Putting sustainability in the center – Opening of the newly founded MZN

6 Nov 2023

The MZN officially opens on November 13. Backed by LMU, the aim of this scientific working group is to bundle and promote interdisciplinary research, teaching and knowledge transfer in the field of sustainability.

“Universities play a uniquely important role in knowledge transfer on subjects such as climate change mitigation, environmental protection, biodiversity, renewable energy and, hence, sustainability,” says MZN spokesman Markus Vogt, Professor of Christian Social Ethics at LMU’s Department of Catholic Theology. “Why? Because meaningful action is predicated on understanding.”

Finding sustainable solutions necessitates dialogue beyond the confines of individual disciplines. It also requires a scientific and philosophical take on the many and varied conflicts surrounding the acceptance and equity of effective climate policy. Accordingly, the MZN tackles the issue from numerous angles: Here, the life sciences, cultural studies and the social sciences are complemented by ethics, creation theology and the philosophy of education, art and science. The center will organize research projects, conventions and lecture series. It will also promote the acquisition of third-party funding, publications and its members’ participation in relevant conferences. It is currently developing a minor course in sustainability and an additional subject for teacher training degree courses, while also supporting faculties in drafting their own courses of study on this topic.

The MZN is the fruit of a broad spread of initiatives and institutions, including the cross-faculty network LMUgrün (LMUgreen), the El Mundo educational program for teacher training students, the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, the Munich Climate School and a sustainability-focused student initiative. Primarily exploring the topic of “Acceptance of Climate Policy”, the center’s opening event in the Great Aula will feature LMU speakers such as Professor Henrike Rau and Professor Julia Pongratz of the Department of Geography, physicist Professor Harald Lesch and philosopher and former Minister of Culture Professor Julian Nida-Rümelin.

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