The 20th century was an important century for the sciences. In physics, revolutionary theoretical and experimental breakthroughs happened, modern biology began its triumphal march. And what is true for physics and biology is also true for other neighbouring disciplines like astrophysics, chemistry, earth and environmental sciences and the neurosciences. At the same time, more attention was paid to epistemological issues, which were discussed and solved in cooperation with the sciences and philosophy of science. This is reason enough to evaluate the entire development and to picture how this development finds its demanding continuation in modern scientific research.
All PAS members have contributed to the remarkable progress of scientific knowledge in the past century. Personal testimonies from these actors represent valuable documents for the history of science and for future generations. We thus encourage all PAS members to attend the Plenum and to comment on the progress and on still open questions in their special fields of scientific competence. Contributions can represent a general overview of research strategies, of the acquired new scientifìc knowledge, of its applications and of the expected future impact on the world view and welfare of human societies and on the sustainability of our natural environment. Of course, inclusion of personal recollections, including anecdotes, can render these reviews more lively.
Werner Arber & Jürgen Mittelstrass