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Wer gab uns den Schwamm, um den ganzen Horizont wegzuwischen?

Was thaten wir, als wir diese Erde von ihrer Sonne losketteten?

Wohin bewegt sie sich nun?

Wohin bewegen wir uns?

Fort von allen Sonnen?

Stürzen wir nicht fortwährend?

Und rückwärts, seitwärts, vorwärts, nach allen Seiten?

Giebt es noch ein Oben und ein Unten?

Irren wir nicht wie durch ein unendliches Nichts?

Haucht uns nicht der leere Raum an?

Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon?

What did we do when we unchained the earth from its sun?

Whither is it moving now?
Whither are we moving now?

Away from all suns?

Are we not perpetually falling?

Backwards, sideward, forward, in all directions?

Is there any up or down left?

Are we not straying as though through Infinite nothing?

Do we not feel the breath of empty space?

Friedrich Nietzsche 1887 

Die fröhliche Wissenschaft / The Gay Science


The planet has always been core to the sciences, but recently, it has made its way into the humanities and social sciences, which have begun to engage with knowledge on how planets work. A paradigm shift is occurring, whereby social thought recognizes that societies do not live on but are part of a planet; as the planet is ever-changing, so too are the relations societies create with it. This has brought into focus a distinct set of phenomena in which planetary and anthropogenic forces intersect, ranging from (induced) seismicity to (anthropogenic) space weather. Mutually compatible with the planetary sciences, planetary humanities and social sciences help to understand how societies should deal with planetary forces beyond human control, to decide with which to merge or reunite, and which mergers to end. 

My contribution to these big questions and information on specific research areas follows shortly.


The science-art interface is incredibly stimulating for my own research why I collaborate regularly with artists. Together with Claus Leggewie I direct the Planetary Scholars and Artists in Residence Program, funded by the Hessian Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and the Arts (618.000€). It aims to add many new explorations, endeavors and inspirations for planetary research and practice.

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