The amount of scientific knowledge in the world continues to increase at breakneck speed. Our knowledge is growing exponentially and, at current rates, will double about every five to ten years. What seemed technically impossible yesterday has already become reality today. Never before have we been able to gaze so far into the cosmos, manipulate genetic material so precisely and easily, or process and share data so quickly.
In this edition of the Junge Akademie M agazin, we take you on a journey into the world of scientific high performance, where our members are helping to shape the technology of tomorrow. Biophysicist Ulrike Endesfelder employs high-definition microscopy to gain spectacular insights into living cells. Computer scientist Dirk Pflüger talks to us about the challenge of building a functioning supercomputer out of hundreds of thousands of processors. Bioinformatician Bettina Keller and cosmologist Fabian Schmidt explain how these supercomputers can be used to simulate the atomic movements of proteins and to map the structure of the universe. Atmospheric physicist Bernadette Weinzierl and musicologist Miriam Akkermann discuss the future of weather forecasting.
High performance can, however, also come with a dark side. In the Junge Akademie’s film competition ‘be a better being’, numerous entries dealt with the pursuit of and pressure for constant self-improvement in the academic world and in society.
Meanwhile, there is ever more pressure on individual researchers to quantify their performance; we delve further into this topic and suggest ways in which early career researchers can deal with this development in the commentary section.
We hope you enjoy this issue of the Junge Akademie Magazin. The pressure is now on us to finish the next one!
Tobi J. Erb