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Prof. Dr. Johanna Stachel, Heidelberg
am 26. Juli 2012

Grußwort der Präsidentin
anlässlich der IYPT Award Ceremony, Stadtforum, Bad Saulgau


Special greetings and welcome to:

  • Regierungspräsident Hermann Strampfer,
  • Alan Allinson, President of the IYPT,
  • Rudolf Lehn, Manager of the Schülerforschungszentrum Südwürttemberg (SFZ), local organizer and host of this year's competition,
  • Prof. Dr. Hanns-Peter Knaebel, CEO of the Aesculap AG, Tuttlingen und advisory council of the Schülerforschungszentrum Südwürttemberg,
  • „Physikanten und Co“,
  • the musicians,
  • All of the participants of this event, the high school student teams, their advisors and all engaged in the organization of this event.


Importance of the IYPT

  • DPG is proud to be the patron of the IYPT of 2012 in Germany; excellent instrument how to deeply engage young people at high school level who excell in physics into quite sophisticated problems and – in this process - to hopefully further motivate them in their interest  for sciences
  • big thank you to Rudolf Lehn our local host and organizer and all the people from the Schülerforschungszentrum who were active in the organization of this really large scale project for the past year or so. with this physics world cup you are putting Germany on the map for promoting and fostering the next generation of young scientists, some of the hopefully future physicists.
  • The IYPT demonstrates that deep involvement with complex questions about nature and more specifically physics can be very challenging and at the same time enjoyable. And I hope that it is this joy, that you the participants could feel over the past year in preparing for this event and also now during the competition.
  • This fascination and joy is the precondition for a personal commitment and total engagement for physics that leads to major advances in our understanding of nature and the universe and discoveries of possibly far reaching consequences for humanity.
    It is very often free and curiosity driven research that leads to major breakthrough and later to applications not anticipated or planned for.
    - nuclear magnetic resonance discovered by Bloch and Purcell independently in 1945. on Bloch's part this was driven by his desire to determine as precisely as possible the magnetic moment of the neutron. Later it developed into an important tool in the determination of the structure of molecules including bio-molecules; in the past 40 years MRT became an essential tool in medical imaging.
  • Participation in the IYPT enhances many important skills that will be important for later during your studies and professional lives:
    • creative thinking
    • problem solving competencies
    • teamwork
    • and, last but not least, convincing presentation and defense of a scientific argument.

For all of these reasons the DPG is proud to be a patron of this event taking place this year for the 3rd time in Germany; in fact, since quite a number of years the successful German participants are honored at our annual meeting and I am already looking forward to meeting you in Dresden next spring.

Interest of the DPG in such events

  • fostering of the new generation of scientists
  • young people should become interested in and excited about physics as early as possible
  • experience of scientific competition in a team and the international exchange

DPG is a young society:

  • more than half of the members are high school students, university undergraduate and graduate students
  • largest age group: members between the ages of 19 and 29.

IYPT excellent complement to our own programs for advancing young people:  (die Punkte wurden nicht aufgelistet, keine Zeit)

  • yearly science festival of the DPG 'Highlights of Physics'
  • awards to the best high school graduates in physics every year
  • organization of program of visits or internship in laboratories in industry of scientific organizations
  • Internet platform „Welt der Physik“ (jointly BMBF), providing information specifically also for high school students on all questions of physics
  • just starting: physics journal by and for high school students (name „Detektor“)


Participation in the IYPT might motivate you to study physics and I think this would be a good choice:

  • physics of the mother of all sciences and has broad impact also on life sciences, social sciences, economics, humanities
  • studying physics is demanding and will be a lot of work but it is also a great joy. 87 % of all physics graduates would pick the same area of study again (highest level of satisfaction – on average only 66% of students of all areas of study would pick again the same subject
  • good prospect of employment and professional career

Prospects as a physicist:

  • our society needs physicists. For instance in Germany estimated 5 k open positions compared to yearly production of 3 k physicsts. The estimates for the outyears point to a growing gap.
  • This implies: we obviously need good physics teachers to
    - motivate future physics students
    - teach physics to all who will need it in their later studies of bio, chem, med, eng and so on
  • very diverse job market
    - academia and research institutes – an international market
    - in industry: research, development, manufacturing, patents
    - IT sector
    - consulting firms
    - financial sector
    - news media
    - governmental agencies

Thank you!

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