Climate Strike on Friday: HZB-Direktor welcomes engagement for climate protection
"I find it remarkable and encouraging that more and more citizens are joining the protests of the younger generation and calling for a turnaround for climate protection," says Prof. Bernd Rech, Scientific Director of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB). In an open video message on the occasion of the worldwide climate day planned for Friday, he welcomes the fact that HZB staff members want to participate in the actions. At the same time he calls on people not to be afraid of technical changes. "The technologies for a climate-friendly energy supply are available. We must now use them quickly, but we must also improve them and create new options".
The science is clear, Bernd Rech states: Climate change is progressing and brings with it major risks - yet global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. There are solutions, but further research is also important: "We need much, much more renewable energies," says Rech, "because with green electricity we can also produce green hydrogen. And we will need hydrogen in a future CO2-neutral energy system".
Prof. Rech points out that research on this topic also comes from the HZB: "New solar cells are in the starting blocks - with new material combinations that are much more efficient than the previous ones. Here, the HZB holds world records and is working with partners on industrialisation".
In conclusion, Rech says: "The Corona crisis has shown us that we humans accept wise measures when they are justified and protect us. I am convinced that we now also have to act on climate change to prevent dramatic developments".
Charlotte Klar and Katharina Austermann (both 18) have already come a long way: With their experiments on pyrolytic graphite, they are trying to solve a puzzle they found in the technical literature on diamagnetism. With their work, they convinced both the Jugend-forscht-Jury at the Berlin South Regional Competition and the Berlin Competition. Now, they will join the national competition which will take place from 18 to 21 May in Bremen.
Prof. Dr. Jens Eisert heads the Quantum Computation and Simulation research group, which is jointly funded by Freie Universität Berlin and HZB. The theoretical physicist recently received an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council ERC for his research project "DebuQC". But Eisert is not only an award-winning scientist, he is also concerned about global warming. Last year, on the initiative of Ryan Sweke, he and his team published a proposal that deserves attention: scientific publications on theoretical physics or chemistry could include a simple table listing the greenhouse gases emitted during the research. This would raise awareness of the fact that research is not climate neutral.
Dr. Wenxi Wang is working in the team of Prof. Yan Lu as Humboldt Foundation postdoctoral fellow. He studied at the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China, and completed his doctorate at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia. He specialises in the precise design of organic electrodes for lithium-sulfur and zinc-ion batteries and the investigation of the interactions between ions and active materials.