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Leopoldina Annual Assembly

September 07, 2016

The process of globalisation is tightening the connections between the various countries of the world. Fostering intercultural dialogue rather than cultural imperialism must be at the top of our agenda if we want to effectively co-exist and cooperate on a political, economic and cultural level. This is the topic under discussion at the 2016 Annual Assembly of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, being held on Friday 23 and Saturday 24 September in Halle (Saale). Some 400 participants from all over the world will attend the conference to discuss the status and significance of international dialogue in science. Federal Research Minister Johanna Wanka and Minister of Saxony-Anhalt Rainer Robra will be attending the opening ceremony on Friday afternoon. We would like to invite you most warmly to join us for the Leopoldina Annual Assembly.

Leopoldina Annual Assembly 2016
Sciences in the Intercultural Dialogue
Friday 23 and Saturday 24 September 2016
German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
Jägerberg 1, 06108 Halle (Saale)

In a total of 14 lectures, scientists from very different regions of the world will explore the relationships between science and culture. Otfried Höffe, a philosopher at the University of Tübingen and this year's programme coordinator, will introduce participants to the topic with his opening lecture, "Universalität ? mit Recht auf Differenz: Wissenschaften im interkulturellen Dialog" (Universality - with a right to differences: Sciences in the intercultural dialogue). Other participating experts include medical scientist Hayat Sindi (Cambridge/ USA), Heidelberg law professor Rüdiger Wolfrum, stem-cell researcher Joseph Itskovitz-Eldor (Haifa/ Israel), historian Chia-Feng Chang (Taipei/ Taiwan), mathematician and historian Andrea Bréard (Heidelberg/Germany and Lille/ France), and Berlin social historian Jürgen Kocka.

A highlight of the Annual Assembly will be the lecture by historian Jürgen Osterhammel on Friday evening. Under the title "Der interkulturelle Dialog und seine Feinde" (Intercultural dialogue and its enemies), Osterhammel will discuss the limits that intercultural dialogue can face and instances where resistance is so great that one is forced to speak of hostility.

The Annual Assembly will also see Freiburg sinologist Lena Henningsen receive the Leopoldina Early Career Award 2016, which is worth €30,000 and funded by the Commerzbank Foundation. With the award, the Leopoldina recognises her outstanding research into present-day Chinese culture as well as her commitment to the field of intercultural dialogue and to promoting a differentiated image of China.

Also guests at this year's Annual Assembly are 42 gifted schoolchildren from across Germany. They will have the chance to sit in on the scientific lectures and talk to high-profile researchers. This school programme is funded by the Friends of the Leopoldina.
Media representatives are requested to register their attendance at the Annual Assembly before 20 September by sending an e-mail to

The Annual Assembly is open to the public. Registration is required. The complete programme for the annual assembly is available online at regards
Caroline Wichmann


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