About the author

Jan Wörner

On 1 July 2015, Johann-Dietrich Wörner took up his new post as Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA).

The ‘Jan Wörner’ blog was written by Johann-Dietrich ‘Jan’ Wörner during his time as the Chairman of the Executive Board of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR). Jan Wörner wrote all the posts himself and then sent them to DLR Corporate Communications for editing, picture research and online publication.

Johann-Dietrich Wörner was born in Kassel in 1954. He was Chairman of the Executive Board of DLR from 1 March 2007 to 30 June 2015.

Wörner studied civil engineering at the Technische Universität Berlin and the Technische Hochschule Darmstadt, where received his doctorate in 1985. In 1982, as part of his studies, he spent two years in Japan, investigating earthquake safety. Until 1990, Wörner worked for the consulting civil engineers König und Heunisch. He then returned to the Technische Universität Darmstadt, where he was appointed to a professorship in Civil Engineering and took over as Head of the Testing and Research Institute. Before being elected President of the Technische Universität Darmstadt in 1995, he held the position of Dean of the Civil Engineering Faculty.

Posts from Jan Wörner

Jan Wörner Blog | 12. November 2013

Wissenschaft, Wissenschaftsmanagement, Wissenschaftspolitik … Teil 3

Wissenschaft braucht Freiraum, um aus Kreativität Innovation zu schaffen. Zugleich ist es nachvollziehbar, dass Steuerzahlerin und Steuerzahler einen Anspruch auf sinnvolle Verwendung der Steuermittel erheben. Diesen scheinbaren Widerspruch - individuelle "Freiheit" versus gesellschaftliche Erwartung - in "Wohlgefallen" aufzulösen, ist die vornehmste Aufgabe der Personen, die mit der unmittelbaren Planung von Forschungsaktivitäten befasst sind: der Wissenschaftsmanagerinnen und Wissenschaftsmanager. Der Politik kommt die Aufgabe zu, inhaltliche und strategische Vorgaben überall dort - und nur dort - zu formulieren, wo sie aufgrund demokratischer Legitimation (durch eine Wahl) zu definieren sind. read more

Jan Wörner Blog | 12. November 2013

Science, science management, science policy … part 3

Science needs flexibility if it is to produce innovation from creativity. At the same time, it is understandable that taxpayers demand sensible use of the funds they provide. Dispelling this apparent contradiction – individual 'liberty' versus societal expectations – is the primary task of those involved in the planning of research activities; that is, science managers. Political bodies have the task of formulating policy anywhere – but only there – where it can be defined on the basis of democratic legitimacy that is derived from elections. read more

Jan Wörner Blog | 27. August 2012 | 1 Comment

Eine politische Woche - mit traurigem Ende

In der vergangenen Arbeitswoche bekam das DLR besonders viel politische Aufmerksamkeit: Drei Bundesminister, ein Landesminister und zwei Staatssekretäre gaben sich die Klinke in die Hand. Derartige Kontakte sind für das DLR von immenser Bedeutung, da wir hier - anstelle einer quantitativen Bilanz im Sinne "Was passiert mit den Steuergeldern?" - unsere Forschung vor Ort erklären können. Das Wochenende stand dann leider ganz im traurigen Zeichen des Todes einer großen Persönlichkeit: Neil Armstrong.





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Jan Wörner Blog | 27. August 2012 | 1 Comment

A political week - with a sad ending

DLR got quite a bit of political attention last week, with a steady parade of three Federal ministers, a State minister and two State secretaries. Such contacts are very important for DLR because – rather than give a quantitative balance in terms of "what are you doing with the taxpayers' money?" – we are able to show them the work carried out at our research sites. Unfortunately, the weekend ended sadly with the death of a great man: Neil Armstrong.




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