Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Future talk

Today I gave the final 2 x 2 hours of lectures this semester. With only four hours of seminars on Friday remaining, I am about to finish what has been three almost insane weeks.

In this final lecture I tried to shift the focus from the past and its ideas towards the future of humanity. It is always an invigorating task to listen to what risks and possibilities the students identify when they are allowed to think more freely about the future. In some ways their answers reconfirmed that strange dualism between personal and global futures that has been observed in a number of more scientific studies; strong optimism about their own life prospects and despairing pessimism about the world at large.

With the teaching drawing to a close, I will spend the next weeks working my way down that long list of to-dos, including the more joyful task of planning a post-doc scout trip to California in early November. But already tonight I am off to Berlin, if only for one day.



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