With a high-level involvement of ITAS on July 4th, 2012, the KIT focus of research "Humans and Technology" (MuT) introduced itself as part of the event series "KIT at the city hall". Beside a one-week poster exhibition in the upper foyer of the city hall, in the evening, interested citizens were briefed on the objectives and the research work of the research focus.
Wolfram Jäger, mayor of Karlsruhe, inaugurated the event at the citizens’ hall emphasizing that in our times humans and technology are moving closer together. He affirmed that Karlsruhe is proud of the research performed by KIT at the national and international level. He also pointed to the title "City of young researchers" that Karlsruhe is holding right now.
KIT vice president Peter Fritz then presented the structure and the purposes of KIT pointing at pioneering projects in the field of Humans and Technology.
Armin Grunwald illustrated the work of the research focus by presenting a TAB study commissioned by the German Federal Parliament in 2010. It has analyzed the consequences of a long-term power failure. Beside the disruption of the telephone lines and of the water supply, "many areas like care facilities and gas stations would disintegrate fast", the scientific spokesman of the research focus"Humans and Technology" explained. After an overview of the research areas of "Humans and Technology" (MuT), Grunwald went into the possibility of human brain enhancement by technology. "Not only scientists are technology designers but also the citizens", Grunwald emphasized.
The presentation of Kurt Möser from the Institute of History was about historical technology utopias. In a course through the (media) history, he demonstrated how intensely man has always been engaged with technology.
The presentation of Bettina-Johanna Krings (ITAS) titled "Unsere Arbeit im Wandel der Zeit" (Our work through the ages) touched on the every-day life experience of the audience and embedded the current state of affairs into major long-term trends like rationalizing of work and separation of work and life. Paid work is no longer a guaranty for old-age provision and basic social protection throughout life, but there are no alternatives in sight, according to the disconcerting analysis of Krings. Here also, the transitional process is not at an end yet.
The evening ended with a contribution of Thomas Lützkendorf from the Department of Economics and Business Engineering on "Nachhaltigkeit beim Bauen und Wohnen" (Sustainable house building and living).
In spite of the good weather, many citizens of Karlsruhe participated at and engaged in subsequent discussions. From among the guests of honor, the current Federal Prosecutor General, Harald Range, showed his interest in the research focus.