Science Ahoy

The Leibniz-HKI presents itself on the exhibition ship MS Wissenschaft - with two exhibits, an online quiz and personally.

| by Sina Gerbach

Since July 30th, 2020, the MS Wissenschaft has been touring Germany and the Leibniz-HKI is on board. In line with this year's Bio-economy theme of the interactive exhibition, polyhydroxybutyric acid as an alternative to conventional plastics and the earth battery as a way of generating electricity from bacteria will be presented. These exhibits have been described in online interviews in advance.

In a Meet-the-Scientist session on August 22nd, 2020, Dr. Carola Berger from the Bio Pilot Plant explained the functioning of the earth battery to curious exhibition visitors on site: "The interest was overwhelming. The visitors patiently lined up in the queue in front of our exhibit. It was an interesting experience for me that young people and children were eager to understand the mechanism of power generation using bacteria. We as scientists should use and encourage this natural curiosity. This is exactly what happens here and I am happy to be able to contribute my part". In addition, the exhibit is presented in an online tour through the exhibition by exhibition scouts in a short movie.

Those who are not able to visit the exhibition live can still learn about bio-economics in an entertaining way and test their knowledge in the biotechnology quiz of the Leibniz Research Cluster.

The Collaborative Research Center ChemBioSys, in which the Leibniz-HKI is involved, also provides an exhibit. A scent station lets visitors experience everyday scents and guides them to insect pheromones. It was developed by Georg Pohnert, Professor of Analytical Chemistry and Vice President for Research at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena. How the researchers in Jena are investigating these pheromones and making them available for the environmentally friendly protection of forests was explained by Prof. Pohnert to the Federal Minister of Education and Research Anja Karliczek and to DFG President Katja Becker in person on August 21st, 2020 at the MS Wissenschaft. Prof. Pohnert also gave the YouTube channel "Breaking Lab" (from approx. minute 9) an informative interview about the exhibit.

General information about the exhibition

The MS Wissenschaft is a converted barge that used to travel on European waterways with coal and containers. Since 2002, the exhibition ship has been touring Germany every summer as a floating science center as part of the Science Years.

In the Science Year 2020|21 - Bioeconomy, the exhibition ship MS Wissenschaft is anchoring in 19 cities in Germany on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. On board: an interactive exhibition on bio-economy, which focuses on renewable raw materials, recycling and the utilization of residual materials. The approximately 30 interactive exhibits in the cargo hold of the MS Wissenschaft show what an economy based on renewable raw materials can look like.

Admission is free. The exhibition is aimed in particular at young people aged 12 or older and families.

Source: upper row: BMBF, Hans-Joachim Rickel; lower row left and middle: Heiner Witte; lower row right: Carola Berger, Leibniz-HKI