Are we seeing a “scientification” of discourse in our politics, society and even everyday life? Does science provide us with legitimation, norms and meaning – something once reserved for religion? Are the sciences becoming a new religion?
Ten writers from seven countries had been invited by the Deutsch-Amerikanisches Insititut to venture on journey through the scientific sector of Heidelberg. Their investigations took them to the German Cancer Research Institute, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory and the Max Planck Insitutes. They spoke with cosmologists, quantum physicists and neurologists about whether and to what extent the natural sciences have taken over the traditional tasks of religion.
In intensive discussions, they deliberated on what kind of values and norms science is capable of creating and how it influences our language. The result was a diverse collection of texts: stories, reports and essays. The participants included, among others, Daniel Kehlmann, Michela Murgia and Colm Tóibín.
For the project’s big “finale”, the writers and researchers came together once more and presented this unique exchange between literature and science to the public.
Artistic director: Jakob Köllhofer
Artistic advisor: Russ Hodge
Writers: Judith Kuckart (D) – Viktor Jerofejev (RUS) – Daniel Kehlmann (D/A) – Michael Maar (D) – Ben Marcus (USA) – Tim Parks (GB) – Michela Murgia (ITA) – Colm Tóibín (IRL) – Kathrin Passig (D) – Raoul Schrott (A)
Institutes: University Heidelberg, Max Planck Institutes, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) German Cancer Research Centre