Living on the Borders - or my grandfather was a quantum physicist
(€9.16 / DVD)
Without a word of commentary, this entertaining and enlightening film delves into the fascinating personal and scientific biography of the unique thinker that is Hans Peter Dürr (1929-2014).
As a polymath who blurs the apparent boundaries between science, economics and politics, Hans Peter Dürr (1929-2014) – physicist and scientific heir to Heisenberg – asserts that we need a new ethics in the natural sciences. He argues that science must serve the people: its goals must be practical; the questions it asks must be geared towards the survival of mankind. Our relationship with nature, Dürr points out, is marked by stark contradictions: As we work to re-invent life through genetic engineering, so we fight to conserve remaining corners of wilderness. Humans see themselves at once as rulers of other living things and victims of unpredictable environmental changes. Do we have any hope of developing a sane understanding of our relationship to nature?
The rapid industrialisation of the last few centuries has been driven by developments in technology which enable us to extract natural resources from ever harder-to-reach places. Deposits of coal, oil and gas, built up over millennia, have thus been exhausted within the blink of an eye. The victim, we know, is "nature". What Dürr reminds us is that this nature isn’t an independent entity, something external to humankind. We humans are neither its masters nor guardians: In fact, we are part of it. And so, in robbing nature, we are actually robbing ourselves.