What is new? What can be new? How do we want to shape the new or adapt the old? These are the questions that we – the members of the Junge Akademie and our head office – deal with both implicitly and explicitly during all of our meetings. In our daily lives as researchers, we read (and write) in almost every application, every review, and every article that the uncharted must urgently be investigated, and that we must be the ones to do it. But is the avant-garde even possible anymore? That topic is at the heart of this issue of the Junge Akademie M agazin (JAM). The Junge Akademie is no longer brand new, but nevertheless undergoing constant regeneration: this year marks the 15th anniversary of the academy’s founding. In part due to this occasion, the celebration in Berlin in June 2015 revolved around the topic of institutions. Jürgen Kaube, co-editor of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Z eitung and member of the board of the Junge Akademie, gave the keynote speech: ‘Forever Young or Is There a Jugendstil in Academia?’ We present his speech in this issue.
The Junge Akademie Magazin is also undergoing a regeneration process: after four years as editor-in-chief of JAM, I am stepping down from the position, as my membership in the JA will come to an end in the summer of 2016 after five years that have passed all too quickly. Tobias J. Erb will take up the reins at JAM. In 2011 and 2012 we worked together to create a new design for the magazine, which led to the creation of the Dossier section and a new layout. The news of the success of the magazine has come to my ears again and again: imparted to me by directors of Max-Planck-Institutes, by editors-in-chief of (popular) academic magazines, and from readers around the world, as the English edition is read in Young Academies everywhere from Japan to South Africa. Even design archives and national libraries in various European countries are now among JAM’s subscribers.
Whether that is enough to make the Junge Akademie Magazin avant-garde is not something I can judge. What I do know is that even in this digital age, it is worthwhile to produce a printed publication that draws its strength from a passionate urge to see the world in new ways, to explore it and think about it – and to tell stories about these explorations.
Thank you! Evelyn Runge