After Nature

The Humboldt Lab deals with the interdependency and crisis of natural and social systems.

Crisis of Nature – Crisis of Democracy

Climate change, the extinction of species and environmental destruction have a serious impact on living together and the future of humankind. The crisis of nature is closely interlinked with crises of society. The liberal model of society, for example, with its promises of progress and prosperity has brought about enormous changes in people-environment systems. And it has led to considerable inequalities, both within societies and between countries.

The Humboldt Lab is an incident. It interrupts routines of perception and behaviour.
Dr. Gorch Pieken, Senior Curator

How Things Are Connected

Topics can be viewed from different perspectives and global interactions often only come to light when scientists from different disciplines collaborate on solutions. A virtual, interdisciplinary scientific dialogue on the subject of the exhibition, “After Nature,” can be viewed on a kinetic research wall on which visitors to the exhibition can write their comments.

Over a century ago natural history museums collected animal specimens of this kind for research purposes, made possible mostly by colonial power structures. Since 1991 no more scientific experiments on chimpanzees, gorillas or orang-utans have been conducted in Germany. But great apes still suffer in European laboratories and are exhibited in zoos. 
© Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Zoologische Lehrsammlung / Stiftung Humboldt Forum, digitale Reproduktion: Jester Blank GbR

Answers from the Past

Solutions to many of our present questions were sought in the past. The exhibition features answers and questions from the history of science.Objects from collections and archives are presented and then questioned as to what they may still have to say to us today.Collection history and current research enter into a critical discourse.

The Sound Archives, the Hahne-Niehoff Archive and the Janheinz Jahn Archive are the resonance chamber for dealing critically with the history of Humboldt-Universität collections.

Science in Motion

Scientific research is a process in which knowledge changes, findings are renewed and questions are extended. The Humboldt Labor exposes this process by continuously updating itself.

HUB of Science

The Humboldt Labor is an interface, a hub where debates and discussions are inspired and new knowledge takes shape. It is a vibrant workshop of ideas where science meets art, society and politics – a HUB of Science.


Das Humboldt Labor ist eine Ausstellung der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU)

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