This panel discussion focuses on climate litigation, which is becoming a powerful tool in shaping policy and bringing about more stringent action against climate change. In these lawsuits, big emitters of greenhouse gases – companies and governments alike – are increasingly being held responsible for climate change and accountable for inaction. Three prominent panelists including Karsten Haustein, climate scientist at Oxford University, UK; Inga Menke, research associate at Climate Analytics, Berlin and Roda Verheyen, environmental lawyer and partner at Rechtsanwälte Günther, Hamburg, set the scene for a fruitful discussion on the role of science and scientific findings in such legal cases, and the audience will be invited to actively participate in the discussion.
At the event, Theresa Frommen from Humboldt University (formerly Freie Universität Berlin) and freelance filmmaker Katalin Ambrus screened their two documentary films about a participatory and interdisciplinary hydrogeological project in India. The films were a result of the close cooperation between the filmmaker and scientist and includes the full-length documentary ‘Pani Check - The Sisterhood of Water’ (2019) which delves into the lives of Rekha Devi, Zeenat Begum and other illiterate women who work with Theresa, as well as the shorter educational film ‘Pani Doctors - Join the Sisterhood of Water’ (2019) which sees the Indian slum ‘Khara Kuaa’ transform into a colorful theatre stage as Rekha Devi, Zeenat Begum and their neighbours unpack the scientific water test kit. An educational musical developed in collaboration with the women from two slums in Jaipur, who participated in a hydrogeological model project. The films were streamed over YouTube and were followed by a live Q & A with Theresa and Katalin over Zoom to give an opportunity to learn more about the process, production and people behind the films.
To celebrate the anniversary of the the 100-year anniversary of the creation of Greater Berlin, THESys member Prof. Dr Timothy Moss released his book ‘Remaking Berlin: A History of the City through Infrastructure, 1920–2020’ which examines the city’s turbulent history through the lens of its often invisible water and energy infrastructures. At the online book launch, Timothy Moss invited three expert panelists to take part in an discussion to introduce his book and delve into many exciting topics. The panelists included Prof. Christoph Bernhardt, head of the Department for Historical Research / Scientific Collections for the History of Building and Planning in the GDR and deputy director at the Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space; Prof. Dorothee Brantz, Director of the Center for Metropolitan Studies at the Institute for Artistic Science and Historical Urbanism at the Technical University Berlin and Prof. Heike Weber, Chair of History of Technology at the Institute for Philosophy and the History of Literature, Science and Technology at the Technical University Berlin. It was moderated by IRI THESys director Prof. Jörg Niewöhner.
As part of the Berlin Science Week, IRI THESys created an audio tour which takes listeners along the pre-1920 border of Berlin and Charlottenburg to explore the city through the lens of urban infrastructure systems. Narrated by THESys Member Timothy Moss, the audio tour visits five exciting examples of infrastructure which has shaped the city since its creation 100 years ago. It highlights how Berlin’s energy and water infrastructure systems were used as a tool for urban expansion, unification, and modernization in the 1920s. It also shows just how infrastructure can be relevant to current-day efforts to render energy and water systems more flexible, environmentally sustainable, socially just, and politically accountable.
Throughout the tour, Tim references his brand-new book ‘Remaking Berlin. A History of the City through Infrastructure, 1920-2020’ (MIT Press) which examines the city’s turbulent history through the perspective of its often invisible water and energy infrastructures. The tour begins in Moabit and ends in the Mierendorffkiez. Stops will include a former wastewater pumping station, the Charlottenburg power station, a street water pump and a former gas works.
The THESys Walkshop on Urban Infrastructure can be viewed and explored on laptops and PCs, as well as downloaded on any smartphone through the free app izi.TRAVEL – a global storytelling platform which provides audio tours to over 350 destinations around the world.