Scientific and humanistic disciplines are facing a crisis: their historically evolved research interests seem ill-suited to addressing our era’s most pressing environmental, societal, and ethical challenges. The current state of humanity requires us to rethink—but not unthink—some of the basic tenets of scientific knowledge.
The Elkana Forum tackles this crisis at its root, by interrogating the very research questions that science poses. What different questions are needed to reestablish a meaningful relationship between science and real-life challenges today and in the future? This interdisciplinary forum brings together leading intellectuals to explore the scope for change at the interface between science and politics.
The inspiration for the Elkana Forum is the visionary philosopher and historian of science Yehuda Elkana, who argued that science urgently needs to find new ways to select its research questions. Our first event, “Disciplines in Disarray,” marks the tenth anniversary of Elkana’s death on September 21, 2012.
2 – 3:15 pm
Welcome Address on Behalf of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science
Welcome Remarks on Behalf of The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute
President of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences
How to Develop Academics and Universities: Yehuda’s Impulses and My Own Experiences
Disciplines in Disarray?
3 – 6:30 pm
Introductory Remarks: Transgressing Disciplinary Boundaries
Wicked Problems and the Academic Ecosystem
Slow Science: An Effective Path to “Finding, Choosing, and Defining” the Most Important Questions of Our Time
Problems, Challenges, and Space of Knowledge: Realizing and Organizing New Knowledge Communities beyond Academia
Academic Paradigms as Political Dispositions
Populism: Politics and Science
Contexts of Being Human
9 – 11:30 am
How to Imagine a New Radical Enlightenment
Human Condition: “Persona geographica” in the Internet Age
Law, Families, and Gender
Science and Narratives of Intimacy
Agape: The "Electricity" of Twenty-First-Century Science and Technology
Security — Resilience — Vulnerability
12 – 1:30 pm
2 – 4:30 pm
Human Conditions – Human Cognitions
5 – 7:30 pm
Are Men and Women the Same or Different? Or Is It the Wrong Question?
Investigating the Effects of the Physical Environment on Brain Plasticity
The Social Life of the Immune System: Integrating the Social Environment to Understand Health
The Great Enigma in the Understanding and Treatment of Age-Related Cognitive Disorders: Were We All Wrong?
Through the Lens of Evolution: Lamarckian Inheritance and Conscious Agency
Presentation of the Elkana Forum
8 – 8:30 pm
10 am – 1 pm
The Future of Science?
2 – 5 pm
Making Meanings: Human Nature and the Future of the Humanities
Accerlerating Research through Open Science Adversarial Collaboration
The Complexity of Modern Science and the Evolution of Global Problems
Science and the Constitutional State
Reimagining the Future of Science for a Sustainable Planet
Why Do We Need a Paradigm Shift Now? Machine Medicine versus Biopsychosocial Medicine
5 – 5:30 pm
Closing Remarks by Katja Krause and Ohad Parnes