Jentschke Lectures

Every year, DESY organizes a lecture in memory of Professor Dr. Willibald Jentschke (held in English)

DESY Lecture Series in Memory of Professor Dr. Willibald Jentschke. Professor Willibald Jentschke was the founder and first director of DESY in Hamburg and remained in this position until 1970. He laid the foundation for a laboratory playing an outstanding role in research based on accelerators. His knowledge, competence, vision and personality shaped DESY until today. Willibald Jentschke passed away on 11 March 2002, a few months after his 90th birthday. Starting in 2002 DESY will organise annual lectures in memory of Willibald Jentschke.



Lecture 2021
“Gefühlte Wahrheiten – Orientierung in postfaktischen Zeiten”
(engl.: Post-Truth: Implications for science, policy makers and society)

Wednesday, 10 November 2021
17:00 h
DESY Auditorium


Prof. Ortwin Renn
Scientific Director at Institut für Transformative Nachhaltigkeitsforschung (IASS) in Potsdam

Ortwin Renn (photo: IASS, Lotte Ostermann)

In an era of post-truth claims and fake news scientific input to public discourse and collective decision-making seems to be more required than ever. However, the nature of what science can and should offer to the decision makers has been under severe scrutiny by science philosophers and sociologists of knowledge. Is scientific knowledge neutral and impartial to the various interests that like to use scientific insights for legitimizing their positions?

How universal is scientific knowledge and how much is it dependent on context and situational conditions and constraints? These questions are particularly pertinent for complex challenges such as climate change and loss of biodiversity. The lecture will provide an analysis of how science, policymaking and society deal with these issues in the presence of fake news and post-truth claims.

The Jentschke Lecture marks the highlight of the DESY Science Day. On this festive event DESY welcomes newly appointed Lead Scientists, celebrates recent scientific highlights, and awards the PhD thesis prize of the Association of the Friends and Sponsors of DESY (VFFD).