The second day began with the biology session led by Professor Tina Romeis. Dr. Andreas Wilting was on the trail of hidden wild animals of tropical rainforests, while Professor Markus Sauer introduced the “Latest developments in super-resolution microscopy”.
The science market was open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. It offered not only interesting insights, for example into the MOSAiC exhibition “Into the Ice” and the exhibition “Fascination of Science” by photographer Herlinde Koelbl, but also hands-on activities. Represented were the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (research site of Professor Svante Pääbo, 2022 Nobel Laureate in Medicine), the Leibniz Institutes for Photonic Technologies, Jena, Tropospheric Research and Regional Geography, both from Leipzig, and the Leipzig Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences. The Society’s archivist, Dr. Matthias Röschner, had brought along some particularly interesting items from the GDNÄ archive at the Deutsches Museum.
In the acatech “Science and Technology Café”, private lecturer Marc-Denis Weitze invited participants to discuss the topic “In which world do we want to live/Science for tomorrow” during the lunch break. In parallel, Lilo Berg moderated a discussion on the history of the GDNÄ with Professor Dietrich von Engelhardt and archivist Dr. Matthias Röschner.
The afternoon began in the context of the chemistry session chaired by Professor Wolfgang Lubitz with the award of the Liebig Memorial Medal of the German Chemical Society by GDCh President Dr. Karsten Danielmeier to Professor Claudia Felser, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids. The laudator, Professor Barbara Albert, Rector of the University of Duisburg-Essen, praised the award winner as a visionary in solid materials. In her talk, Claudia Felser reported on “Chirality and Topology. Contributions on NMR-assisted structural biology by Professor Bernd Reif, insights into the molecular architecture of cells by Professor Wolfgang Baumeister, and encounters with nanomachines at work, mediated by Professor Helmut Grubmüller, completed the chemistry session.
The public evening lecture by Nobel Prize winner in physics Reinhard Genzel about his 40-year journey to the center of the Milky Way attracted not only conference participants but also many citizens of Leipzig. Professor Genzel took plenty of time after the lecture to talk to the students. Afterwards, conference participants flocked to St. Nicholas Church to hear works by Georg Phillip Telemann, Johann Sebastian Bach, Max Reger and Richard Wagner. Music was performed by Viktorija Kaminskaite (vocals), Alexander Bernhard (trumpet) and Reiko Brockelt (alto saxophone) under the direction of University Music Director David Timm (organ). Between the musical pieces, Superintendent Sebastian Feydt explained the significance of St. Nicholas Church to the Peaceful Revolution of 1989.
After the early GDNÄ general meeting, Saturday morning began with the physics session led by Professor Thomas Elsässer. With images from the nanoworld, time-resolved X-ray crystallography and the diversity of extrasolar planets, Professor Roland Wiesendanger, Professor Petra Fromme and Professor Heike Rauer impressed the audience.
The topic of the well-attended acatech “Science and Technology Café” during the lunch break was the digitalization of medicine. At the same time, large numbers of students sought advice from members of the GDNÄ’s Board of Directors about study opportunities in the natural sciences, computer science, medicine and veterinary medicine.
The afternoon was devoted to topics in technology and computer science and was led by Professor Johannes Buchmann. Professor Stefan Roth reported on image analysis and understanding for autonomous driving and Professor Christian Theobalt on machine learning in computer graphics and image recognition. Professor Philipp Slusallek concluded the computer science section with the topic of real-time ray tracing for photorealistic visualization.
For the following public Leopoldina lecture by Markus Gross, computer science professor at ETH Zurich and director of Disney Research, on computer-generated Hollywood movies with impressive images and technologies, many citizens of Leipzig again flocked to the Congress Hall at the Zoo.
After the lecture, the speakers were invited by the mayor and the zoo director to the zoo’s Gondwanaland for an evening in tropical surroundings.