News Release

Species conservation for the common good: Christian Wirth will be speaking about the relationship between humanity and biodiversity

Meeting Announcement


What is the role of biodiversity and how has the perception of biodiversity changed in the course of the last 30 years? In his evening lecture “Biodiversity – Impact and Change”, the biologist Prof. Dr. Christian Wirth will provide answers to these and other questions. This lecture will take place as part of the Leopoldina’s Annual Assembly on Friday, 24 September, in Halle (Saale)/Germany and will be streamed live.

Evening lecture with Prof. Dr. Christian Wirth, Leipzig/Germany
“Biodiversity – Impact and Change”
Friday, 24 September 2021, 8:15pm to 9:15pm
Online via Zoom or at

Wirth will discuss how and why our view of biodiversity has changed since the 1990s. At first, questions surrounding the causes of a loss in diversity and its consequences for ecosystems came to the fore. Today we know that biodiversity not only responds to the environment but actually actively shapes it. Biodiversity greatly contributes to humanity’s wellbeing and survival, which is why species conservation can also be viewed as a common good. Using new technologies stemming from molecular biology and digitalisation, biodiversity can be comprehensively researched and understood. Still, time plays a crucial role, since today’s findings will hardly be valid in a +2 °C world. Wirth’s view of the future is still optimistic, however, because the know-how needed to promote biodiversity exists, and putting that knowledge to use will pay off in the end.

Christian Wirth is a spokesperson for the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig. Since 2009, he has been a Professor of Systematic Botany and Functional Biodiversity at Leipzig University/Germany as well as the Director of the Botanical Garden. Wirth has also been actively advising associations, local authorities, administrative institutions and committees since 2012, in an effort to drive forward concrete solutions for biodiversity conservation, such as floodplain renaturation and the TRY plant trait database.

The full programme of this year’s Annual Assembly “Biodiversity and the Future of Variety”, including abstracts of the scientific lectures, can be found on the Leopoldina’s website at

The event is open to the interested public. The evening lecture will be held in English and will be interpreted simultaneously into German. Media representatives who would like to attend the Annual Assembly are kindly asked to send an email to to make a binding registration. After successful registration registered, they will receive a confirmation email, with a login link and password. By using the video conferencing platform Zoom, participants agree to the provider’s Privacy Statement:

The evening lecture taking place as part of the Annual Assembly will be streamed live on the Leopoldina’s YouTube channel at A video will be made available after the event.

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About the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
As the German National Academy of Sciences, the Leopoldina provides independent science-based policy advice on matters relevant to society. To this end, the Academy develops interdisciplinary statements based on scientific findings. In these publications, options for action are outlined; making decisions, however, is the responsibility of democratically legitimized politicians. The experts who prepare the statements work in a voluntary and unbiased manner. The Leopoldina represents the German scientific community in the international academy dialogue. This includes advising the annual summits of Heads of State and Government of the G7 and G20 countries. With 1,600 members from more than 30 countries, the Leopoldina combines expertise from almost all research areas. Founded in 1652, it was appointed the National Academy of Sciences of Germany in 2008. The Leopoldina is committed to the common good.

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