Adlershof in your ears
The Science City in Adlershof is showcased by the FluxFM podcast “Weiß der Adler – Zukunft made in Adlershof”
On an area covering 4.6 square kilometres, 28,000 people conduct research and work at the Science and Technology Park Berlin Adlershof. It is virtually impossible to keep track of all the innovation and new research insights produced by the companies and research institutions on the site. Produced by FluxFM and WISTA Management GmbH (WISTA), a new monthly podcast called “Weiß der Adler – Zukunft made in Adlershof” now offers some guidance. Every first Friday of the month, producer Danilo Höpfner presents inspiring companies and people from Adlershof.
The podcast is also aimed at laypersons. “Our mission is not to make a science podcast but local journalism for everyone.” Höpfner, too, is not a natural scientist but studied West Slavic studies and journalism. “I come from a completely different background and have already learned so much. Before making this podcast, I was aware of the site’s existence from taking the S-Bahn to the airport, but I always associated Adlershof with TV, not science and research. Now, I want to find out what else this place has to offer.”
In the podcast’s first episode, Höpfner will talk to Roland Sillmann, manager of WISTA, and give people a general introduction to the Technology Park. They will find out whether the comparison with Silicon Valley holds up and if the eponymous effect can also be applied to Adlershof. While exploring whether the region has a certain coolness factor, Höpfner was particularly taken by the way the place is divided into two parts. The new and burgeoning Adlershof, on the one hand, and the old town, on the other. “During the course of the programme, I want to find out whether the two can be compatible.”
In times of climate crisis, war, global trade conflicts, and inflation, explains Höpfner, humanity is faced with special challenges. “We all hoped that science can lead the world out of these crises.” And so Höpfner asks Ulrich Panne, president of the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) and speaker of the board of the IGAFA e.V., a research network in Adlershof, who is on the podcast: “Where is science, Mr Panne?” Panne says that he sees the role of science in mitigating crises and preventing those in the future. When thinking about society, he says, it is important to include everyone. “Just because we ‘techies’ believe that something works wonderfully and makes the world a better place, doesn’t mean that the broader population accepts it in the same way,” warns the professor. It is a challenge for the future, he says, not only to bring new technologies to the world but also to explain how they benefit society.
With his podcast, Höpfner sees his task as combating anti-scientific positions. “People often ask for a second opinion although science already has a secure foundation of facts behind it. I experienced first-hand, even among people I know, that they believed ‘conspiracy preachers’ more than virologists like Christian Drosten and co.” The presenter wants to fight against this type of disinformation and will also feature current developments in the podcast.
In its first episode, “Weiß der Adler” will deal with the earthquake in Syria and Turkey, which killed over 50,000 people. Höpfner speaks with Jannes Münchmeyer about earthquake early warning systems. Münchmeyer is a mathematician at the Department of Computer Science of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU) and GFZ Helmholtz Centre Potsdam, who works with artificial intelligence to detect earthquakes with higher precision. For that, he received the 2022 Adlershof Dissertation Award on 14 February 2023. In the second episode, Höpfner looks at Shit2Power, a university spin-off from HU, which has left a lasting impression on him. “It’s like a fairy tale where straw is spun into gold. This is science making a vision become a reality. Seemingly worthless sewage sludge is turned into renewable energy.” Höpfner will not reveal which researcher he will meet next, but one thing is clear: There is much to discover.
Susanne Gietl for Adlershof Journal
You can listen to the podcast episodes here: