Theoria cum praxi – Science between curiosity and benefit

Out of the ivory tower! Which benefit does basic research bring? And how much theory does practice need?

On 17 April 2015 the start of the annual theme 2015|16 of the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften takes place:

Theoria cum praxi – Science between curiosity and benefit

Conference and public evening lecture | 17 April 2015 | from 2:00 p.m.

You will find further information about the conference and evening lecture in our calendar of events and on the BBAW website.

“Leibniz is alive: There is nothing dead!”

An “Interdisciplinary Art Spectacle” on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of the death of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

“Leibniz für everyone!” – Art, science and philosophy in Leibniz Year 2016: join in and get thinking!

The project “Leibniz is alive: There is nothing dead!” pivots around the gripping insight of the last German polymath, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, that “There is nothing waste, nothing sterile, nothing dead …!” (Monadology, 69). This is exemplary for his profound, interdisciplinary thinking. As the last German polymath, he is an indispensable example for us – both in theory and in social and sustainable practice.

The project focuses on Leibniz’s valuable insight “There is nothing dead!” It stages the insight, using art and philosophy, in three interacting spheres of activity in a generally understandable way, connecting it with current and sustainable ideas.

  1. Using interdisciplinary installation art,
  2. An interdisciplinary school project and
  3. An interactive DenkWerkStadt (Idea Studio Hannover)

The aim is to visualise and bring to life how relevant Leibniz’s ideas (Leibniz is alive) are to the present for a broader public – particularly for pupils.

There’s more to it: The project invites school pupils and visitors to grapple with selected philosophical, social and sustainable ideas by Leibniz in a playful and artistic way.

In all three spheres of activity the visitors and pupils themselves become the protagonists.

Completely in tune with the thinking of the last German polymath, the project fosters an interdisciplinary culture of thinking and of being creative as well as promoting the ideas of Leibniz in and around Hannover. It poses question, connects the humanities and sciences and opens up new space for thought. The project’s main focus is on general understandability, direct experience and perception as it touches deeper layers in us and opens up new horizons.

Initiator and contact:
Prof. Dr. Marion Pusch, Tel.: 0177–271 59 72,, “Point of Smile“ Society (currently being established)

More here:

Leibniz’s Harmonies 2016

International Composition Contest

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (21 June / 1 July 1646 – 14 November 1716)

The international Composition Contest “Leibniz’s Harmonies” explores Leibniz’s ideas about musical harmony and how they are seen today. By this means he will bring science and art all over the world into a dialogue with each other and with society.

The contest is being announced globally in eight languages in the four categories Orchestra, Ensemble of traditional Chinese and Western instruments, Solo instrument and Radiophone composition / sound art.* The world premiere and repeat performances will be in Hannover and in the partner towns in coordinated events and will be performed by the NDR Radiophilharmonie and Das Neue Ensemble Hannover as well as the Con Tempo Ensemble Beijing.

German Foreign Minister Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier
Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in Berlin, Shi Mingde

Musik für heute e. V.
Alte Grammophonfabrik, Edwin-Oppler-Weg 5, 30167 Hannover

All categories have a selection of Leibniz texts on the relationship of harmony and dissonance and of arithmetics and music in common as their basis (see for example the letter to Christian Goldbach from 17 April 1712, Leibniz, Opera Omnia, vol. III, ed. Dutens, Geneva 1768):

“Music is subordinate to arithmetics, and if one knows several fundamental experiments with harmonies and dissonances, then one knows that all its other principles depend on numbers. Music is a hidden arithmetic exercise of the mind that is not aware that it is counting. (…) In music we count only to five (…) If we were capable of a little more subtlety then we could also include the interval with the prime number 7. And I believe that it does truly exist. But there will hardly be anyone who can also use the intervals from the next prime numbers 11 and 13.”

With the support of the Niedersächsische Sparkassenstiftung and the Sparkasse Hannover.

Together with Musik 21 Niedersachsen.

Detailed information about the categories and submission deadlines:

Ausschreibung | Announcement

Leibniz’s Harmonies – Official website

Press comments:

14 July 2015 | Schweizerische Musikzeitung
Music for the best of all worlds

18 July 2015 | Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Composers needed: Leibniz contest announced

Second International School for PhD Candidates Doing Research on Leibniz

The Second International School for PhD Candidates Doing Research on Leibniz, organised by the endowed Leibniz professorship at the University of Hannover and the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Society, will take place in Hannover from 12th (arrival) to 16th July 2016. The school for PhD candidates will be directed by Prof. Dr. Donald Rutherford (Director, University of California, San Diego), Prof. Dr. Maria Rosa Antognazza (King’s College, London) and Prof. Dr. Justin Smith (Université Paris Diderot).

At the PhD school work on dissertations will be presented and discussed together. Visits to the Leibniz archive and further Leibniz places are planned.

The participants will be expected to attend the Tenth International Leibniz Congress. Further information here:

Candidates should submit an exposé (5 pages) on their dissertation project by 1 January 2016, stating the name of their university and the supervisor of their work as well as a list of any publications, to the following address:

Leibniz Universität Hannover
Ms Ute Beckmann
Sekretariat der Leibniz-Stiftungsprofessur
Königsworther Platz 1
30167 Hannover

The exposé should be written in German, English or French. The decision on who will participate will be made by 1 February 2016.

A limited number of grants are available.

From 7 to 12 July, a Summer School will take place in Leipzig, in which the PhD students can participate. Further information here:

The school for PhD candidates will be financed by the endowed Leibniz professorship.

Announcement (DE/EN/FR) (as of 16 Sep. 15)

The BBAW already started celebrating the Leibniz anniversary in 2015

The Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences is using the double Leibniz anniversary (his 370th birthday on 1 July and 300th anniversary of his death on 14 November) as an opportunity to dedicate the annual theme 2015|16 “Leibniz: the task of visions” to its founder, the philosopher, mathematician, physicist, historian, diplomat, politician and librarian Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz.