Flying professors give science talks on trains for Max Planck Day

Scientists from three Max Planck Institutes in Hamburg give talks on historic underground train to celebrate Max Planck's legacy

September 12, 2018

Max Planck Day on 14 September celebrates the life and work of one of Germany’s scientific giants. In Hamburg, Max Planck scientists are giving this nationwide event a particularly hanseatic twist: they will become “Flying Professors” to give public talks in a traveling historic underground train.

This highly visible event highlights the diversity of the research work carried out by the Max Planck Institutes in Hamburg – a city which prides itself on its scientific community, networks and infrastructure.

The speakers in the first round are institute directors Prof. Andrea Cavalleri from the MPI for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Prof. Jochem Marotzke from the MPI for Meteorology and Prof. Reinhard Zimmermann from the MPI for Comparative and International Private Law. They have around 10 minutes each to speak before the next stop and the next speaker come along.

Around 150 school students have been invited to the four round trips. They will be joined by the senator of science and second mayor of Hamburg, Katharina Fegebank, VIPs and invited members of the public. At the end of each 40-minute journey, they will have heard about subjects as varied as climate change, nanoparticles, and how German law functions compared to that of other countries.

The “Flying Professors” on Hamburg’s oldest underground line – which Max Planck himself could have traveled on – will provide an unusual snapshot of the wide research spectrum covered by the city’s three Max Planck Institutes.

14 September marks the centenary of Max Planck’s Nobel Prize, his 160th birthday and the 70th year of the society that bears his name. As part of the celebrations, Germany’s 83 Max Planck Institutes will host public events, from Science Slams to Open Days, film showings and exhibitions, in more than 30 towns and cities.

Online, members of the public can use an interactive Q&A facility to post questions to Max Planck scientists:

For full information on all events please see . Reports from Max-Planck-Day will be posted on Twitter by our colleagues @MPIPRIV and @maxplanckpress under the hash tag #wonachsuchstdu.

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