The Coronavirus Crisis as a Social and Scientific Challenge

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Renn
Prof. Dr. Robert Schlögl
20.05.2020

The importance of sustainability and resilience

A reconstruction after the coronavirus crisis must be a transformation which strengthens the sustainability of the economy and society. The huge state interventions and investments to protect the economy which have been prompted in the short term by the coronavirus crisis must therefore be oriented towards the guiding concept of sustainability. Otherwise, new money will be used to reinforce rather than correct an already misguided course of development away from sustainability and the conservation of resources.

As long as a relationship with the environment prevails that treats it as an inexhaustible resource and landfill site, and as …

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Renn

Max Planck Institute for the History of Science
Born on 11th July, 1956, in Moers. Degree in physics Free Univ. Berlin (1983), doctorate in mathematics Berlin Technical Univ. (1987), collaborator/co...

Prof. Dr. Robert Schlögl

Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society
Born on 23rd February, 1954, in Munich. Study of chemistry Munich Univ., doctorate Munich Univ. (1982), postdoctoral stays in Cambridge and Basel...

Killing two birds with one stone? Green dead ends and ways out of the coronavirus crisis

Prof. Dr. Erik Gawel
Prof. Dr. Paul Lehmann
18.05.2020

Public measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic are leading to a severe economic crisis these days. In order to cope with this crisis, many expect the state to act strong. Therefore, governments across the world have pledged billions of Euros for extensive recovery programs. But how “green” should these recovery programs be?

The coronavirus crisis as a moment for interest groups

When the quick distribution of a big amount of public money is announced, huge desires arise. The opportunity to make use of these public funds in their own interest, brings lobbyists of every shade to the scene – preferably with old wish lists on hand. On the one hand, climate change mitigation is put under …

Prof. Dr. Erik Gawel

Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ)
Head of UFZ Department of Economics and Full Professor for Institutional Evironmental Economics at Leipzig University. Director of the Institute for...

Prof. Dr. Paul Lehmann

Leipzig University
Jun.-Prof. Dr. Paul Lehmann is Assistant Professor of Environmental and Energy Economics at the University of Leipzig in cooperation with the UFZ. He...

Coming through the pandemic the right way up

Andrew Norton
14.05.2020

The ultimate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet clear. We don’t know how long it will last, how it will end or even how it is distributed geographically. Through the suffering and disruption of daily lives it forces us to imagine the world in new ways.

Global cooperation was already under immense stress and there is a clear possibility that nationalist, xenophobic politics could damage the chances for an effective response. But there is another way.

Keeping all the balls in the air. The pandemic has proved the importance of early action. However hard it may be for governments to focus on multiple challenges, the worst thing that could happen is to put action on climate and

Andrew Norton

International Institute for Environment and Development
Andrew Norton is director of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED). He is an applied anthropologist working on a range of...

The coronavirus pandemic and protecting the climate – some discussion points

Prof. Dr. Hans Diefenbacher
Dr. Oliver Foltin
Dr. Volker Teichert
11.05.2020

It is already clear: Covid-19 is going to change the world. The consequences of the uncontrolled spreading of the virus are so dramatic that at least for now, many societies have accepted changes and restrictions to their everyday lives that they would otherwise have considered inconceivable. In recent weeks, it has also become clear that the poorest countries, and the poorer sections of the population in particular, have been hit the hardest by the crisis. This is something that the coronavirus has in common with the climate crisis. In general, two different approaches seem possible for returning to a situation of “normality” in the world after the coronavirus:

  • an almost …

Prof. Dr. Hans Diefenbacher

Protestant Institute for interdisciplinary research (FEST)
born 1954 in Mannheim, married, one son; studied economics at the universities of Heidelberg, Freiburg and Kassel, senior researcher at FEST since...

Dr. Oliver Foltin

Protestant Institute for interdisciplinary research (FEST)
Oliver Foltin, economist, is associate director and researcher at the Protestant Institute for interdisciplinary research in Heidelberg (FEST). His...

Dr. Volker Teichert

Protestant Institute for interdisciplinary research (FEST)
Volker Teichert, economist and pedagogue, senior researcher at the Protestant Institute for interdisciplinary research in Heidelberg (FEST), project...

Changing direction rather than ramping things up

Prof. Dr. Claus Leggewie
07.05.2020

I sit by the roadside.
The driver changes the wheel.
I do not like the place I have come from.
I do not like the place I am going to.
Why with impatience do I watch him changing the wheel?

Bertolt Brecht, 1953

Ramping things up: after the initial horror of the coronavirus crisis, the realists who want to offset possible deaths caused by the pandemic against the certain losses due to the crisis and revive “the economy” are breaking their cover. Ramping things up: like a blast furnace after a breakdown in its operations, a stalled engine, or stepping back on the accelerator after a speed limit. The idea is to return to the same direction and the same speed before, with the same …

Prof. Dr. Claus Leggewie

University of Giessen
Claus Leggewie teaches political science and is holding the Ludwig Boerne Chair at Giessen University. Until 2017 he was director of the...