Max Planck Science Tunnel – 2000 to 2017 – a Success Story

Max Planck Science Tunnel – 2000 to 2017 – a Success Story

The Science Tunnel was an internationally unique science and brand exhibition of the Max Planck Society (MPG). It was perceived and employed by the MPG's partners, especially the Federal Foreign Office (AA) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), as an outstanding instrument of foreign science policy.

As a groundbreaking public and travelling exhibition on basic research at the Max Planck Institutes in terms of content and design, the Science Tunnel was shown in three different versions at a total of 31 locations in more than 20 countries around the world from 2000 to 2017. In total, the travelling exhibitions have seen around two million visitors in 18 years, on almost 2,000 exhibition days, and together with the Science Express, more than nine million.

First shown at the World Exposition EXPO 2000 in Hanover, as the Max Planck Society's scientific contribution to the theme park "Knowledge, Information, Communication", the exhibition was subsequently transformed into a travelling exhibition and shown at five locations in Europe and Asia. In 2005, the Science Tunnel was modernised, the content updated and version 2.0 was shown at a further nine locations in Europe, Africa, America and Asia until 2012. In addition, the Science Tunnel 2.0 was duplicated and built into a train, the Science Express, which travelled through India in 2007-2009 and reached more than seven million visitors there alone.

The third version of the Science Tunnel was completely redesigned in 2012 in terms of content and in an internationally groundbreaking design. For the first time, the Max Planck Institutes of the Historical, Social and Human Sciences Sections of the MPG were also represented in terms of content. With a new type of multimedia design, it was possible to create an immersive experience that presented the results of current basic research to many people all over the world for the first time. From the universe to society: Eight chapters combined panoramas of the latest research projects of the time and used images, exhibits, videos and 3D animations, combined with interviews with researchers, to show perspectives, opportunities and challenges with a view to the year 2030.

A multimedia showcase and content counterpart of the Science Tunnel into the world of cutting-edge research of more than 80 Max Planck Institutes was created with the Max Planck Science Gallery in Berlin, which was open to the public from 2010 to 2014.

A final module of the Science Tunnel will continue to be used as the Max Planck Society's Science Pavilion and will be used in the anniversary year 2023 - 75 years of the Max Planck Society - for a presentation of the 29 Nobel Prize winners of the Max Planck Society and its predecessor organisation, the Kaiser Wilhelm Society.

Peter M. Steiner

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