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Andreas Burkert is full professor at the Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich. He holds the chair for theoretical and computational astrophysics and is an associated scientist and fellow at the Max-Planck-Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Garching and at the Higgs Center for Theoretical Astrophysics, Edinburgh. He is LMU coordinator of the new cluster of excellence “ORIGINS: From the Origin of the Universe to the First Building Blocks of Life”. From 2011-2014 he was president of the German Astronomical Society. He is a counselor of the “European Astronomical Society”, member of the “European Academy of Arts and Science” and the “Club of Rome” and co-founder of the “Fragile World Foundation”. In 2011 the “International Astronomical Union” named a small planet of the solar system “267003 Burkert”.
Andreas Burkert is fascinated by the fundamental question how our fine-tuned, complex and highly structured Universe, including life itself, emerged from the simple initial conditions, laid down in the Big Bang, 13.7 billion years ago? His astrophysical research currently focusses on the nature of dark matter, the origin of our Milky Way Galaxy, the formation of stars and planets and the question whether life is an inevitable, emergent process in our Universe or whether we are alone. How can we (and should we) communicate with other “intelligent” civilisations? How can we travel to the stars and colonize the Universe. And how can we shield Earth from devastating asteroid impacts? Additional research interests are the future potential of AI, combined with VR, how to control and trigger self-organisation and emergence and how to promote human creativity and vision?