The prodceedings of the Interdisciplinary German-South African Symposium on the topic “Socio-Ecological Novelty. Frontiers in Sustainability Research” (18-20 March 2013, Berlin, Germany) is available online on our website.

Sustainability is becoming a significant topic in a wide range of scientific contexts, covering amongst others health, food, climate change orenergy. An important concept in this discourse is “ecological novelty”, which was scrutinized within this interdisciplinary conference. How is this concept applied in various disciplines of science? How can science contribute to solving problems that could prove crucial to life on our planet? How can science, politics and society interact to promote essential changes? And is there a particular role for young scientists to play? These and other questions were discussed at the two-day symposium.

The symposium and panel discussion took place in the context of the German-South African Year of Science 2012/2013, which was initiated by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the South African Department of Science and Technology (DST). The central aim of this bilateral year was to strengthen scientific cooperation between Germany and South Africa. Moreover it offered an excellent opportunity to collaborate and extend networks and relations amongst young scientists. The full conference proceedings can be found here.