Michael Müller, Governing Mayor of Berlin and Senator for Science and Research: “If the scientists of the world cannot come to Berlin, then this year’s Berlin Science Week will come to them – and to Berliners at home.
The Science Breakthroughs of the Year – The Berlin Science Week and Falling Walls bring leading research directly to you at home – From 1 to 10 November 2020 – With more than 200 events and 500 speakers, the largest programme since the founding of the organisation – 15 minute “Daily Highlights” every day at 13.00 Berlin time (12.00 GMT) freely accessible via www.falling-walls.com/2020.
Berlin, 14 October 2020. The Berlin Science Week is reinventing itself in the face of the Corona crisis: It is going online and out into the world. The more than 200 events with 500 speakers perfectly illustrate how truly global the audience will be this year. “Last year, the Berlin Science Week brought together 20,000 people in Berlin. Repeating that this year is of course not possible and would be irresponsible”, says Jürgen Mlynek, Coordinator Berlin Science Week and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Falling Walls Foundation. “We talked to our partners from all over the world and received great approval around the globe to do everything differently this year”, says Mlynek. For the first time, the events will take place worldwide and can also be attended at any location globally.
“Berlin deliberately focuses on science, research and innovation – and on close international dialogue”, says Michael Müller, Governing Mayor of Berlin and Senator for Science and Research. “The experience of these past months confirms this approach. At the same time, they show how important it is for science to explain its working methods and findings well beyond the realm of experts and to make it clear that conflict and further development are part of its essence, as is networked cooperation across disciplinary and national borders. The Berlin Science Week is making an important contribution to this when it gives leading global research a stage for the fifth time this November”, says Müller.
In addition to a comprehensive online programme, the “Daily Highlights” are a central component of the digital Berlin Science Week. Every day at world time, i.e. at 13.00 Berlin time (CET), the programme highlights will be presented in 15-minute videos. The programme is composed of contributions from renowned scientific institutions in Berlin and around the world. In addition to the Berlin universities, institutions from over 80 countries are participating this year, ranging from prestigious Anglo-Saxon universities such as Oxford and Harvard to outstanding universities in Africa, Asia and Australia.
The individual programmes within the Berlin Science Week have also adapted to the new format with amazing results. The Falling Walls Conference is a good example of this. Over the past twelve years, the conference had sold out the Radialsystem with its 450 seats on the anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall to present twenty researchers and their scientific breakthroughs. This year, the world’s top research institutions were invited to present their breakthroughs digitally in 5-minute videos.
The result: In 2020, more scientists will present breakthroughs than the conference has had audience attendance in the past. From over 900 nominations from 111 countries, around 600 finalists will present their ground-breaking research. All videos are freely accessible online at www.falling-walls.com/2020/finalists/. Distinguished international Falling Walls expert juries will select ten ‘Winners’ in each of the ten categories, and from them one ‘Falling Walls Breakthrough of the Year’ each, which will be presented at the Grand Finale on the anniversary of the day the Berlin Wall came down on 9 November at 13.00–15.00 Berlin time (CET).
“We are grateful to our many, many partners, above all the State of Berlin and the federal government, for making it possible for the Berlin Science Week to reinvent itself this year in such an uncomplicated and committed way”, says Jürgen Mlynek.
Together with the Governing Mayor of Berlin and the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC), we cordially invite you to our press conference on 14 October 2020, 10.30–11.30 Berlin time (CET). You can access it via livestream and ask questions afterwards. Further information and details can be found in our digital press kit.
Falling Walls Foundation gGmbH
The Berlin Science Week is organised with the support of the Senate Chancellery – Science and Research and Berlin Partner. Coordination is provided by the not-for-profit Falling Walls Foundation. The Falling Walls programme is conducted with the support of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, the Robert Bosch Foundation, the Senate Chancellery – Higher Education and Research and many other partners of the Falling Walls Foundation.