“Our world is changing at an unprecedented pace. Science is driving these developments. In the face of these changes, it also needs to change, even reinvent itself. Academics today find themselves caught in a culture of highly specialized disciplines and research fields, shielded from what other researchers do. In order to face the challenge of today’s ecological, technological and social transformations we need a new structure of scientific knowledge. The Anthropocene calls for a novel unity of knowledge. To achieve that, we have to engage in a dialogue beyond our disciplines. What we have in common is an intellectual spirit trying to decipher what is holding the world together in its core – and what is moving us forward. Maybe the exchange of questions and ideas is even more important than that of scientific results. What could be a better place to do so than a Science Ball? This ball is not just a celebration of science, curiosity and intellect, is is a wonderful opportunity to let our disciplines dance. It’s so much easier to come together over a glass of champagne!”
Our eleventh message comes from Eva Horn, author and German philologist at the University of Vienna. In the spring term of 2019 she will be a Research Fellow at the renowned Rachel Carson Center in Munich. Besides her work on books such as ‘The Future as Catastrophe. Imagining Disaster in the Modern Age’ (New York: Columbia University Press 2018), she is also the director and cofounder of the Anthropocene Network at the University of Vienna. Together with sedimentologist Michael Wagreich and other colleagues, she is looking into the effects of human civilization on the planetary environment.