federal Minister of Education and Research
Anja Karliczek has been serving as Federal Minister of Education and Research since March 2018. Karliczek has been member of the German Parliament from 2013, and has served as member of the Finance Comittee, as deputy to Michael Grosse-Brömer as First Secretary of the parliamentary group. As Minister of Education and Research, she is a member of the Joint Science Conference (GWK), a body which deals with all questions of research funding, science and research policy strategies and the science system. Her focus as Federal Minister is aimed at supporting corporate research and development and boosting investments in cutting-edge technologies.