In an interview with Deutschlandfunk Kultur (in German), Jürgen Renn emphasized how the global Covid-19 pandemic has changed our lives, and in particular the relationship between society and academic research. Research shaped everyday life, Renn argues, and so topics such as genetic engineering, climate change, and biodiversity loss must be publicly discussed on the basis of shared scientific knowledge in order to take appropriate action.
"Academic research needs to take a new form: extremely interdisciplinary, decidedly cooperative, and in dialogue with society and politics," states Renn. This new phenomenon is palpable in discussions concerning measures against the current pandemic, where the public is confronted with an ongoing learning process of science and politics. In view of widespread skepticism and fake news, Renn advocates for a new "enlightenment" in academic research in order to mobilize its knowledge and make it publicly available for dealing with the challenges of the future.