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Inforadio podcast

Long Night of the Sciences – an Inforadio podcast in cooperation with the Long Night of the Sciences and supported by the Brain City Berlin campaign

All podcast episodes and detailed information on individual episodes at News.

"Science as a response to fake news" – episode 12

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Schulz and Prof. Dr. Ulrich Panne at the Haus des Rundfunks des rbb, Photo: rbb/Thomas Prinzler

Facts are a matter of belief, and ultimately, only opinions. This view is held by around 40 percent of Germans, according to a survey by the Allensbach Institute for Public Opinion Research. The mixing and confusion of opinion and fact, however, also paves the way for fake news. During the corona pandemic, we are currently experiencing that fake news can be problematic and sometimes dangerous . Fake news call scientific statements, which are based on evidence, into question.  In doing so, fake news also change the public perception of science. In the 12th edition of the LNDW podcast, host Thomas Prinzler and his guests talk about how science deals with fake news, and what answers science offers to fake news:

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Schulz researches and teaches strategic communication planning at the Berlin University of the Arts. One question that occupies him in the current corona crisis is the extent to which communication can motivate people to engage in behaviour that endangers their health, or to dissuade them from doing so. He is particularly interested in the strategies and procedures used in the dissemination of fake news. Because if one does not know the rules of the game of such communication strategies, one is quickly lost.

Prof. Dr Ulrich Panne is President of the Federal Institute for Materials Testing and Research (BAM). The BAM tests and researches which requirements are to be placed on safety in technology and chemistry. Together with Prof. Panne, we explore to what extent fake news and rumours can endanger our safety and how fake news should be dealt with. Prof. Panne is also chairman of the Long Night of the Sciences Association and comments on the cancellation of the Long Night in 2021 due to the coronavirus.

More info about the programme

‘How to address climate change’ – episode 11

(from left): Prof. Dr. Bernd Rech, Prof. Dr. Melanie Jaeger-Erben, Dr. Wolfgang Haupt, Thomas Prinzler. Photo: LNDW/LHLK 2021
(from left): Prof. Dr. Bernd Rech, Prof. Dr. Melanie Jaeger-Erben, Dr. Wolfgang Haupt, Thomas Prinzler. Photo: LNDW/LHLK 2021

In recent years, heat waves, droughts and heavy rainfall events have occurred with increasing frequency in Germany. Each one of these is only a single weather event, but taken together, they provide a clear picture for experts: We are dealing with the consequences of man-made climate change. It is therefore generally accepted in science that climate change can no longer be avoided. The severity of climate change, how we deal with its consequences, and what we can improve in the future depends on the new solutions we find. Thomas Prinzler talks about this issue in the 11th edition of the LNDW podcast with these guests:


  • Prof. Dr Melanie Jaeger-Erben studied psychology and sociology. She  heads the department ‘Transdisciplinary Sustainability Research in Electronics’ at the TU Berlin since 2019. In cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration (IZM), she and her team are researching the phenomenon of the excessively short use and life spans of electronic devices, the so-called obsolescence. She also investigates social innovations that may encourage people to abandon the throwaway culture and enter a circular economy.
  • Dr Wolfgang Haupt is a research associate at the Leibniz Institute for Spatial Social Research (IRS). He investigates how cities and municipalities align their climate policies, what they could learn from one another, and how municipal climate policies can be better promoted, so that cities optimally adapt to climate change.
  • Prof. Dr Bernd Rech is scientific director of the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin (HZB). As an expert in renewable energies, he coordinates the Helmholtz Centres' energy research contributions and projects. He explains what green hydrogen is, the hopes it raises for climate protection, and why the thin layers that are researched by the HZB are quite a big board in terms of the energy industry.

The programme was recorded at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, Adlershof campus, in a neighbouring building of the electron storage ring Bessy II.


‘One year of Corona – how pathogens and humans influence each other’ (Episode 10)

Felix M. Key (Photo: Christian Denkhaus) und Dr. Eva Asselmann (Photo: Jens_ Gyarmat), Symbolbild (Photo: Kadmy –

In early March 2020, it has become increasingly clear: The new disease triggered by a coronavirus and called COVID-19 has developed into a pandemic. The virus is also spreading faster and faster in Germany. In mid-March 2020, public life in Germany slows down before the first lockdown comes into effect from 22 March on. What impact does the pandemic and the interventions to control it have on mental health? And vice versa, how do the interventions affect the virus? Thomas Prinzler explores these questions in the tenth edition of the LNDW podcast:

Dr Eva Asselmann is a research associate at the Institute of Psychology at Humboldt University Berlin. In the "Personality Psychology Working Group", her research focuses on the question what influence drastic life events have on the development of personality. In studies on the psychological consequences of the measures taken to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, she concludes, among other things, that it is primarily the younger adults who are affected by loneliness during the lockdown.

Felix Michael Key studies the evolution of pathogens at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology. He and his team are primarily interested in uncovering the genetic mechanisms and phenotypic variations that underlie the emergence and adaptation of infectious microbes. These findings also provide information on how the coronavirus was able to spread to humans and how we can prepare for future mutations of the coronavirus (and other pathogens).

Due to the pandemic, the programme was recorded remotely via app.



“Talking to houses & robots – the city of the future” – episode 9

On the left in the picture is the humanoid robot platform "Myon". Image rights: "Myon": Neurobotics Research Laboratory, Berlin (, photo Erbstößer: Technologiestiftung Berlin, photo Hild: Neurorobotics Research Laboratory, photo Axel Schultz: Siemens AG. Collage: LNDW.

Digitalisation and networking make it possible: “Smart” technology can nowadays equip houses and neighbourhoods in a way that saves energy and increases comfort. Is the concept of smart houses, that are connected to each other to form a smart city, the right way to make the city of the future CO2-neutral, climate-resistant, and also worth living in? In the ninth episode of the LNDW podcast, thedifferent opinions on this issue are voiced by the following guests:

Anne-Caroline Erbstößer is a graduate engineer in interior design and architecture and works as a research assistant at the Technology Foundation Berlin in the area technology and the city. She works on smart buildings and smart neighbourhoods and advocates the use of new digital technologies to actively shape the transformation towards a climate-neutral, but also participatory city.

Prof. Dr Manfred Hild is a professor for Digital Systems at the Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin. The Brain City Ambassador is a study advisor for the study programme humanoid robotics and criticises the current technology trend of interconnecting anything with everything. He does not intend to turn robots into new slaves for humans, but rather enable them to provide services on an equal footing with humans. This is only made possible through an exchange between humans and robots. For example, he currently investigates in the RoSen project, what and in which way senior citizens can contribute to making robots better.

Axel Schultz is head of the Siemens AG Berlin/Brandenburg branch and of the Smart Infrastructure business in the East region. He explains, from the point of view of industries, the interest in smart homes and neighbourhoods, and how the energy supply of cities can not only be secured in the future, but also become more environmentally friendly. Additionally, he discusses the plans for Siemens City 2.0.

‘Facts, Fakes, and Sensations – on the role of science communication’ (8th episode of the LNDW-podcast)

From left to right: Thomas Prinzler, Torsten Lipski, Prof. Dr. Gwendolyn Sasse, Stefan Gotthold, Josef Zens. Photo: LNDW/LHLK 2020

The image of the burning glass, which makes strengths and weaknesses more visible and has often been used in the corona pandemic, applies to science communication, too: In this crisis, sober education competes with conspiracy narratives and fake news about the virus, its origin, and consequences. In the 8th episode of the LNDW-podcast, we thus take up the motto that was supposed to be the anniversary programme of the corona-conditionally cancelled LNDW 2020, “Science as a Response to Fake News”. Host Thomas Prinzler discusses with the following guests how to manage science communication in a tense relationship between sensation, fakes and facts, as well as important considerations in the relationship between scientists and journalists, and how entertaining science can, may or should be communicated:

Prof. Dr. Gwendolyn Sasse, Scientific Director of the Centre for East European and International Studies (ZOiS), deals with authoritarian regimes in her research and, thus, knows how quickly science could be misused for political purpose. In the programme, she advocates, among other things, that science communication should not only focus on media work, but also on own events and publications.

Josef Zens, Head of Press and Public Relations at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciencesand a trained newspaper journalist, is confronted with reconciling the dichotomy between journalism’s need for quotas and science’s need to know the facts in his daily work. His wish is to see more objective debates in the media and fewer discussions that are merely designed to confront and argue.

Torsten Lipski, Head of the Social Studies Department at the Lise-Meitner School for Science, also overhears fake news and conspiracy stories at his school from time to time. In the programme, he reports on how he deals with them in class.

Stefan Gotthold, responsible for the Archenhold Observatory of the Planetarium Berlin Foundationand Acting Head of its Education Department, inspires people of all ages with his lectures about the natural sciences. In the programme, he talks about how entertaining science can or should be, and how he manages to explain complex scientific findings in layman’s terms.

‘Trendsetter Internet? Scaremonger AI? Consequences of digitalisation’ (7th episode of the LNDW-podcast)

From left: Prof. Uhlmann, Prof. Hofmann, Prof. Pokutta, Thomas Prinzler. In the background: Supercomputer "Lise" at the Zuse Institute Berlin. Photo: rbb/Gundula Krause 2020

‘I'm too lazy to do arithmetic,’ Konrad Zuse liked to give as a reason what motivated him to build a computer. In 1941 he was successful and with the Z3, developed in Berlin, he created the first freely programmable computer in the world. What followed is tremendous and still affects us today: digitisation has long since penetrated all areas of life, changing the economy, society and politics. Thomas Prinzler and his guests will attempt to draw a preliminary conclusion on the following questions and issues: Do Facebook & Co endanger our democracy? How does digitisation affect our understanding of democracy?

‘Technology is not a matter of law in its own right,’ says Prof. Dr. Jeanette Hofmann, head of the research group "Politics of Digitization" at the Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) and Professor of Internet Policy at the Free University of Berlin, and adds: ‘Digital technology in particular is so flexible that we can always put our stamp on it and say This is what we want and this is not what we want’.

Prof. Sebastian Pokutta, Vice President of the Zuse Institute Berlin (ZIB) and Professor of Mathematics at the TU Berlin, also agrees with this and explains: ‘Algorithms cannot be fair or unfair. They are zeros and ones. The question of fairness only comes into play with the user or designer of the programs: Were the data fairly selected? Have I fairly represented all categories of protected persons in my data?’

Prof. Dr. Eckart Uhlmann, Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology (IPK) and the Department of Machine Tools and Production Engineering at the TU Berlin, also believes that people have a duty to protect their privacy. He says: ‘There is a danger that we are too trusting in the system. We must therefore ensure that people always remain the last resort and ensure fairness’. In the podcast, he also explains which tasks the German economy still has to solve in terms of digitisation and explains how the Berlin-Brandenburg region in particular can benefit from digitisation.

18 December 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Konrad Zuse - the podcast was recorded in memory of the computer pioneer at the Zuse Institute Berlin (ZIB). The group picture was taken in front of the supercomputer "Lise", named after Lise Meitner. The computer comprises 1270 computing nodes with a total of 121,920 computing cores.

‘Jedi sword and quantum computer – Optics & photonics research in Berlin’ (6th episode of the LNDW-podcast)

Whether it is the ‘Internet of Things,’ Industry 4.0 or the turnaround in transport – none of this would be possible without the research and developments in optics and photonics. In this episode, we explore the basics of the field as well as the numerous fields of application, ranging from superfast computer chips and laser systems for industry to distance and speed measurements (LiDAR systems) for autonomous driving. The guests of the show are: Prof. Dr. Ulrike Woggon (TU Berlin) – the Brain City Ambassador explains, among other things, how photons are created for quantum computers in nanomaterials and how the next generation of optical researchers is encouraged. Dirk Döbler from the Society for the Promotion of Applied Computer Science (GFaI) reports on how noise sources can be made visible with the help of the Acoustic Camera developed in Berlin. Prof. Dr. Günther Tränkle (Ferdinand Braun Institute, Leibniz Institute for Highest Frequency Technology (FBH)) shows how self-propelled cars become reality with the help of LiDAR systems and how laser systems in space enable precise environmental monitoring.

The broadcast was recorded in the Pasteur Cabinet of WISTA in Berlin-Adlershof.

The episode is embedded in the Berlin Science Week and Falling Walls, which offers numerous (online) lectures, discussions and events on the knowledge landscape in Berlin between 1st  and 10th November 2020.

‘Corona, cancer, and co. – challenges for medicine’ (5th episode of the LNDW-podcast)

Von links: Thomas Prinzler, Dr. Jobst Röhmel, Prof. Dr. Jeanette Schulz-Menger und Prof. Dr. Christian Hackenberger bei der Aufzeichnung des LNDW-Podcast im Klinikum Buch | Foto: LNDW/LHLK 2020
From left: Thomas Prinzler, Dr Jobst Röhmel, Prof. Dr Jeanette Schulz-Menger and Prof. Dr Christian Hackenberger | Photo: LNDW/LHLK 2020

Health research in Berlin is among the best in the world. In the city's three universities and Nnumerous research institutes as well as the three universities, of the city are developing new therapies are being developed with which for a more gentle and effective treatment of diseases can be treated more gently and effectively. In the 5th episode of the LNDW podcast, we present some parts of this research. As it cannot be any other way Inevitably in the year of 2020, we also take a look take into consideration the at current coronavirus research as well as and the negative and, but also positive consequences that corona COVID-19 has for medical research.

Prof. Dr. Jeanette Schulz-Menger is a professor at the Charité hospital and head of non-invasive heart imaging at the Helios Klinikum Berlin-Buch. In the programme, Tthe researcher and physician explains in this episode on how the ‘"gentle look into the heart’" is achieved with by the help use of cardio MRT. Dr. Jobst Röhmel is a specialist at the children's paediatric clinic with a focus on pneumology and immunology at the Charité. Among other things, hHe is currently researcheshing, among other things, the question of why children rarely suffer from COVID-19. Prof. Dr. Christian Hackenberger is a chemist and head of the "Chemical Biology" department at the Leibniz Research Institute for Molecular Pharmacology (FMP). On the podcast, he explains how bioactive molecules can be used to create new therapies, with in which cancer can be fought more specifically targeted than before, while at the same time minimising side effects at the same time.

‘Entrepreniurial spirit - from studies to star-tup’ (4th episode of the LNDW-podcast)

Gäste und Moderator der vierten Folge des LNDW-Podcasts, von links: Jonas Liepmann, Thomas Prinzler, Prof. Dr. Henning Breuer, Prof. Dr. Rafaela Kunz - Aufnahme im Hof der HMKW vor einer Toreinfahrt mit dem Schild "Einfahrt freihalten" | Foto: LNDW/LHLK 2020
Guests and host of the fourth episode of the LNDW podcast, from left: Jonas Liepmann, Thomas Prinzler, Prof. Dr Henning Breuer, Prof. Dr Rafaela Kunz | Photo: LNDW/LHLK 2020

There is no other German city in which as many start-ups have emerged as in Berlin. No other German city has more start-ups than Berlin. This is also a results of from the city's excellent higher education and university landscape. After all, many ideas for start-ups are born during one's studies. But how does one manage a successful knowledge the transfer of knowledge from science to business succeed? What are the funding opportunities for funding are there for academics who dare to take the leap into self-employment? How do youcan one develop innovations for sustainable businesses? And: What does it feel like to set up a company? Thomas Prinzler gets to the bottom of these and other questions in the fourth episode of the Long Night of the Sciences-podcast. As Jonas Liepmann, as guest speaker, talks about his experiences as a founder. Prof. Dr. Rafaela Kunz from the bbw Hochschule –- University of Applied Sciences lays out the the funding opportunities instruments as well as the obstacles of start-ups from the university sector. Prof. Henning Breuer from the HMKW University of Applied Sciences for Media, Communication and Management focuses on the central role of values in start-ups. Links to the funding opportunities for university founders are in the news section.

‘Homo creator – the creative man’ (3rd episode of the LNDW-podcast)

From left: Prof. Dr Tim Landgraf, Jannis Hülsen, Dr Sebastiaan Meijsing, Thomas Prinzler | Photo: rbb/Gundula Krause

For some years now, biosciences have been experiencing a revolution that is expanding has increasingly permeated into many more and more areas of our everyday life and economy. In keeping with the growing importance of the field, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung) has declared the year 2020/21 to be the Year of the Bioeconomy. In our third Long Night of the Science-podcast, we present an exhibition on the bioeconomy entitled "Macht Natur" (Power Nature), which will be on display at the STATE Studio at Hauptstraße 3 starting August 13th. We also explain how we learned from bacteria to edit the genetic material, how the gene scalpel of the CRISP/Cas9 method works and how the swarm intelligence of bees and fishes can be researched with by the help use of artificial intelligence.

Guests of tThise show’s guests are Sebastiaan Meijsing from the Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens, Brain City Ambassador Prof. Dr. Tim Landgraf from the Dahlem Center for Machine Learning and Robotics (DCMLR) at Freie Universität Berlin, and Jannis Hülsen, who planned and implemented the exhibition in the STATE Studio.

‘Life elixir Water in danger’ (2nd episode of the LNDW-podcast) 


Von links Thomas Prinzler, Prof. S. Jähnig, Dipl.-Ing. Regina Gnirß und Prof. J. Rabe
From left Thomas Prinzler, Prof. S. Jähnig, Dipl.-Ing. Regina Gnirß and Prof. J. Rabe

Water is life, and therefore, an indispensable resource for the future of humans and nature. Climate change, however, poses new challenges for water research: How can the water supply in cities like Berlin be secured in the future? In the second episode, Thomas Prinzler talks to Prof. Dr. Sonja Jähnig from the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB) about the so-called megafauna, the larger animals in freshwater environments whose diversity and number is declining massively. In addition, , Prof. Dr. Jochen Rabe from the “Kompetenzzentrum Wasser Berlin” about therefers to the question of how water management in cities can be made more resistant to environmental changes and why wastewater is an important resource of the future. Another guest of the episode is , and with Dipl.- Ing. Regina Gnirß from Berliner Wasserbetriebe, who will reveal whether it is possible to have a swim in the Spree and to what extent Corona is currently also employing Berlin's sewage facilities.

‘The city after the coronavirus’ (1st episode of the LNDW-podcast)


Von links: Dr. Chr. Eisenmann, Thomas Prinzler, Prof. U. Panne, Prof. J. Radel im Eingang zum Haus des Rundfunks in Berlin
From left: Dr Chr. Eisenmann, Thomas Prinzler, Prof. U. Panne, Prof. J. Radel

Guests of the show are Prof. Dr. Ulrich Panne is the guest of the show. He will speak about the importance of the sciences as a response to fake news and about the consequences of the crisis for the sciences in Berlin. He is the President of the Federal Institute for Materials Testing and Research (BAM) and the  and Deputy Chairman of the Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften e.V. (LNDW e.V.) as well as the and chairman of the research network of the Technology Park Adlershof (IGAFA). During the lockdown, Dr.-Ing. Christine Eisenmann has conducted a study on "Mobility during Ccorona"  during the lockdown and She is leading the working group "Transformation of Automobility" at the Institute for Transport Research of the German Aerospace Institute. She  and talks about comments on possible changes in mobility behaviour during and after the crisis. She is leading the working group "Transformation of Automobility" at the Institute for Transport Research of the German Aerospace Institute. Prof. Dr. Jürgen Radel talks about discusses the changes that cCorona is causing invokes in the working world sphereof work, such as the trend towards Home Officework from home, and working more independent ly and autonomouslywork. He is the Professor of Business Administration at the HMKW University of Applied Sciences for Media, Communication, and Management.

A total of twelve episodes is planned,The podcast series will consist of twelve episodes and cover  including topics on of climate and nature protection, digitizsation, and visions for a better world. In these episodes, tThe role of the sciences in society will also be highlightedemphasized at all times continuously. Both w Welcomed as guest speakers are young researchers as well as well-known personalities of Berlin's scientific landscape and young researchers will have their say..

The  episodes are published online on the 6th of each month. The podcast is available on the ARD-Audiothek, iTunes, Spotify, Inforadio-App, Google Podcast, and other podcast platforms and apps as well as on the Brain City website.