September 22, 2023

FIAS Forum is back!

Transformation towards sustainability

Addressing a fascinated audience, the chairman of the FIAS Board of Trustees, Volker Mosbrugger, spoke about necessary changes towards sustainability - especially from the scientific world. The popular FIAS Forum thus presented hot topics again to the public after Covid break.

Sustainability does not only include our planet and the environment, but also people and the economy, according to Mosbrugger's central message. For example, the economy must balance all costs, consumption and damage and allocate them to its products. At present, the real cost of a tonne of emitted CO2 is around 600-1000 Euros, while CO2 certificates cost only 60 Euros.

For the trinity of planet-society-economy, a new, innovative and globally oriented science is urgently needed, Mosbrugger emphasises. Necessary innovations must be accelerated, for example by better funding of start-ups: the number of new businesses founded at German universities is extremely low in international comparison.

Using examples from FIAS, Mosbrugger described approaches to sustainable research: for example, the Green Cube developed by Volker Lindenstruth and his team consumes only a little more energy than it needs. The earthquake research from Nishtha Srivastava's group contributes to an understanding of the planet. He cited the CMMS team as an example of "digital twins": here, models in biology are created and used to conduct efficient research on a virtual replica. For example, the EU and the European Space Agency (ESA) plan to create a digital twin of the Earth by 2030. Research in this direction is one of the central topics at FIAS.

"The transformation will hurt and cost a lot," says Mosbrugger. But as with a patient, elaborate and painful treatment is better and more promising than doing nothing. Growth and evolution cannot be stopped, as in any biological system, the biologist, chemist and palaeontologist is convinced. They must therefore be used in a committed way to preserve the planet, humanity and its supply system.

"The best thing we have are the many creative young people," Mosbrugger emphasises. For them, he calls for more transdisciplinarity and fewer discipline-centred study opportunities.

After the talk, the audience of about 50 discussed over pretzels and wine, and the young people in particular were engaged until the end.

The next FIAS Forum will take place on December 7th.

more photos in our press area (bottom): Press / FIAS