Dear members and friends of the GDNÄ,

Welcome to the 133rd Assembly of the Society of German Natural Scientists and Physicians from 12 to 15 September in Potsdam. Science characterises our lives today and science will continue to have a strong influence on our lives in the future. In Potsdam, the focus will therefore be on “Science for our lives of tomorrow”.

Since 1822, our society has been bringing together scientists and those interested in science for interdisciplinary dialogue. The GDNÄ promotes this dialogue between the public and the natural and life sciences, medicine and technology. In times when fake news and populist movements are calling science into question, it is particularly important to allow scientists to have their say.

Direct access to science is particularly important and helpful for young people. Since 2004, we have therefore been inviting students to visit our collections and engage in dialogue with the speakers. Thanks to the generous support of the Wilhelm and Else Heraeus Foundation, the AKB Foundation, the Bayer Foundation and the Family Business Foundation, we are once again able to invite 150 young people. Some of them will be on stage during the sessions this time.

Dealing with the topics at the centre of our conference requires an understanding of the insights of the natural and life sciences and enthusiasm for medicine and technology. We hope that the opportunities and new possibilities of science will be utilised for the well-being of people in the future. We say this with hope and confidence at a time when Russia’s unspeakable war of aggression against Ukraine has been going on for more than two years and Israel is fighting in Gaza against Hamas, which has murderously invaded Israel. Both wars bring endless suffering to many people.

In the 202 years since our society was founded, science has helped to improve people’s lives in many areas, be it medicine, nutrition, mobility or communication. But science also allows us to understand what mankind has done to planet Earth, the animal and plant world. It shows us what we can do to shape a better future, in the spirit of “responsible” science. We also want to talk about this in Potsdam. We look forward to seeing you.

Heribert Hofer, Präsident der GDNÄ

Heribert Hofer, President of the GDNÄ

Please note: The event will be filmed/photographed. It is therefore possible that participants may be recognisable on the film and photo material that is produced. The film material will be used in accordance with the objectives and purpose of the GDNÄ and placed for the purpose of event-related public relations for non-commercial use and for an unlimited duration in all dedicated online media as well as on all video platforms used by the GDNÄ on the Internet with all sharing functionalities provided by the video hosting provider.

Campus Griebnitzsee der Universität Potsdam © K. Fritze

Prof Dr Heribert Hofer, President of the GDNÄ and Director of the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin.

© MIKA-fotografie | Berlin

Preparations for the conference are in full swing.

GDNÄ President Hofer and his team have put together a comprehensive scientific programme. A special contingent of hotel rooms is available for conference guests.

Campus Griebnitzsee der Universität Potsdam © K. Fritze

The 133rd GDNÄ Assembly will take place in the main building of the Griebnitzsee campus of the University of Potsdam.

© K. Fritze

Several interviews on this website provide insights into the preparations for the conference and information on individual presentations: