German Minister of Education and Research Visited the GHI Washington

June 13, 2022

On June 8, 2022, the German Minister of Education and Research, Bettina Stark-Watzinger, visited the German Historical Institute Washington (GHI) for a panel discussion followed by a reception. “This was a great honor for our institute and the German humanities abroad,” Director Simone Lässig commented.

This honor derives not least from the fact that the GHI, as a center for advanced historical research, with its Pacific Office at UC Berkeley and as a part of the Max Weber Stiftung, is funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research. “With our research topics as well as with our conferences and programs for young scholars, our publications, our digital initiatives, and our public outreach programs, we – like all the Max Weber Institutes around the globe – serve as a unique bridge builder,” Simone Lässig mentioned in her introduction. “We build bridges between Europe and North America, and even within the Americas, as well as between the Pacific and the Atlantic worlds. We build bridges between different disciplines, between scholarship and society, including politics, and between tradition and innovation.”

Director Lässig also moderated the panel discussion Transatlantic Relationships in Science and Technology, which included the minister, Robert D. Atkinson (President of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation), Jeff Rathke (President of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies), Constanze Stelzenmüller (Brookings Institution), Charles Wessner (Georgetown University), and Mercedes García Pérez (Head of the Global Issues and Innovation section of the Delegation of the European Union to the United States). The panelists addressed issues like the role of knowledge transfer and research infrastructures, the freedom of value-based research, and the limitations of international cooperation. Reflecting on the successful evening, Prof. Lässig was pleased about the great interest the minister had shown in the research of GHI fellows: “Her visit provided an outstanding opportunity for them to discuss their projects with experts from different fields.”

GHI Director Simone Lässig with the German Minister of Education and Research Bettina Stark-Watzinger