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Enhancing Science Partnerships for Innovation and Sustainable Development


Ambassador for the Year of Science

Interview with the special ambassador of the Year of Science, Motsi Mabuse
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Photo gallery: Closing Event in Berlin 16/04/2013

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German-South African Science Network
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Renewable raw materials from Nature

The raw materials of our future

The German-South African Science Year 2012/2013 is focusing on highly topical subjects – global challenges that affect and concern people all over the world. Climate change is the best example of this. Consequently, as Dr. Annette Schavan, Germany's Federal Minister of Education and Research, emphasises, "the investigation of climate change is one of the most important tasks of German-South African research collaboration."

The national “Science Year 2012 – Project Earth: Our Future” is also becoming more vocal in drawing the public's attention to the topic of sustainability. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is devoting itself to issues that impact our future: How do we want to live? How do we want to manage our economies? To get closer to answering these questions, the Science Year 2012 is drawing public attention to research approaches that encompass economic, ecological and social aspects in equal measure – every aspect of sustainability, in other words. The objective of the national “Science Year 2012 – Project Earth” is to sharpen people's awareness of this extremely important subject and actively integrate them into the efforts to find potential solutions.

In order to achieve this, those involved in the national “Science Year 2012 – Project Earth: Our Future” have devised a range of very special campaigns. In a video called "earthbook" based on the social network Facebook, the need for action facing all people everywhere is presented in a humorous and impressive way. Here, the Earth has its own profile and receives a friend request from Homo sapiens sapiens – although the requesting party is in the Earth's bad books. You'll find the video in our media centre.

Another project, called "Voices of Sustaiability", gives its view of things from the perspective of those scientists who have set themselves the task of saving the very Earth of which we speak. And the task at hand is nothing less than the battle for our planet. The “Science Year 2012 – Project Earth: Our Future” website presents a considerable number of sustainability researchers and their projects. First and foremost, the website shows what impact their work is having on our lives and what contribution they are making to sustainable behaviour in day-to-day living.

As a follow-up to the UN conference Rioplus20, the “Science Year 2012 – Project Earth: Our Future”, too, has decided to put a special thematic focus on climate change – with, among other things, a Twitterwall showing all the tweets with the hashtag "Rioplus20" in German and English and a theme dossier containing background texts, best-practice examples, interviews with researchers, and other content. In addition, anyone who is interested can test their knowledge of the causes of climate change and possible solutions in a wide-ranging online quiz – and learn some surprising things while doing so.

To the earthbook video
To the “Project Earth: Our Future” website
To the online quiz


Press Release: Away from oil towards plants (in German), 18/06/2012
Press Release: Away from oil towards plants (in German), 18/06/2012

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