Science for everyone - this was the motto under which the Einstein Center Digital Future (ECDF) presented itself in the past weeks at Knowledge City Berlin 2021. On five days in front of the Rotes Rathaus, ECDF-scientists gave insights into their research fields and provided information on the latest approaches and innovations.
Can digitalization contribute to climate protection and sustainability? What might new mobility concepts look like? What are we willing to give-up for more security? The action days and events focused on the three major themes of health, climate and living together. On the first day of action on July 02, ECDF professor David Bermbach (TU Berlin) and the project SimRa (Safety in Cycling) were present in front of the Red City Hall. Via the SimRa app, cyclists collect data in a data protection-compatible way from danger spots and near misses. The data collected in the project will be evaluated together with partners from other departments, such as urban and regional planning, but also with the involvement of interested citizens. The goal is to achieve sustainable changes with the help of the Berlin Senate Department for Environment, Transport and Climate Protection. At the ECDF booth, visitors could experience the first results on an animated 3D city model.
One week later, everything revolved around textiles and sound. At the booth, visitors could see and touch electronic textiles and learn more about their applications - for example in music. The team of ECDF professors Felix Biessmann (Beuth), Berit Greinke (UdK) and Emmanuel Baccelli (FU) are jointly researching the use of e-textile sensors and gesture tracking technologies. The result is a customized interactive costume with which the conductor can control electronic music via body movements and gestures. Visitors were able to experience its application live on stage during the performance of the Verworner-Krause Chamber Orchestra and Soundfolds, where the conductor's gestures were translated into sound effects - the suit almost acts like a portable instrument.
VR glasses for security forces, flood simulation, digital suits for firefighters: on the last day of action, the ECDF's booth was dedicated to the future of public security with the Future Security Lab. Through VR glasses and on tablets, visitors were able to enter virtual, interactive scenarios and learn more about public safety. "The Corona pandemic and the floods in western Germany in particular have brought security aspects of everyday life even more to the forefront of society, and we noticed this in the questions asked by visitors. It is therefore all the more important that we, as a center for digitization research, involve people in the digital transformation and contribute to the social discourse on future issues," says Simone Harr, managing director of the ECDF.
Outside the action days, ECDF scientists were also involved with short lectures and science slams: Professor Michael Ortgiese (TU Berlin) presented his research on new mobility concepts; Professor Tilman Santarius (TU Berlin) answered the question whether digitization can contribute to climate protection and sustainability while Professors Michelle Christensen and Florian Conradi presented the concept of "Open Science" - the cultural change in scientific working methods towards open interdisciplinary research environments. In the Science Slam, Margaux Huth and Siling Chen, employees of the ide3a project, were convincing: With their plastic representation of large amounts of rain that cannot seep into sealed surfaces and lead to flooding, they won first place in the Science Slam Climate.