MS Wissenschaft – the floating science center

MS Wissenschaft in Berlin

Since 2002, the exhibition ship “MS Wissenschaft” is on tour for several months a year. Presenting science in new and playful ways, including through hands-on exhibits, the ship docks at 35 cities for a few days each. 80.000 people are visiting per year on an average, among them several hundred school classes. Most of the usually interactive exhibition pieces are contributed by institutes and universities, who use the opportunity to present their research work in unconventional ways to public. Admission is free of charge.

In 2017 the tour takes five months and stops at several points in the southern and middle part of Germany. It starts on the 24th April in Bonn and will finish on the 8th October in Straubing. In 2016*17 the exhibition will offer fascinating insights into marine research. 

More information about the dates in 2017 are given in the Tourplan.

Science Year “Seas and Oceans”: Discover. Use. Protect.

Krebs am StrandUsually, the ship’s main exhibition theme matches the current Science Year’s topic, which is being proclaimed annually by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in Germany and Wissenschaft im Dialog. With the objective of presenting how science, research and technology are contributing to the discovery and the utilization of Seas and Oceans, this is where both the Science Year 2016*17 and ‘MS Wissenschaft’ are focusing on. Within four areas, the exhibition concentrates on the topics coast, high sea, polar sea, and deep sea.

At the hands-on display items developed specially for the exhibition, visitors can dive through a coral reef or cause submarine earthquakes. Therefore, about 20 participating research institutes and universities discuss diverse aspects on the basis of their exhibition pieces inside the ship: Basically it is all about fishing and waste, seabed and its volcanoes, as well as shipping and coastlines.  


Schüler in der AusstellungThe exhibition piece ‘fishing or not fishing’ by the Cluster of Excellence "The Future Ocean"

teaches in a playful way when and how to fish best. On the one hand the players need to be patient so that the fish population recovers but on the other hand they need a good plan to win the game! Therefore they have to discuss and agree on their fishing strategy, just like members of the fishing industry need to agree on catch limits in real life.

Which environment is best for corals? The University of Applied Sciences Bingen answers this question with its exhibit. Different scenarios can be chosen and verified by a color-changing coral. Here you can learn about the habitat of those sensitive animals.

More information about the rainforest under the sea – the coral reefs – is given by Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Ecology’. Thanks to virtual reality glasses visitors can dive through this fascinating ecosystem.  Who lives next to corals, who hides behind them, and who is their worst enemy?

Participatory science communication

Various events and workshops for pupils are planned in addition to the exhibition. For instance, interested visitors gain the possibility of meeting the scientists behind the exhibition pieces personally. Another series of events, ‘Dialog an Deck’, allows a narrowly focused discussion round between experts on particular scientific issues in front of a lay audience, which is requested to be part of the dialog.

Furthermore, a workshop takes place for everyone who is interested in thinking about present problems of marine research. The goal is to identify those problems and work on solutions. Therefore, programmer, scientists, designer, and marine enthusiasts discuss, develop and design in this open workshop for two days and in the end a jury decides which project is the best.

The exhibition ship MS Wissenschaft was implemented by Wissenschaft im Dialog on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in Germany.

Meere und Ozeane