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Welcome to the Panel on Planetary Thinking

"In times of crisis it is all the more evident that we have to say goodbye to narrow patterns of thought. The "Panel on Planetary Thinking" at the Justus Liebig University of Giessen overcomes the boundaries between disciplines and expands these in the sense of a planetary overall perspective. I am glad that the participating researchers are thus taking a closer look at the topic of "sustainability", which we have very consciously included in the Hessian Higher Education Pact 2021-2025. Among the higher education policy goals, it explicitly states that "Sustainability, in view of scientifically proven knowledge about the transgression of planetary boundaries, should play an important role in the actions of every university (planetary thinking)." (Angela Dorn, Hessian Minister for Science and Art)




4th of June 2021 - Planetary Colloqium "Planetary Perspectives"

Screenshot Colloquium June 4 th, 2021
(Planetary colloquium, 04.06.2021,© Frederic Hanusch)
The Panel on Planetary Thinking from the JLU Giessen, in cooperation with the Planetary Thinking Working Group (Goethe University Frankfurt, Senckenberg, ISOE) and the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften, organized the planetary colloquium “Planetary Perspectives”. In a pleasant digital atmosphere, around 30 participants from different academic backgrounds exchanged thoughts and ideas on the challenges facing our planet and the urgent need of inter- and transdisciplinary approaches in order to tackle them. Our key note speaker, David Christian from the Macquarie University in Sydney, opened the floor with an inspiring talk about Big History, a multi-disciplinary approach that examines earth’s and humanity’s past, and by learning from it, it explains present and contributes to imagining sustainable futures. The discussion was followed by two sessions of short impulse talks from our colleagues from JLU Giessen and the Goethe University Frankfurt. The first session provided an input on the planetary perspectives from the social sciences and humanities, provoking a discussion on the ways in which we can learn from past societies, have to extent sociological thought to the earth’s core as well as to outer space, the need to change human behavior and the way we think economics by valuing more the future benefits compared to benefits in the present, and how poetry and human artistic expression can relate us with the planet. The second session offered planetary visions from natural sciences, with nevertheless creative contributions that cross the boundaries of separate disciplines. From conversations on the inherent rights of nature in the context of biodiversity, what kind of agricultural practices are needed for sustainable future, to envisioning the planetary by focusing on subatomic elementary particles, were some of the thought-provoking dicussions our participants were keen to delve into. The participants agreed to deepen their inspirational discussions in future planetary colloquia to open up a new collaborative research endeavor of both, JLU and Goethe University Frankfurt. 

June 2021 - new book "Planetar denken: Ein Einstieg"

Coming soon: new book on introduction to planetary thinking from Frederic Hanusch, Claus Leggewie and Erik Meyer – “Planetar denken – Ein Einstieg”.


10th of June 2021 - Talk "Planetary Thinking: an Introduction"

Prof. Claus Leggewie and Dr. Frederic Hanusch will give a talk as part of the online seminar series of the Planetary Thinking Working Group (Goethe University, Senckenberg, and ISOE) in cooperation with University of Giessen, Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften, and GRADE Sustain. You can register for the Zoom event here.


October 2020 - NECE Campus

Dr. Frederic Hanusch participated in two workshops of the "Networking European Citizenship Education" (NECE) Campus as an expert on the topic "Sustainability, Democracy and the Arts - Cultural and Artistic Responses to Environmental Change". Both workshops were recorded and are available here:



September 2020  -  Podcast: Hessen schafft Wissen

Prof. Claus Leggewie and Dr. Frederic Hanusch on sustainability and democracy in the podcast "Hessen schafft Wissen"


31st August 2020  -  Lettre International

Read a recent article by Prof. Claus Leggewie in Lettre International p. 60-63:  "BRÜDER DER SONNE ... Wie das Wettrennen ins All die planetare Achtsamkeit bestärkte." You can find the link to the magazine here.

10th August 2020  -  Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Read our current article in the FAZ by Prof. Claus Leggewie and Dr. Frederic Hanusch "Towards Planetary Thinking".


19th June 2020 - Opening Meeting

On June 19, our opening meeting took place in Giessen, Germany, where about 30 members of the panel from different disciplines met. You can find the article about the opening meeting in German in the "Informationsdienst Wissenschaft" (idw).


1st April 2020 - Launch of the "Panel on Planetary Thinking"

The "Panel on Planetary Thinking" at the Justus Liebig University of Giessen is taking up its work - complex phenomena such as biodiversity, climate and inequality are to be assessed from an overall perspective. Click here for the JLU press release on the Panel on Planetary Thinking.