Berta's Saloon

Painting by Maria Pomiansky

Welcome to Berta’s Saloon – the new Art of Molecule lounge of the NCCR MSE in Basel. This room, formerly known as „Teeküche O04.024“ (most likely named after the famous Swiss Teeküche O04.024) was rededicated on 5 July 2018.
 
In Berta’s Saloon we plan to develop a framework and establish an atmosphere for true discourse to take place. Why? Because we feel we need to. Working in the interdisciplinary field of Molecular Systems Engineering is both exciting and challenging. We are developing projects which undoubtedly will have an impact on our lives and those of future generations, particularly in the field of medical technologies which is part of our expertise. But changing the course of things and perhaps the way we value life, health and personhood – as in all other scientific endeavours as well – bears a tremendous responsibility. This is why we want to build a bridge to the scientifically interested public and enter into an on-going discussion about the ethical implications and challenges of our research.
 
Berta’s Saloon is but one tool in our efforts to get the ethical discussion started, but most certainly a very important one. In this room we will offer discussions and performances in the Salon tradition of Vienna between 1890 and 1910, when the transdisciplinary exchange amongst artists, scientist, philosophers and lay people was developed and cultivated in a very special – Viennese – way.
 
Berta’s Saloon is named after the famous Austrian author, journalist and Salonnière Berta Zuckerkandl, whose hospitality combined with a revolutionary emancipated approach helped change and develop the sciences and the arts of her time.
 
So: Welcome to Berta’s Saloon.
(And sorry, Teeküche O04.024.)