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Geo meets Soc Sci: “Berlin-Brandenburg in 2045” March 02, 2023 1 - 5 pm

Climate change, and the accompanying goal of achieving greenhouse-gas neutrality in Germany by 2045, will shape many aspects of how our region Berlin-Brandenburg will evolve in the coming years. To explore and understand the challenges and opportunities we are now facing, we need a comprehensive and integrated approach. This is where interdisciplinary research between geoscience and social science needs to play a vital role.

Geoscience can provide the technical knowledge and data necessary to understand the natural systems and resources that are vital for our region's growth and development. Social science, on the other hand, brings in the perspective of human behavior, institutions, and decision-making, which are crucial factors in shaping the region's future. By combining these two fields, we can develop a holistic understanding of the challenges facing Berlin-Brandenburg and design effective and sustainable solutions. For example, the sustainable use of natural resources, the development of low-carbon infrastructure and the social acceptance of these changes all require a deep understanding of both the natural systems and the social context.

Thus, as the Geo.Society branch of the Geo.X Young Academy, we aim to offer early career scientists a platform to exchange, discuss and train with other scientists across disciplines. We aim to provide a new generation of interdisciplinary scientists with the skill set to combine both research fields.

Over 40 early career and interested scientists presented joint our Geo.Society-Day together with the Einstein Research UnitClimate and Water under Change - CliWaC at the FU Berlin. After two excellent and inspiring keynote presentation by Timothy Moss and Magdelena Scheck-Wenderoth, we continued with lively round table discussions of various topics (Mobility & Urban development, Soil & land-use, Agriculture & Forestry, Water, Energy options and Berlin-Brandenburg 2045 in a national and global context) in relation to Berlin-Brandenburg 2045. Afterwards, the discussions and exchange of ideas continued during a colloquial Get-together


13:00 – 13:15
Registration and coffee

Welcome and introduction of Geo.X & Geo.Society
Jonas Kuppler (Geo.X)

Tandem Keynote “Energy transformation - past, present and future in Berlin-Brandenburg” including discussion
Timothy Moss (IRI THESys & HU Berlin) - social science perspective
Magdalena Scheck-Wenderoth (GFZ & RWTH Aachen) - geoscientific perspective

Coffee break

Round table discussions
Topics will depend on the wishes of the registered participants
Summary of the results will be provided on the Geo.X-homepage

17:00 – 18:00
Concluding remarks and Get-together with drinks


Introducing our speakers:

Tim Moss is a Senior Researcher at the Integrative Research Institute on Transformations of Human-Environment Systems (IRI THESys) at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Honorary Professor at the Leibniz University Hannover. Tim’s research is distinctive for connecting historical studies of infrastructure with contemporary debates on sociotechnical and urban transitions. He draws on relational and socio-spatial concepts from urban geography and science and technology studies to analyse past infrastructural trajectories, setting an example in theoretical grounding for historical research. Conversely, he uses analysis of the past as a source of historical contextualisation and critical reflection for scholarship on current transitions to urban networked infrastructures. He is particularly interested in the processes by which energy and water infrastructures reflect and reproduce the multiple geographies, power relations and socio-materialities of a city.

Magdalena Scheck-Wenderoth is the director of Department Geosystems at GFZ Potsdam and a professor of Basin Analysis at RWTH Aachen University. Her scientific contributions have continuously evolved towards integration of geoscientific observations with process simulations following physical principles. Her focus is on geodynamics and geoenergy of sedimentary basins with two main goals: (1) understanding the geodynamic processes controlling basin evolution over geological time scales in all tectonic settings and (2) predicting the configuration of the subsurface and assessing the consequences of subsurface utilization (geothermal energy, storage of fluids and heat, groundwater safety) on a human time scale.