Will we one day travel in flying cars under the care of robots and colonize space? And what sensitive ethical questions might technological advances one day ask us, such as can it save memories as datasets or create optimized people? Such questions will be raised at the new Museum of the Future in Nuremberg. A branch of the German Museum was opened on Friday. The state government has been criticized for the rental costs of the Free State.
The new house should be a place of discussion and a museum, said Wolfgang Heckl, director general of the Deutsches Museum, at the opening. The future is not only exhibited in Nuremberg, but negotiated. Originally, the future museum was supposed to open at the end of 2020, but later this was due to the crown pandemic.
Now 250 exhibits, prototypes and models illustrate what life could be like in the future. A globe with a diameter of three meters shows the impact of human activities on the planet by projecting climate data or air traffic. Objects can be tested weightless using a downpipe. The combination of an air taxi and an e-car shows what might be possible in the cities of the future. They are neuron-controlled hyper-loops and prostheses, care robots and sex.
“Science” and “fiction” are contrasted, opportunities are discussed, but also the threats posed by technology. In addition to technology, the central question running through the exhibition is whether and how we want to use such technological advances: can the human genome be tampered with to combat disease? Do robots do our job for us? Or has it disappeared?
Visitors can enter the exhibition from Saturday, and admission is free on the opening weekend. Many stations are interactive. For example, visitors can create a designer baby on a computer or interact with robots. Sometimes museum managers and politicians hope that young people will be enthusiastic about technology and then aspire to work in it. ‘Fiction’ should become ‘science’, science should become technology and technology should become human well-being, said Heckl of the Deutsches Museum.
The museum is a political issue from the very beginning
Science is always the future, said Bavarian Prime Minister Dr. Markus Söder (CSU) at the ceremony on Friday. The museum is highly emancipatory, forward-looking and fascinating for young people. A science fiction fan cut a red ribbon in front of the building with a “lightsaber”. For Söder, the branch of the German Museum in his hometown of Nuremberg is a prestigious project. On Friday, he stressed: “The idea actually came from me.” At the time of signing the contract, Söder was still the Minister of Finance. The Pegnitz Museum in Nuremberg’s Old Town cost almost 28 million euros.
Construction was a political issue from the start: the opposition in the state parliament believes that the rental costs are far too high. In July, a report commissioned by the FDP, the Greens and the SPD fueled the dispute again. For example, the lease agreement shows a considerable tendency towards owner-friendliness to the detriment of the tenant. The building is rented by a company owned by Gerd Schmelzer, an entrepreneur from Nuremberg. The Free State has to pay 2.5 million euros a year for the rent – fixed by the contract for 25 years. According to the study, however, only 1.09 million euros is unambiguously decisive. Meanwhile, the Bavarian Supreme Audit Court is also dealing with this.
Green science policy spokeswoman in the state parliament Verena Osgyan said Friday the museum wished good luck at first, but was unable to accept the fact that conditions were causing great harm to taxpayers. Söder couldn’t shake off the bland aftertaste.
He defended the construction site on Friday: everything was answered dozens of times and everything was done in accordance with the law. The topic was discussed in detail in the state parliament. When something like this happens in Munich, nobody is questioning anything. “And here in Franconia, things are often a little questioned.” Science Minister Bernd Sibler (CSU) also stressed: “Everything is documented, everything is fine, everything is done correctly.”