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If scientists play

A discussion with the chemist and science theoretician Pierre Laszlo over the fun at the research. This is the text of an interview with Fraülein Verena Laudahn. It appeared in the newspaper Die Welt (Hamburg) on January 10 2001.

Punctually at 13 o'clock Pierre Laszlo emerges vorm Café Einstein in the citizens of Berlin Friedrichstrasse and heads for purposefully the last being desk. Seconds later that is covered furniture with papers: " I bring along my Biografie for you - then you do not need to ask me for it. And here some my lectures. " " Popularisierer of science ", then calls itself the 62-jaehrige, in Algiers born French citizens. For his complete work as an author the emeritierte professor was distinguished 1999 with the Maurice Pérouse price of the Fondation de France. Before the Einstein forum in potsdam it reports on " science as play ".

Laszlo with the title is not quite lucky: " science with play to equate, that is so not durable. Besides the science holds the balance between Apollini and Dionysi ", describes it and catches a paper, which threatens to slide from the desk. " I speak rather of the fact that the natural science possesses a spielerisches item. " A dionysisches, spielerisches item in the from the outside so seriously working scientific community? The Lachfaeltchen around Laszlos eyes becomes deeper: " the scientists try to hide from the public. They fear otherwise to be seriously taken. " Additionally a puritanisches Ethos belongs to the image of a scientist. And also the support of the research by tax fundses can be justified only with a certain seriousness. Laszlo compares the search for the response to a scientific problem with the treasure search of a child, the loosening of a mystery or a puzzle play: " for large scientists - for example Newton - some world mystery was only a children's game. But the researcher the solution of a problem normally puzzelt himself together, by trying, all new realizations to link logically together. "

Naturally the scientist is also an amateur handicraftsman, if he for example take laboratory equipment apart and use the individual parts for new functions. The inventor spirit compensates the lack of specific implements - " one bends oneself somewhat by right ". For Laszlo laboratory instruments, numbers, formulas, models of molecules - " all these things " so important for the experimental sciences - are tool and toy at the same time.
" now, I am a person content merry from nature and, who always holds Laszlo over Laszlo after the spassigen item of a thing look out ", so.

This basic attitude recommends it also its researcher colleagues: " the atmosphere in a laboratory should be enthusiastisch and merry. " Perhaps arising the chaos theory is also a character for the fact that it is permitted researchers nowadays more frequently than in former times to be " in the play room ".

However the chemist does not let itself be hinreissen to fantastischen high-altitude flights. The sense of reality of the scientist requires a certain check of imagination: Here the sense and the function of experiments are situated for Laszlo. Last end mean science nothing different one to pass on than with an idea. If however the science continues on the one hand the intention of the Prometheus, to compete with the Gods and become equal them, then on the other hand also the reversal conclusion applies in view of the spielerischen item of the science: God - or the Gods - had fun at the erschaffung of the world. As the further hypothesis Laszlo reflects over the thing in common between science and wordplay: Words can have several meanings - the word " leg " describes on the one hand an anatomical structure, on the other hand part of a furniture or Kleidungss.