Press Release 052/2024

Preventing Extremism: Conference "What Does 'Never Again' Actually Mean?" at KIT

Event on the occasion of the renaming of the Scientific Computing Centre at KIT
2024_052_Extremismus vorbeugen Tagung Was heisst hier Nie wieder am KIT_72dpi
Detail of the memorial plaque in the KIT courtyard for the members of the Technische Hochschule Karlsruhe who were persecuted under National Socialism. (Photo: Markus Breig, KIT)

A look at German universities in the 20th century shows that extremism can emerge not only in politics and society, but also in academia. The Karlsruhe computer science pioneer Karl Steinbuch's turn to right-wing extremism is an example of this. The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) has distanced itself from Steinbuch's political views and renamed its information technology centre that was formerly named after him. The new name is "Scientific Computing Center". Against this backdrop, KIT is holding a conference on 17 July 2024 on the question "What does 'never again' mean here?".

"Science is based on openness, tolerance and diversity. Living and defending these values as well as the liberal order and fundamental rights is part of a responsible scientific culture," says Professor Kora Kristof, Vice President Digitalisation and Sustainability at KIT. "That's why it's important and part of KIT's culture to look at our own history, to study it scientifically and to actively engage with it." 

Conference on the Prevention of Political Extremism

The KIT Archive, which organises the conference, is looking at the historical manifestations of extremism at KIT. Its focus is on topics such as current manifestations of extremism in Germany, individual radicalisation processes and fields of action for professional prevention. 

"With this event, we want to show that KIT takes a critical look at extremism and rejects it," says Dr. Klaus Nippert, Head of the KIT Archive and organiser of the event. "Extremism opposes the liberal order of our country as well as fundamental rights. It is important to review and further develop our own understanding of our institutional responsibility as a scientific organisation towards extremism and to gather suggestions for institutional prevention." 

On 1 January 2024, KIT renamed its information technology centre "Scientific Computing Center". It had previously been known as the "Steinbuch Centre for Computing" since 2008.

For the conference program and further information (in German) please click here.



Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 10,000 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 22,800 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.

swi, 27.06.2024

Margarete Lehné
Chief Press Officer (acting)
Phone: +49 721 608-41105
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
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Contact for this press release:

Sandra Wiebe
Press Officer
Phone: +49 721 608-41172
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