"Science Year 2023 - Our Universe" started

This Space News was published on Wed, 25.01.2023 – 16:19 CET, covering Verwaltung

The Year of Science, initiated by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Science in Dialogue initiative, has been taking place since 2000. This year's theme is "Our Universe" and is intended to "invite citizens of all generations on an expedition to the limits of the imagination.

What is planned

The big questions in the history of mankind have always been about the universe. Are we alone in the universe, where did we come from, and what else is there? For generations, scientists have tried to find answers to these questions. Nevertheless, there has been an immense amount of progress and new knowledge in recent decades. For the general public, the first image of a black hole or the images from the James Webb Space Telescope were probably the most impressive.

Schwarzes Loch M87* im Zentrum der Galaxie Messier 87 (aufgenommen 2019);© Event Horizon Telescope (ESO)
Black hole M87* at the center of the galaxy Messier 87 (imaged 2019);
© Event Horizon Telescope (ESO)

The STEM skills shortage has been around for a long time

But despite all the enthusiasm, a problem is emerging in both science and the space industry: a shortage of skilled workers. According to the MINT Autumn Report, there will already be a shortage of around 326,100 workers by October 2022. In the academic year 2021/2022, there will only be 307,059 first-year students in mathematics, science and engineering. For the years 2029 to 2033, experts even expect a replacement demand of 75,200 STEM graduates per year. According to the fall MINT report, the situation is exacerbated by the fact that career guidance for students is still suffering from the effects of the Corona pandemic. Almost three-quarters of the information opportunities provided by fairs, internships and information events have disappeared. There is an urgent need to attract potential young talent to relevant courses of study and training as early as possible.

This is how the Science Year 2023 is to become an experience

Universe on Tour

According to the BMBF, there will be numerous hands-on activities during the Science Year 2023. One of the highlights will be the "Universe on Tour" roadshow. This mobile planetarium will stop at 15 locations between May and September 2023. Admission to the half-hour shows is free.

May 8-14, 2023Rostock
May 15-21, 2023Potsdam
May 22-28,2023Hoyerswerda
May 29 - June 4, 2023Jena
June 5-11, 2023Göttingen
June 12-18, 2023Fulda
June 26 - July 2, 2023Bamberg
July 3-9, 2023Munich
July 10-16, 2023Tübingen
July 17-23, 2023Heidelberg
July 24-30, 2023Frankfurt am Main
August 7-13, 2023Bonn
August 14-20, 2023Dortmund
August 21-27, 2023Bielefeld
September 4-10, 2023Oldenburg
Tour dates "Universe on Tour

Citizen Science to study nocturnal light phenomena.

There will also be an exhibition tent dedicated to the theme of light. In addition, visitors will have the opportunity to become part of the citizen science project "Nachtlicht-BüHNE". The goal of the project, which was originally funded by the Helmholtz Center, is to measure light pollution in Germany. To this end, an app has been developed that allows users to enter data.

School Cinema Weeks

As part of the Year of Science 2023, there will again be school cinema weeks. The idea is to move classes to the movie theater for a short period of time. Themed films will be shown there. In Saxony, for example, the selection includes Checker Tobi and the Secret of our Planet (Checker Tobi und das Geheimnis unseres Planeten), Dear Future Children and Tomorrow Belongs to Us (Morgen gehört uns). The program is supplemented by special events with renowned scientists, who then invite us to film discussions.

January 26 - February 8, 2023North Rhine-Westphalia
March 2-15, 2023Lower Saxony
March 13-24, 2023Hesse
March 12-17, 2023Bremen
March 16-31, 2023Brandenburg
March 20-31, 2023Bavaria
March 27 - April 6, 2023Saxony
November 9-17, 2023Baden-Wuerttemberg
School Cinema Weeks 2023

Opening event at Futurium Berlin

Wissenschaftsjahr 2023 – Unser Universum – Eröffnung durch Dr.-Ing. Jan Wörner und Bundesbildungsministerin Bettina Stark-Watzinger, © BMBF/Bundesfoto/Kurc
© BMBF/Bundesfoto/Kurc

The opening event at Futurium Berlin was hosted by Dr. Suzanna Randall, astrophysicist at the European Southern Observatory ESO and aspiring astronaut, and astrophysicist, philosopher and science journalist Dr. Sybille Anderl. The Science Year 2023 was opened by the Austrian Minister of Education and Research Bettina Stark-Watzinger and Dr.-Ing. Jan Wörner, Director General of the European Space Agency ESA from July 2015 to February 2021. Also present were the Chairman of the Committee for Education, Research and Technology Assessment, Kai Gehring, the Managing Director of Wissenschaft im Dialog gGmbH, Christian Kleinert, and the Director of Futurium, Dr. Stefan Brandt.

Header Image Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI
Written by M. Weissflog