The human microbiome, digital fabrication and the impact of international capital flows: on 9 November, the Falling Walls Conference in Berlin will be dedicated once again to the major scientific issues of today


This year, 20 top scientists will once again present their breakthroughs at the international Falling Walls Conference in Berlin on the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. An up-to-date list of confirmed speakers can be found at

Millions of tiny, single-celled organisms inhabit our bodies. There are thousands of different species in these microbiological colonies in the intestine, mouth and on the skin and they exert an enormous and often underestimated impact on our health. Robert Knight from the University of California in San Diego is exploring this delicate interplay between man and microbiome and is working on a global gene map of these microbes in order to better understand the essential role that the smallest of creatures play on our planet.

Neil Gershenfeld is considered one of the pioneers of the ‘maker’ movement, which aims to harness the potential of new technologies in order to democratise manufacturing. The idea is to enable everyone to produce tangible objects using technology such as 3D printers and freely available blueprints. As the Director of the Center of Bits and Atoms at MIT in Boston, he is working with an interdisciplinary team to break down the boundaries between the digital and the physical world.

The French economist Hélène Rey is currently researching the organisation of the international financial system, the consequences of globalised trade and the classification of financial crises at the London Business School. Her theses on massive international capital flows and the consequences that their changes can have on economies challenge established paradigms and, according to The Economist, make her “the economist to watch in 2016”.


About the Falling Walls CONFERENCE
The Falling Walls Conference was first held in 2009 to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and has now developed into a highly acclaimed platform for international research. The conference is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the Helmholtz Association, the Robert Bosch Stiftung, the Berlin Senate and numerous other academic institutions, foundations and companies.

For preliminary reports or interview requests, please contact Lucie Menz at or on +49-30-60 988 39-74. Accreditation can be obtained online at

More information on the Falling Walls Conference on 9 November 2016, as well as on the expanded programme, can be found at


Press contact

Lucie Menz
Falling Walls Foundation gGmbH
Chausseestraße 8e
10115 Berlin

Tel: +49 30 60 988 39 74
Fax: +49 30 60 988 39 79

More Press Releases

All Press Releases

Further Activities to have a look at