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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)




September 5th, 2022 - Welcome to the second term of the Planetary Scholars & Artists in Residence Program!


July 12, 2022 - Winner of the Planetary Futures Competition


We are very pleased to present the winners of this year's Planetary Futures competition: Prof. Dr. Bojana Kunst, Dr. habil. Gerko Egert and Dr. Martina Ruhsam from the Institute of Applied Theatre Studies receive funding from the Panel on Planetary Thinking to prepare their proposal on the topic "Mediating the Planetary. Performance and Pedagogy in Times of Ecological Catastrophe."

To address the value-action gap in planetary crises, i.e. the phenomenon that we do not act according to what we know, the project focuses on knowledge mediation. Hard facts, according to Prof. Dr. Kunst and her team, do not suffice for real change. First, they want to analyze how various artistic works, especially in the field of performative arts, convey knowledge about planetary disasters and how artists succeed in making it a tangible experience. Subsequently, these insights form the base for collaborative work with selected artists: The partnership aims to develop general mediation formats which can be applied in a wide variety of educational contexts.

For the initiation of artistic-scientific cooperations, a two-day workshop with international artists will be held and the project will then be submitted for funding. The workshop is open to all interested parties. Information on the content, time and place of the workshop as well as on how to participate will follow shortly. We see this project as a valuable contribution to the artistic-scientific collaboration and an important step on the way to a planetaryly responsible future and are happy to support our colleagues in the application phase.


June 23-25, 2022 - "Planetary Forest - Bring the Forest to the Garden": workshop, vernissage and accompanying exhibition



May 10, 2022 - First Planetary Lecture on "Planetary Law" by Prof. Dr.  Dr. Louis Kotzé and Networking Event of the Panel



May 2022 - Contributions by Clemens Finkelstein to SICK ARCHITECTURE



April 8, 2022 - Field Work in the Rosbach Forest with Claudia Hartl and Lea Schneider



April 6, 2022 - Team Meeting with the first fellows of the Planetary Scholars and Artists in Residence Program



November 2021 - Prof. Claus Leggewie is granted with the Honorary Thomas Mann Fellowship



November 27, 2021 - Panel discussion at the Climate Cultures Festival 

On the 27th of November, as a part of the Climate Cultures Festival "Planet writes back!", Frederic Hanusch together with Harald Welzer held a panel discussion on the shifting societal values in times of climate change. In which direction would the baselines of the climate policy shift? How should democracies change to integrate climate concerns? Is global, or even more so, planetary thinking in the climate crisis possible? were some of the themes discussed in the panel in the Red Salon of Berlin's Volksbühne.

Over three days in November 2021, the Climate Cultures Festival "Planet Writes Back!" explored how the climate crisis is represented in the perspectives of literature and debate, film and art photography. This year’s festival focused on three main areas: Arctic cultures, petromodernity (petrofiction) and climate in science fiction.

November 9, 2021 - Interview with Frederic Hanusch about planetary thinking in science

"Wir leben nicht auf einem Planeten, wir sind Teil von ihm" (We do not live on a planet, we are a part of it). Access here the full interview (in German) with Hanusch, made for L.I.S.A. - the online science platform of the Gerda Henkel Foundation.


November 4, 2021 - "What kind of future will the future hold?" - Participation at the IC4 FUTURE Conference


June 4, 2021 - Planetary Colloqium "Planetary Perspectives"

Screenshot Colloquium June 4 th, 2021
Planetary colloquium on June 4, 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"

June 10, 2021 - Talk "Planetary Thinking: an Introduction"

Claus Leggewie and 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

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

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


August 31, 2020  -  Lettre International

Read a recent article by 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.

August 10, 2020  -  Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

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


June 19, 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).


April 1, 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.