Worldwide Knowledge

Dahlem Workshop 97 on the “Globalization of Knowledge”

№ 260/2007 from Nov 01, 2007

Dahlem Konferenzen of Freie Universität Berlin will be holding the 97th international Dahlem Workshop from November 18–23, 2007. Led by Prof. Dr. Jürgen Renn, Director of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, 40 high-ranking scholars from Germany, other European countries, Latin America, the U.S.A., India, China, and Australia will discuss various aspects of the theme “Globalization of Knowledge and Its Consequences.”

Interested journalists are invited to attend a

Press Conference
Thursday, November 22, 2007, 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m.,
in the President's Office of Freie Universität Berlin,
Goldener Saal, 2nd floor,
Kaiserswerther Straße 16-18, 14195 Berlin-Dahlem (subway stop: U-Bhf. Thielplatz).

The press conference will be held in German. Prof. Jürgen Renn, Director of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, and other scholars participating in the workshop will take part.

Please notify us, if you will be able to attend the press conference.

 (Fax reply form to download)

In the present age of G8 summits and international companies, the concept of “globalization” is commonly viewed as a political or an economic issue. The process of globalization, however, has always been accompanied by and also driven by processes of the “global” exchange of knowledge. Contrary to the widely held perception, globalization is not only a phenomenon of the 20th and 21st centuries – the earliest phases of globalization occurred in antiquity.

The 97th Dahlem Workshop aims to investigate the phenomena of the “globalization of knowledge” in various epochs and regions from 3000 B.C. to the present, from Europe and Asia to the Americas. The participants will, for example, discuss the origin of writing and numbers in the Middle East during antiquity, and how that process had a lasting effect in “globalizing” the region around the Mediterranean. The discussions will also cover such diverse topics as the transfer of knowledge within Buddhist or Islamic cultures, or between Europe and China, or how nuclear physics and elemental physics could become established worldwide.

The overriding theme of the workshop is to examine the conditions required for the globalization of knowledge as well as its consequences. Does the globalization of knowledge result from innovations, or is it part of the innovation process? To what degree are knowledge and societies altered by exchange processes between and within various regions? Why did certain knowledge not spread farther? This workshop is the opening event for a large international interdisciplinary research project of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science on the “Globalization of Knowledge” headed by Prof. Dr. Jürgen Renn.

Dahlem Konferenzen, founded in 1974, became part of Freie Universität Berlin in 1990. The Dahlem Workshops provide a forum for internationally recognized scientists and scholars to exchange their views on questions of global interest and fundamental importance through international, interdisciplinary dialog. On the basis of background papers submitted in advance, 40 researchers spend the five-day workshop discussing issues related to the current state of research and reaching an understanding of which pivotal themes require scholarly research in the near future.


Dr. Katharina Ochse, Tel. + 49 (0)30 / 838 73670. Email:

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