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Falling Walls and Silbersalz Festival in Halle

I’ve just returned from a fascinating weekend in Germany, at the Falling Walls Community Meeting and the Silbersalz Science and Media Festival!

I was invited because we’d put in an application to present the project we did with the Refugee Forum at the St Ann’s Allotments at the Falling Walls Conference in Berlin last year. We weren’t successful, but Falling Walls want to create a community of people who work in science engagement, and so invited people who hadn’t been successful to come to Halle as part of the Silberzalz Festival. It was a great opportunity to meet people from organisations across Europe and the world who run projects that aim to break down barriers between science and society. There were people from Brazil, Uzbekistan, India, the Netherlands, Portugal and the UK and it was really interesting to take part in discussions about sustainability, impact, engaging new audiences and other issues we all face together!

Then on the Saturday, it was the Silberzalz conference, and it was all based on the ‘Science of Love’. There were some fascinating talks and panel discussions interrogating ‘Are we programmed by nature for Love?’, ‘Is our Love constructed by Society?’ and ‘Can we design a better future with and for Love?’. We were shown some clips from films, including ‘Sleepless in New York’ about the neuroscience of a lovesickness and ‘The Serengeti Rules’ about the work of ecologists, which were particularly profound. I’m interested in exploring how we might be able to show them as part of next year’s Festival of Science and Curiosity!

Many thanks to the Robert Bosch Stiftung for supporting this opportunity, and thanks to Falling Walls for inviting me.

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