The Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker Center is one of the three pillars of the Forum Scientiarum, besides the Leibniz-Kolleg and the Center for Interdisciplinary and Intercultural Studies (CIIS).
Under the direction of the Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker Professorship for Philosophy and History of Science, the Carl Firedrich von Weizsäcker Center is dedicated to foundational research, aiming to provide a platform to post-doctoral researches for reflection on foundations.
The orientation of this foundational reflection is closely connected to Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker's heritage. When Weizsäcker worked on the foundations of physics and philosophy in the 20th century, the world was under the impact of nuclear weapons and atomic energy. The responsibility of the scientist in the globalized world became a central issue for the first time in history. Weizsäcker, however, realized that engaging merely to daily politics is too short-sighted. In fact, at the time, the change of the world was related to fundamental upheavals of the physical world view, whose physical and philosophical foundations had to be worked out.
In commitment to Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker's scientific and societal heritage, the Carl Friedrich von Weizsäckcer Center will deal in alternating cycles with topics that have at their base the responsibility of science and a single scientist. The first cycle, started in 2019/2020, is under the heading
Responsibility in the digital society
In the 21st century, digitalization is a global challenge that humanity is facing. At the latest since Data Mining and Big Data, there is a public awareness of how strongly our world is dominated by data and algorithms. A leading question of the new center is therefore: How calculable is the world? Some believe that these days, finding solutions to problems in technology and economy comes down to nothing more than fast algorithms. Already the financial crisis of 2008 was closely liked to wrongly understood foundations and preconditions of mathematical models and algorithms. There is a potential of danger especially when we blindly rely on algorithms and recipes without knowing their theoretical foundations and applicability conditions. An example of this is the current hype of Artifical Intelligence. Only those who know the theory can prove universally valid sentences and theorems about the capability and limits of these algorithms. Questions of responsibility are therfore closely connected to foundational questions. The connection of responsibility with foundational reflection is therefore another central leading question of the Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker Center.
The Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker Center is supported by the Udo Keller Stiftung Forum Humanum.
Contact: Reinhard Kahle
Contact: Reinhard Kahle; Klaus Mainzer
Contact: Reinhard Kahle; Thomas Piecha
Contact: Reinhard Kahle
Contact: Reinhard Kahle; Natalie Clarius
Daß ich erkenne, was die Welt
Im Innersten zusammenhält