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Heat records and floods, landslides and forest fires, hurricanes and droughts – the climate is changing, and the consequences are sometimes catastrophic. For some, alarming wake-up calls and cause for the greatest concern; for others, merely signs that the world is changing, as it always has. Climatologist Reto Knutti knows how to interpret the figures and has been lobbying politicians and society for decisive action for many years. As a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the ETH professor is one of the most prominent researchers in his field. Even if the forecasts are gloomy, he believes that humanity has it in its hands to avert the worst scenarios. However, this requires nothing less than rethinking the future.

Barbara Bleisch asks: How does one rethink the future? How credible is the “five to twelve” rhetoric when it has been invoked for more than fifty years? How do science and politics relate to each other, how certain are forecasts? And what gives a scientist hope when all signs point to pessimism?

«Barbara Bleisch meets...»

“Honest, open conversation has become precarious,” says the well-known philosopher, author and moderator Barbara Bleisch. She counters this finding with the series “Barbara Bleisch meets …” at the Dampfzentrale. Following the great success of the last two years, the intensive conversations with inspiring personalities on topics that are of concern to society are entering their third edition.

In 2023, Barbara Bleisch meets the political scientist Emilia Roig, who heads the “Center for Intersectional Justice” in Berlin, and asks her what equality without egalitarianism means. She talks with the well-known Jesuit and Zen master Niklaus Brantschen about the value of silence and the power of transience, and with climate scientist Reto Knutti about fear, escapism and the world of tomorrow. Also a guest is philosopher Eva von Redecker, who calls for a “revolution for life” – a revolution of sharing, caring and loving.

Reto Knutti

Born in the Bernese Oberland, Reto Knutti studied physics at the University of Bern. He later became an assistant professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zurich, where he has held a full professorship in climate physics since 2016. In addition to his role as professor and head of the Center for Climate System Modeling, Reto Knutti is also a co-author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports. Just as important to Knutti as researching climate change is communicating his findings to a broad public.

Barbara Bleisch

Barbara Bleisch, Dr. phil., studied Philosophy, German Literature and Religious Studies in Zurich, Basel and Tübingen, before completing her doctorate at the Centre for Ethics at the University of Zurich.

She has been hosting the programme «Sternstunde Philosophie» for the Swiss public broadcaster SRF since 2010 and writing as a columnist for the Swiss daily newspaper «Tages-Anzeiger» since 2018. Barbara is a member of the Centre for Ethics at the University of Zurich and lectures Ethics in various advanced study programmes. Further, she is a member of the jury of the Tractatus award for philosophical essay writing.

Her most recent publications include «Wanting Children» (together with Andrea Büchler, Hanser), «Why We Owe Our Parents Nothing» (Hanser), «Familial Obligations» (Suhrkamp) and «Ethical Decision-Making» (Versus).


Unterstützt durch:

  • GVB Kulturstiftung
  • Gesellschaft zu Zimmerleuten
  • Gesellschaft zu Schumachern

Büchertisch in Zusammenarbeit mit Münstergass-Buchhandlung Bern

Fotocredits: Mirjam Kluka

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