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Welcome to the Panel on Planetary Thinking

"In times of crisis, it becomes all the more clear that we have to say goodbye to narrow patterns of thought. The "Panel on Planetary Thinking" at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen transcends the boundaries of disciplines and expands them in the sense of an overall planetary perspective. I am glad that the researchers involved are looking at the topic of "sustainability" in this way, which we very consciously included in the Hessian University Pact 2021-2025. Among the university policy goals, it is explicitly stated that “sustainability should play an important role in the actions of every university (planetary thinking) in view of scientifically proven knowledge about the crossing of planetary boundaries.” (Angela Dorn, Hessian Minister for Science and Arts)

The recently published Activity Report (2021-2023) provides an overview of the various past and upcoming activities of the Panel on Planetary Thinking. This includes an international scholarship program, a series of scientific outreach formats, workshops and exhibitions.




September 14 & 15, 2023 - Liza Bauer as speaker at the SWITCH conference at University of Witten/Herdecke (UW/H)


Our scientific manager Liza Bauer was invited speaker at the SWITCH conference at University of Witten/Herdecke (UW/H) on September 14th and 15th. In her lecture, she introduced about 200 students, pupils, scientists, and entrepreneurs to planetary thinking as a framework. The conference program combined impulses from artists and experts with various workshop formats on topics such as health and climate, understanding nature, or economy in planetary responsibility. For example, it was discussed how human-animal relationships can be rethought. You can find a more detailed report on the conference here, further information can be found on the conference website.



Recap: September 26, 2023 - Planetary CineScience “Vergiftete Wahrheit (Dark Waters)” (Original with German Subtitles) & Film Discussion with Claus Leggewie


Not only since the recently published General Update of Planetary Boundaries or the Forever Pollution Project, the chemical group of PFAS (Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), so-called ‘forever chemicals’ and components of clothing, paint, cleaning agents, or packaging, has been controversial. In connection with these debates, we discussed the film ‘Dark Waters’ (2019, Haynes) at Kinocenter Gießen on Tuesday, September 26th.

The chemical company DuPont is world-famous for its brand name ‘Teflon’, among other things. In 1998, a hundred cows suddenly died near a Teflon production facility in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Lawyer Robert Bilott takes on the case and goes to court against DuPont. The cinematic staging of the case was put into context by political scientist and co-initiator of the panel Claus Leggewie during our expert discussion, which led to in-depth discussions surrounding chances and pitfalls of environmental regulations and how to impement them in a legal framework.

The event series "Planetary CineScience" is organized in cooperation with Kinocenter Gießen.  For further information, please visit our website. The next installment will take place November 28, 2023 at 7:00 pm, where we will be screening and discussing Mad Max: Fury Road.



September, 25 2023 - “Before practice comes theory, or: Who sits in the Parliament of Things?” Lecture and discussion by and with Claus Leggewie. Opening of the series “The Parliament for the Future” (german)


Regarding the representation of non-human actors in planetary politics: The political ecologist Bruno Latour has called a gathering of non-human actors a Parliament of Things, which have so far been excluded from the political process, although they are affected by it and subordinate to it. The lecture at 8 pm on September 25th takes place in the Salon of Stadttheater and invites you to consider the idea of an expanded representation.

The series is organized in cooperation with Stadtheater Gießen, further information can be found here. Tickets can be purchased at the Ticketshop of Stadttheaters or at the box office.


September 19, 2023 - Planetary Colloquium on "The Sun. A Discovery"


On Tuesday, Sept. 19, we held a Planetary Colloquium on "The Sun. A Discovery".

As part of the Planetary Scholars & Artists in Residence fellowship program, the Panel supports the renowned astrophysicist and philosopher Dr. Sibylle Anderl in her interdisciplinary publication project on the Sun's history of discovery. Connected to this, the colloquium brought together expert perspectives from various disciplines, such as solar system research, cultural studies, and art history.

In-depth discussions between speakers and participants enabled an enriching exchange across disciplinary boundaries that impressively demonstrated the importance of a methodically broad approach to studying fundamental natural phenomena such as the sun. To take the sun seriously as an epistemic object that has both societal and physical effects, multidimensional perspectives are required.

More detailed information about the contributions can be found here.



September 04, 2023 - A warm welcome to the new Fellow with the Planetary Scholar & Artists-Program!


We are very pleased to welcome new fellow Juan Pablo Pacheco to the Planetary Hub! This year’s fellowship program focuses on the theme of PLANETARY SPACES. The project for the winter residence focuses on the deep sea as an underexplored space in terms of its ecological identity.

At our traditional welcome breakfast, the implementation of our winter workshop was also in focus, which will take place from November 2nd to 4th. The preliminary program promises exciting insights into various local bodies of water. More detailed information will follow shortly.We are looking forward to an exciting semester!

We are looking forward to an exciting semester!

August 1, 2023 - Winners of the Planetary Futures Competition Vol II (2023)

We are pleased to announce the winners of the Planetary Futures Competition Vol. II (2023): Prof. Dr. Mirjam Stockburger and Lukas Spatz from the Department of Economics at Justus Liebig University Giessen receive funding from the Panel on Planetary Thinking for a proposed project that seeks to evaluate the impact of urban greening projects on people’s health and well-being, the housing market and municipality finances.

The project will utilize a novel approach to examine causal effects by studying the award procedure of national and state garden shows using data combinations. It explores the conception of environmental justice by specifically analyzing the consequences of such greening events on the landscape, studying the effects of such green, public goods on economic outcomes (such as housing prices, local economy), and by analyzing their impacts on inhabitants’ health and well-being as well as on socioeconomic disparities.

The transdisciplinary empirical project will combine the knowledge and experience on analyzing geographical data and indicators with expertise from economists to identify such causal effects and impacts for society. The research group at JLU will collaborate with the team of Public Economics at the University of Duisburg-Essen and Department of Geography at the Philipps-University Marburg. A two-day workshop with input from experts of different disciplines will be organized before the project is submitted for third-party funding. The Panel views this project as a step in the direction towards a planetary responsible future and is delighted to support our colleagues in their endeavor.


© North News and Pictures Ltd.
© North News and Pictures Ltd.

Recap: Kick-off event of Planetary CineScience at Kinocenter Gießen: Film review of Oppenheimer (2023, Nolan) - 25.07.2023, 7 pm


In cooperation with Kinocenter Giessen, the Panel invited the moviegoers to the screening of Christopher Nolan's new Oppenheimer. For the kick-off event of our new Planetary CineScience series, we had Dr. Simon Märkl (LMU Munich) as a guest for a film talk. In his dissertation "Big Science Fiction", the cultural historian uses the example of nuclear fusion research in the USA to describe the complex relationship between science, politics and propaganda during the Cold War. Before the film, he gave a short introduction to the topic, which led to a productive and exciting discussion afterwards. We would like to thank our guest, all visitors and the Kinocenter for a successful event.

© Wiegand


July 7, 2023 - Sibylle Anderl receives the German Physical Society's (DPG) medal for scientific journalism


We would like to congratulate our fellow Sibylle Anderl who received the medal for scientific journalism from the German Physical Society. Her success in science communication highlights how valuable a connection between the sciences and the arts can be. 


Exhibition "Unstable Planetary Spaces" (06.07.-11.07.2023) in Kunsthalle Giessen

© Harad Schätzlein

The Panel is pleased to invite everyone to our upcoming exhibition in cooperation with Kunsthalle Gießen. "Unstable Planetary Spaces" will be displayed July 6th 2023 to July 11th 2023. From the shrinking of the mega-lake Chad due to climate change to the irradiated Fukushima exclusion zone caused by the nuclear fallout in Japan 2011, Unstable Planetary Spaces explores how artists and activists are dealing with some of the most challenging durational disasters. More information can be found on our event page and a press release of the JLU. A detailed report of the exhibition can be found here.

© Aaron Endres


Article - Bente Castro-Campos on last year's excursion to the Rosbach Forest

Panel member Bente Castro-Campos wrote an insightful article on an excursion we did last year to the Rosbach Forest: Investigating the Moral Nuances of Nature: A Multisensory Exploration through the Anthropoogenic Urban Woodland" reflects upon an interdisciplinary experience tracing "the moral and ethical dilemmas of environmental (in)justice and resource use in the Anthropocene".

As a result of this workshop, the Planetary Forest Sculpture was created.

Castro-Campos included the artwork in her teaching: when she and her students visited the sculpture at the end of June 2023, the weeds had taken over the artwork. Inspired by the book "The Mushroom at the End of the World" by Lowenhaupt-Tsing" that she read with students this semester, the students who visited the artwork said that the weeds will continue to grow without human intervention, as Lowenhaupt-Tsing also explains with the concept of Satoyama. 

The artwork is open to the public and can be visited by anyone curious about the way how planetary material originating from an ecological disturbance area can slowly reclaim an autonomous form of existence inside a human-made world like the botanical garden. 

© Bente Castro-Campos


June 19, 2023 - Excursion to Museum Sinclair-Haus

On June 19th, our trip to Museum Sinclair-Haus to see the exhibition “Clouds: From Gerhard Richter to the Cloud Art” (19.3.-13.08.2023) took place. The exhibition fitted perfectly with the theme of the semester "Planetary Spaces" and the projects of our fellows Adenike Oladosu and Jason Waite.

We were particularly fascinated by how scientific methods and technology were incorporated into contemporary artistic explorations of clouds - both in the depiction of man-made clouds caused by pollution and natural variants of clouds.

We pondered the day's impulses for a long time while gazing at the overcast sky on the way home.

The link to the exhibition can be found here.


June 7 & 15, 2023 - Adenike Oladosu as Expert at the Bonn Climate Conference and for Tagesschau  

Our summer fellow Adenike Oladosu was invited as an expert to talk at the Bonn Climate Conference. Further information on the event can be found here and in an interview with German Tagesschau.

© Jessica Antonisse/ONE Campaign


June 5, 2023 - JLU and Sustainability: Keeping the Bigger Picture in Sight

We are looking back on an immensely enjoyable event on June 5th, in the course of which we presented our fellows, their projects, and our other activities to Angela Dorn-Ranke, the Hessian minister for science and art. The event took place in the new palm house at Giessen’s Botanical gardens and ran under the headline “JLU & Sustainability: Keeping the Bigger Picture in Sight”. Together with the JLU’s office for sustainability, we were able to present a wide range of activities to about 90 colleagues from the JLU and beyond. When the morning came to a close, Frederic Hanusch, Claus Leggewie, and Liza Bauer had the great pleasure of taking Ms Dorn-Ranke on a brief walk-through to the Planetary Forest sculpture – the participatory artwork initiated by our first round of fellows. We cordially thank the minister for the ongoing support in making transdisciplinary research a reality at the JLU! A more detailed recapitulation of the event can be found in a press release of the JLU.

© Katharina Endres


Claudia Ford selected as Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of Buffalo


Congratulations to our alumna Claudia Ford! She has been selected as a 2023-24 Distinguished Visiting Scholar for the University of Buffalo's School of Arts and Sciences. As an UB Distinguished Visiting Scholar, she will lead mentoring for diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as engaged learning. With this prestigious fellowship, she plans to collaborate with the departments of indigenous studies and environmental and sustainability to develop a program focused on student skill development through service to community organizations. She will also collaborate with the DEI office and the SUNY PRODiG program in a pilot faculty mentoring to help underrepresented students and women in STEM faculties. Further information can be found here.


June 3, 2023 - Liza Bauer at Stoppels offener Lebenshof  

Our interim scientific managing director Liza Bauer was a guest at the vegan brunch at Stoppel's open farm where she spoke about the topic "How animals shape our lives and what open farms tell us about it."
In her talk on the relationship between humans and farm animals using the example of the farm, she compared the global effects of violent structures in factory farming with the influence of animals on the farm and other animals living with humans.


June 16, 2023 – Planetary Lecture: "Planetary Intersectionality: Feminism, Impermanence and the Radicalness of Simpleness" (Minna Salami)

© Hanusch

On June 16th, the Planetary Lecture Vol. IV took place on the topic of "Planetary Intersectionality: Feminism, Impermanence and the Radicalness of Simplicity" at the Salon of the Gießen City Theater. Our guest was Minna Salami (THE NEW INSTITUTE, Hamburg) - our fellow Adenike Oladosu acted as a respondent and opened the group discussion.

Salongespräche X Planetary Lecture - thus ran the title under which the collaborative event between the Panel and the city theater was held. Minna Salami called on the approximately 21 participants to rethink: Through slowness, mindfulness, and experiencing with all senses, we can learn much about the non-human world that withdraws from quantifiable research methods.

The local newspaper, Gießener Anzeiger, reported on the even in the article "Aufruf zur feministischen Perspektive".



June 1-2, 2023 – Planetary Spaces Summer Workshop: "Shrinking Spaces & Toxic Zones" (Adenike Oladosu & Jason Waite)


Together with this year’s fellows in the Planetary Scholars & Artists in Residence Program, we cordially invite you to the Planetary Spaces Summer Workshop.

The workshop will take place from 01.-02.06.2023 at Castle Rauischholzhausen. We will take care of transportation to and from Giessen, as well as accommodation costs - we therefore ask for a binding registration by May 19th, 2023 at

The program consists of lectures, discussion rounds, interactive workshops, an exhibition, as well as outdoor activities.

A detailed report of the event can be found here.

The group posing for a commemorative photo


May 31 2023 – Planetary Lecture-Performance: "Drift as a Planetary Phenomenon" (Bronislaw Szerszynski)


The Panel on Planetary Thinking warmly invites to the next hybrid instalment of our Planetary Lecture Series: On May 31 2023 at 6 pm, Bronislaw Szerszynski will be talking and performing on the topic “Drift as a Planetary Phenomenon”. Jason Waite, a Fellow in the current cohort of our Planetary Scholars & Artists in Residence Program and Sven Opitz (Professor for Sociology at Philipps University Marburg) will respond to the lecture and open the discussion.

Further information is available here.

The event will take place on Wednesday, May 31 at 6 pm in room AUB1 at Bismarckstraße 37, 35390 Gießen, and will be streamed online via BigBlueButton. Please register at  until the 30th of May.



April 25 2023 - A warm welcome to the new Planetary Scholars & Artists!

We are very pleased to welcome our two new fellows, Jason Waite and Adenike Oladosu, to our Planetary Hub! This year’s fellowship program focuses on the theme of PLANETARY SPACES. In the summer, our fellows will be looking at places that are changing due to long-term disasters such as climate change or radioactive contamination.

At our traditional welcome breakfast, we worked directly on the program of the Planetary Workshop series for the summer semester:“Shrinking Spaces & Toxic Zones” will take place from June 1-2 at Schloss Rauischholzhausen - you can register until May 19, 2023.

We are looking forward to an exciting semester!

©: Meike Wiegand

March 06, 2023: "Remain faithful to the earth!": "Review by Claus Leggewie of Markus Schroer's "Geosociology. The Earth as Space of Life" (german)


On March 06, Claus Leggewie's review of Marburg sociologist Markus Schoer's publication "Geosociology. The Earth as Space of Life". The book argues for the development of a new theoretical program of "environmental sociology" towards an expansion of sociological-perspective and methodological approaches in view of the challenges of the Anthropocene.


Winners Planetary Futures Competition 2022: Workshop Planetary Pedagogy at the Theaterlabor (20.-22.02.23)

Ecological catastrophes concern us all, civil society and scientific actors alike. This also applies to pedagogy as a discipline: crises of planetary magnitude, such as the climate crisis and mass extinction of species, require a new,a planetary pedagogy, in order to adequately grasp the dimensions of these phenomena. This new approach needs to include physical, affective, and material practices in addition to solely teaching factual knowledge.

This week, the winners of our Planetary Futures competition explored new concepts for teaching in a multi-sensory approach: Through a series of workshops, Carolina Mendonça, Luïza Luz, and Max Haiven offered sessions on Embodiment, Listening Pratices, Game-making and Performativity.

We thank the initiators Gerko Egert, Martina Ruhsam and Bojana Kunst for a successful event at the intersection between performance art, pedagogy and activism.


Podcast "Knowing Animals" 209: Liza Bauer on Teaching Animal Studies


Our scientific manager Liza Bauer was a guest on the podcast series "Knowing Animals" to talk about her research on Animal Studies, pedagogy and science fiction. The conversation was based on her publication "Reading the Stretch the Imagination: Exploring Representations of 'Livestock' in Literary Thought Experiments," which appeared translated to English in Multispecies Studies (2022) and in the original German version in InterspeziesLernen (2021).


January 2023: Second Call for Applications of our Planetary Futures Competition 


For the second time, the Panel on Planetary Thinking announces the Planetary Futures Competition Vol. II (2023). The aim is to provide financial support for transdisciplinary research projects that are in the initial stages of applying for external funding. Project ideas dedicated to researching planetary phenomena using innovative approaches and methods will be awarded funding of up to 5,000 euros. The main aim is to pave the way for explorative research projects that require a research practice beyond disciplinary boundaries and thus entail special risks, challenges and opportunities.


January 2023: Federal Cross of Merit 1st Class for Prof. Claus Leggewie


We congratulate our Scientific Director Claus Leggewie: On January 20, 2023 he was awarded the Cross of Merit 1st Class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for his commitment to democracy and tolerance. For further information, please visit We would like to express our sincere gratitude for his commitment to the Panel, to the University of Giessen, and to his many activities far beyond.


©: Paul Müller

Press Release: Announcement Fellows “Planetary Spaces” for the first semester of 2023


The Panel on Planetary Thinking is very pleased to welcome our Fellows for the first semester of 2023: Sibylle AnderlAdenike Titilope Oladosu and Jason Waite will spend the summer semester as Resident Fellows researching planetary spaces to collaboratively develop new ideas for their own projects. A press release with detailed information about the Planetary Scholars & Artists in Residence program, as well as the projects of our Fellows can be found here.