The Max Planck Institute for Physics is inviting renowned scientists to its annual event “Science and Society”, who will discuss the at times difficult relationship between research and society. The series is dedicated to the former MPP Director Hans-Peter Dürr, who passed away in 2014, and who in the later years of his career increasingly focused on environmental and societal issues.
In his lecture, Helmut Schwarz will talk about the prerequisites of successful research: A social environment which treats researchers with trust and offers them opportunities to “think big”. This is the only way to open up the space for new discoveries: It is not possible to predict whether, when and how these might benefit humanity – no more than the character of Puck in Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night's Dream“.
Professor Helmut Schwarz and his team are researching compounds of metals and organic molecules. The research is aimed at improving the understanding of catalytic processes and generating tailored catalytic converters. Schwarz was also closely involved in the further development of mass spectrometry, a by now widely applied method to analyze chemical substances.
This year's colloquium will take place at the Lecture Theater of the Max Planck Institute for Physics on November 20, 2018, and starts at 4:15 pm. Professor Helmut Schwarz’s lecture ”The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge" will be in English. The lecture is free.