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Astronomy: Cologne, July 11-12

Nothing seems to be further from the civil society than the lonely astronomer in a remote observatory. The contacts between artists, writers, philosophers and scientists, however, have played an important role in the development of civil societies, especially in “smaller” coutries. In Serbian history, the friendship between the physisist and engineer Nikola Tesla and the poet Laza Kostić has become an iconic example for this dialogue. The workshop will bring together young scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR) in Bonn and scholars from the Slavonic Institute who have been cooperating on an informal basis, as well as scholars from the University of Belgrad  to discuss the different roles that the sciences and the humanities can play in the formation of civil societies. Five students from each university will present examples from history and present of how scientists and philosophers / musicians / writers / intellectuals have worked together to create social institutions, NGOs or political movements. Two keynote presentation will introduce the participants to the research at the Max Planck Institute and at the Slavonic Institute, highligting the research skills and asking for the possibilities to transfer these skills into social engagement