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Science and Society - a Dialogue

Research and Public are often far apart. Modern biology has been shaped by molecular methods, while the public sees anything linked to genes rather sceptically. No surprise: what is not understood, rises mistrust. Therefore, the Botanical Institute wants to use the Botanical Garden as platform to explain to the public, what we do in our research. Our concept for the public comprises the following elements:

1. Every month we offer on different topics: From "Plant Sex", "What We Can Learn from Wild Vines", "Hunting with the Gene Gun" or "Where Chocolate Grows - Tropical Crops" - during these excursions you cannot only learn in a digested form, what is new in botany, but also what we are currently working about.

2. On request, we also offer excursions for school classes or groups on topics of request.

3. The garden is not only opened during the week, but also on Sunday. Entrance is free, and we have prepared Topical Paths with numerous stations, where you can get into different topics by your own, supported by information resources in site and in the web.

What for the KIT affords a Botanical Garden

Botanical Gardens originated to teach pharmacists. Today, they have new and quite diverse functions. Within Germany our garden is certainly the one, most intensively integrated into Research and Teaching of a Botanical Institute. The biological research within the KIT is meanwhile assembled in the Research Area "Biology, Chemistry and Process Engineering". This makes clear that Applied Biology is important. By the focus on crop plants the garden plays a key role for the development of biotechnological research and teaching. At the same time, the garden develops new strategies for species conservation - to protect and to exploit biodiversity can be a synergistic endeavour.

Find New Compounds

Steer inheritance

Protect Biodiversity Teach Conserve Endangered Species Discuss with the Public
 
Plants generate more than 1 million specific compounds, a treasure mostly still to be exploited. Can we get it accessible for bioeconomy? New molecular scissors help to steer inheritance. This allows for the first time for targeted breeding and to open the potential of genetic resources. Biological diversity is precious. In a literal sense. Our collection of wild grapes harbours genetic treasures for the sustainable agriculture of the future. Our Gene Bank for Crop Wild Relatives is part of the Federal Plant for Plant Genetic Resources..  The newest results of our research feed directly into teaching - also in the numerous practical courses. Our "Green School" serves to develop new concepts for schools and children. Exploit and protect are not contradictive. We go new paths in species conservation. Our project WIPs.de protects Germany's Responsability Species. Society and Science move apart. This is problematic. We use the garden to explain to the public, what we do and why this is useful.