Science up close: IGZ at the LNDW 2024

Research to join in and taste

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The IGZ stands were well frequented until midnight. Photo: IGZ/J. Vogt
The IGZ stands were well frequented until midnight. Photo: IGZ/J. Vogt

The Leibniz Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops (IGZ) took part in this year's Long Night of Sciences (LNDW) on 22 June 2024 and presented its research together with eight other Leibniz Institutes at the House of the Leibniz Association in the centre of Berlin.

Last Saturday, around 60 scientific and science-related institutions in Berlin opened their doors for the Long Night of Sciences. They invited visitors to take a look behind the scenes of research and science. Visitors were given first-hand insights into the fields of natural science and technology, education and research, people and society, medicine and health as well as art and culture.

Basic research illustrated: In search of temperature sensors. Photo: IGZ/J. Vogt

A multifaceted programme with experiments, science shows, lectures, laboratory tours and other entertaining formats awaited around 30,000 guests from 5 p.m. to midnight. The Leibniz Association office in the Berlin Centre alone attracted around 1,000 curious and science enthusiasts.

A total of nine Leibniz Institutes presented themselves in the office's airy atrium, which provided the perfect setting for the smartest night of the year. At the IGZ stand, visitors were able to get an overview of how "plant thermometers" work and how researchers from the IGZ's "Plant Adaptation" Programme area investigate these thermosensors using molecular biology. The hands-on experiment - extracting DNA from fruit and vegetables using dish soap and a coffee filters - was just as popular as the small lettuce plants to take away, which were used to illustrate the principle of the shoot apical meristem.

The tasting samples of algae pesto, vegan tuna and co. invited further questions. Photo: IGZ/J. Vogt

Three of the ten network partner institutions - the coordinating German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbrücke (DIfE), the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich (LSB) and the IGZ - were represented at the joint stand of the Leibniz research network "Green Nutrition - Healthy Society". The various hands-on activities were met with great interest by young and old alike.

The DIfE brought along a Veggie-Meter® to check fruit and vegetable consumption and visitors were able to test the ecological footprint of food on a beam scale. The event continued with an LSB smell quiz in which visitors had to guess various aromas from the kitchen. The institute also provided information about the sensory properties of food. Children and adults alike learnt more about alternative food sources such as algae and salt plants in the IGZ area. The BMBF-funded joint project "food4future" presented its research work and vision for future agricultural and food systems. Visitors were able to sample algae-based foods such as a vegan tuna cream or algae hummus.


DNA extraction with dish soap, lemon juice & co. Photo: IGZ/J. Vogt

The stream of visitors did not stop until the end of the event and the dedicated IGZ scientists answered interested questions and supervised the hands-on activities until midnight. One visitor summarised her impressions after her visit to the IGZ stand: "I learnt a lot of new things from you today. I now have a better picture of how basic research can help make vegetables fit for climate change." Another visitor was impressed after his visit to the IGZ stands: "So many exciting and important topics being researched here - I wouldn't have expected that at first glance."

Mehr Informationen
Programme Area "Pflanzliche Adaption"
Leibniz Research Network „Green Nutrition - Healthy Society
Project "food4future - Nahrung der Zukunft"