Johannes Vogel, director of the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin talks about the best job in the world, what challenges are forcing us to rethink and act, and his plans for the future of his favourite place in Berlin.

 

Who are you and what is your profession?

My name is Johannes Vogel and I am the General Director of the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin – it’s the best job in the world.

What are you currently working on?

I’m working on the future plan for our museum. The German Parliament and the Berlin State Parliament have placed their utmost trust in us and provided us with an additional 660 million € for the next ten years. With the museum’s exceptional team and exciting national and international partners, we want to become an innovative place for knowledge-based dialogue around the future of the earth, of species, of the climate, of our democracy and society.

Can you describe your workplace in three words? 

A bit messy.

How do you collect and structure your thoughts? 

I read a lot and on a wide range of topics. I talk a lot with exciting people and then work with intuition (and experience).

Which trend will influence your work & research the most? 

The growing destruction of nature and growing inequality present us with endless challenges. We need to empower society to act.

What keeps you awake at night? 

What keeps me awake at night is that there is so little knowledge-based action against the destruction of nature and inequality in society.

Which newsletter(s) do you subscribe to?

I always like to read Jan-Martin Wiarda’s smart newsletter. Everyone should read and support it.

Is there a takeaway from the pandemic that you would like to share? 

The pandemic should have taught us all that the German mantra of “business as usual” is not an option for the future.

What is your favourite place in Berlin? 

The Museum für Naturkunde Berlin

Why Berlin Science Week? 

Science needs to open up and learn to listen. Berlin Science Week tries to do that.

What is your contribution to this year’s 6th Berlin Science Week? 

The Berlin Science Week Campus will take place on 5 & 6 November at our museum and I look forward to welcoming everyone on these days.

What is the most delicious thing you have eaten this week? 

A homemade cake with Victoria plums and jostaberries – and very little sugar.

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