"The added value of computer simulations is undisputed. That's why they must not be a privilege of the ivory tower. We are working together to ensure that more social groups benefit from the use of simulations in the future."
Important issues that society faces do not always enter into consideration in the (simulation) sciences. To ensure that socially significant topics find their way into simulation science, HLRS has established a sociopolitical advisory board. This advisory board advises HLRS on its research and is supporting the identification of new sociopolitically relevant topics.
Members of the socipolitical advisory board come from a variety of societal backgrounds (nursing, education, journalism, design, architecture, and many others), ensuring that the necessary diversity of societally relevant topics is taken into consideration. Together with the sociopolitical advisory board, HLRS has embarked on an effort to discover new areas where computer simulation can make socially relevant contributions.
Through the establishment of the sociopolitical advisory board, HLRS is working to fulfill its social responsibility more than in the past and to expand these efforts by gathering impulses from outside the center. Thus far, for example, a sustainability group at HLRS has been addressing issues related to energy consumption of supercomputers, while the Simulated Worlds project challenges school-age students by providing a one-year scholarship that enables them to develop their digital skills.
"The advance of digitization offers many opportunities, such as using modeling and simulation to make complex social phenomena more accessible to decision-makers and affected people. Against this background, societal preferences must be sufficiently taken into account."
"I would like to see a stimulating discussion about how digitization is changing society and public space through new technologies. This also includes reflection on how this change can be used for the benefit of the country - without overlooking rural regions."
"How must we change our lifestyle considering climate change? What does mobility look like in the future? While many people are overwhelmed by these challenges, populists offer supposedly simple solutions that could put democracy at risk. That's why an honest, society-wide discourse must take place in science."
"As a technology designer I am interested in the future. What could it look like, how should it look like? In this sense, "futuremaking" should not just be empty hype for more or less useful technologies. We already need to be testing our own futures now, and making them something we can experience and question. Simulations have an important role to play here."
"I am interested in exploring how digital technologies could contribute to social justice."
"In order to push climate protection and environmental responsibliity forward and to ensure sustainability, people need to be brought together in dialogue. More than ever this means turning opponents in conflicts into partners."
"Simulation and other digital technologies can be — and are already — used sensibly and responsibly in planning processes, for example in city development. Although the potential hasn't been exhausted, it is important not to forget to consider the limits of computability and their consequences in the discourse surrounding digitalization."
"People who rely on continual health care must be supported in a caring and appropriate way — without being denied their autonomy. In this context, digitalization can help to discover potential means of support and to develop offerings in the field of geriatrics that are suitable for everyday use."
"Social space is much too technical to be understood only from a social perspective, just as the technical space is much too social to be understood only from a technological perspective. For this reason, interdisciplinary discourse that unifies science, technology, and society is necessary."
"I am interested in the relationships and interactions between humans and technology. Part of this is the fact that technological systems (and innovations) and society constantly influence one another and lead to many-layered situations, seen for example in the tension between open data and the right to data protection. This is why I look forward to a lively exchange on how HLRS can take up these complex questions."
Apr 18, 2018
High-Performance Computing Center Stuttgart
Nobelstraße 19, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany
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A member of the Gauss Centre for Supercomputing, HLRS is one of three German national centers for high-performance computing.
HLRS is a central unit of the University of Stuttgart.