Exhibition "Focus: Earth - Measuring our World"

Surveying via base measuring equipment of the Geodätisches Institut Potsdam, 1924 © Helmholtz Centre Potsdam - GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences

Audiospot "Fokus: Erde" (German only)

23.03.2017: An exhibition of the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam – GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences opens today in the House of Brandenburg-Prussian History, Potsdam

Duration: 24 March to 9 July 2017

25 years Helmholtz Centre Potsdam - GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences and almost 140 years of geoscientific research at the Potsdam Telegrafenberg – this special exhibition on the history of geosciences in Potsdam follows on from the official celebration that was held in January earlier this year. At the same time a companion book "Fokus: Erde. Focus: Earth” richly illustrated and written in both German and English has just been published.

"Focus: Earth - Measuring our World" is opening today, March 23, 2017, at 6 pm, in the House of Brandenburg-Prussian History, Potsdam and will include a discussion between Dr. Johannes Leicht, Curator, Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Reinhard Hüttl, Scientific Executive Director of the GFZ, and Dr. Sigmund Jähn, the first German person in space (1978).

The bilingual (German-English) exhibition is the first in the history of the tradition-steeped geosciences in Potsdam. The exhibition presents vivid examples of the scientific pioneering efforts that are closely connected with the Potsdam Telegrafenberg, one of the most important scientific locations in Germany. The Royal Prussian Geodetic Institute, founded in Berlin in 1870, moved here to Potsdam 125 years ago. It quickly gained worldwide fame as a research center for geodesy, the science of measuring and mapping the Earth.

The exhibition tells of daring scientists and innovative research methods, of unique precision instruments from the more than 100 fine-mechanic workshops in and around Berlin, of the invention and development of seismological and gravity measurements as well as of the history of the determination of the exact time "Made in Potsdam". Antarctic expeditions encompassed important research assignments and the researchers carried the latest measuring instruments from the Potsdam Telegrafenberg in their bags. Actually scientists from Potsdam travelled all the continents to perform measurements. This exhibition brings together 120 objects from 20 institutional and private lenders, including numerous unpublished photographs, graphics and maps.

Of particular value are selected exhibits, with which the GFZ offers the public an insight into its historical collection of instruments for the very first time. The exhibits not only illustrate the history of science, but are also fascinating testimonies of a time that was characterized by an almost unwavering spirit of progress.

The exhibition unfolds a rich scientific panorama stretching from the end of the 19th century right into the future of geoscientific research in Potsdam that currently focuses on the investigation of "System Earth" in the Albert Einstein Science Park on the Telegrafenberg. In addition to the GFZ, further internationally renowned scientific institutes work together here on polar and marine research, climate impact research, as well as research in astrophysics and meteorology.

The curator of the exhibition is Dr. Johannes Leicht (www.geschichtslotsen.de).

The exhibition can be enjoyed by all visitors according to individual interests thanks to the accompanying booklet in both English and German. The booklet (included in the ticket price) provides explanations for all exhibits that are just briefly labelled in the exhibition itself.

The companion book for the exhibition "Fokus: Erde. Focus: Earth" in German and English, published by the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam – GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences (Deutscher Kunstverlag 2017, text: German/English, 280 pages with 150 mostly colored illustrations, 23 x 30 cm, hardcover, ISBN 978-3-422-07395-1)

Price in Bookshops: 25 €, Price in the Museum Shop: 22 €

The exhibition will be accompanied by a diverse program of popular scientific events.

Public Curator Tours will take place on Sat, 25.03., Sat, 29.04., Sat, 20.05. and Sat, 08.07.2017 at 3 pm (fee incl. Ticket / per person: 8 €).

Group Guided Tours (up to 20 persons, approx. 50 minutes) can be booked through the Visitor Service (adults: 50 € fee + 5 € per ticket / person, school classes: 60 € fee, free entry).

The exhibition is sponsored by the Stiftung Preußische Seehandlung, the Association of Friends and Supporters of the GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam e. V. and Bosch Thermotechnik GmbH Velten. 

Visitors’ Address: House of Brandenburg-Prussian History, Potsdam Kutschstall, Am Neuen Markt 9, 14467 Potsdam

Opening Hours: Tuesday to Thursday 10 am – 5 pm Friday to Sunday and on holidays 10 am – 6 pm Monday closed Easter Monday and Whit Monday 10 am – 6 pm Admission 5 €, reduced 4 €, on Fridays 4 € for all visitors

Free admission up to 18 years and for holders of a mobility card. Included in the ticket price is a bilingual (German-English) accompanying booklet