Open-air exhibit "Wissensstadt Berlin" in front of the Red Town Hall

Foto: @Harf Zimmermann, 3-D-Visualisierung@ Tonio Freitag

“Wissensstadt Berlin 2021” – with a Smart Focus

Living together in the city – this is just one of the pressing issues of our time that the central open-air exhibition of the “Wissensstadt Berlin 2021” (Knowledge City Berlin 2021) project, located in front of the Red Town Hall (Rotes Rathaus), will illuminate. The motto of the science festival is “Berlin will’s wissen”, a play on words that loosely translates to “Berlin is set on gaining knowledge”. More than 50 partners have joined forces to help bring the realm of science and society closer together.

Climate. Health. Living together. These are key issues that will be illuminated by the central open-air exhibition held as part of the recently launched “Wissensstadt Berlin 2021” (Knowledge City Berlin 2021)  festival. Here, visitors can find out more about recent research and its impact on our lives in three “city districts”; even though each district is exclusively dedicated to one specific topic, they are connected and can be entered via windows and doors. The exhibition is located in the heart of Berlin, right in front of the Red Town Hall.

In its “Climate” district, the exhibition asks how tangible and measurable climate change is today and what solutions we have to counter it. This district also takes visitors on a journey through time.

The “Living Together” district focuses on the city and its structural, societal and digital development, highlighting a range of facets and issues from a scientific perspective, including the conditions under which we live together, how different people experience life in the city and where the concepts for the city of tomorrow come from.

Finally, the exhibition showcases different scientific approaches to a matter that has become extremely important – and not just since the pandemic: the third district focuses on “Health”, from close-ups of an egg cell to a holistic view of the entire planet.

The exhibition in front of the Red Town Hall and the accompanying open-air programme with more than 100 panels, talks, musical and theatrical performances, science slams, live demonstrations, movie nights and a kid’s university all have the same aim: to further strengthen the exchange between science, politics and society.

Numerous highlights and fresh impressions

“Wissensstadt Berlin 2021“ is a “warm invitation to engage in dialogue, to gather fresh impressions and to learn,” says Governing Mayor of Berlin Michael Müller. “Science and research drive societal progress, allowing us to exceed boundaries and meet challenges, something that has been clearly illustrated over the past months.” 

More than 50 Berlin institutions and actors from the realms of science and research will take part with individual and joint projects. The motto of the “Wissensstadt Berlin 2021 project is “Berlin will’s wissen”, a play on words that loosely translates to “Berlin is set on gaining knowledge”; however, two very special researcher birthdays gave cause to this year’s festival: physiologist and physicist Hermann von Helmholtz (1821-1894) and doctor and politician Rudolf Virchow (1821-1902) were both born 200 years ago. A special exhibition on the first floor of the Red Town Hall honours them, showing highlights from their lives and held in parallel to the central open-air exhibition. Hermann von Helmholtz and Rudolf Virchow both teach us that science has a social responsibility, says Prof. Dr Christoph Markschies, President of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. “They were both committed to ensuring that science remains independent, as this is the only way it can truly work towards creating a healthy and just society.” 

The open-air as well as the special exhibition in the Red Town Hall will run until late August. However, even after the central exhibition events have ended, Berlin will still be dedicated to science – with numerous events in digital space as well as on the local premises of the companies and institutions involved.

Therefore, even after the summer holidays have ended, Berliners and visitors to the city alike can look forward to a colourful and captivating programme that has something for everyone: topics and events range from the Teddy Clinic to live experiments to a panel discussion on “Stress in the City”. As Moritz von Dülmen, Managing Director at Kulturprojekte Berlin (translates to “Cultural Projects Berlin”), which realised the “Wissensstadt Berlin 2021“ joint project, explains, “We aim to create space for encounters, to lower barriers and lift the curtain – and we are doing just that with the aid of exhibitions, science shows, plays, performances and cinema. We want to show people that science can be entertaining and illustrative.” (vdo)

Further information

  • Open-air exhibition: 26 June to 22 August 2021
  • Special exhibition at the Red Town Hall (Rotes Rathaus): 26 June to 22 August, Mon-Fri from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
  • The open-air programme will run from 1 July to 14 August 2021
  • Admission is free
  • The full programme of “Wissensstadt Berlin 2021”