The countdown to the centenary of the University of Hamburg is underway. From January 1, 2019 the university will be celebrating with a year-round programme of events designed to bring to life the diversity of its scientific orientation throughout the city. Some unusual venues and formats have been selected to reach people who otherwise have little to do with science and research in their everyday lives.
Knowledge as a raw material
Under the motto “100 years of Wissenswerft”, the university is continuing Hamburg’s tradition as a port making it of one of the world’s 20 largest harbours and number three in Europe. Similar to the port, the university also endeavours to produce two of the most valuable social goods namely education and knowledge. During his welcoming address to mark the centenary, Professor Dr. Dieter Lenzen, President of the University of Hamburg, said: “Knowledge is the raw material of the present and the future, and the University of Hamburg is doing everything in its power to achieve something exemplary and sustainable for our society through the education of young people, through science and research. Our future lies in the ‘Wissenswerft University of Hamburg’.”
Position of University of Hamburg in 2118?
The president of one of Germany’s largest universities also spoke of the future: “Where will the university be in 100 years? Will robots replace lecturers? Will there be any lecture halls at all in the near future where students can meet? Which measuring instruments will be controlled by algorithms in future?” Questions about major technological changes, digitalisation and their influence on education and knowledge transfer will also be addressed at events in 2019.
Excellence strategy – four successful cluster initiatives
The University of Hamburg is entering its centenary on the heels of great success in 2018. Four cluster initiatives namely “Climate, Climatic Change and Society”, “Advanced Imaging of Matter”, “Understanding Written Artefacts” and “Quantum Universe” helped secure millions in funding as part of the Excellence Strategy of the German government and states. Although the total amount has yet to be determined, the University of Hamburg is likely to receive around EUR 164 million from the German government (75 per cent) and 25 per cent from the state over the next seven years.
Milestone for science and research
Dr. Peter Tschentscher, Mayor of Hamburg, has hailed the university’s success as a milestone for science and research in Hamburg. “Over the next seven years, Hamburg’s scientists will explore fundamental questions of gravity and the interaction of matter, the cultural history of mankind and climate change beyond the boundaries of individual disciplines. This will result in many new insights and impulses for numerous scientific fields.” The senate has set itself the goal of promoting scientific excellence at universities and continues to support the University of Hamburg on this path, Tschentscher stressed.