Project Leonardo


Leonardo (de) modules are taught by – typically two – lecturers from different academic cultures and backgrounds. These modules, each of which seeks to address a specific societal challenge, are targeted at students from all faculties.

The Leonardo instructors come from a variety of backgrounds, including the natural sciences, engineering, medicine, the humanities, economics, and the social sciences. Past modules were concerned with topics such as energy, climate change, world population and health, migration, the dialogue of cultures, and organ replacement.

Working together in interdisciplinary teams, students participating in Leonardo are familiarized with the different approaches and modes of thought of the various disciplines. Furthermore, the participants get to know fellow students from other disciplines and have thus the opportunity to experience the notion of “universitas” in its original meaning.

The title of the project obviously refers to the great Renaissance polymath Leonardo da Vinci, but also alludes to the philosopher Jürgen Mittelstraß, who coined the term of the “Leonardo World.” This term is to characterize our contemporary world as one that combines theoretical knowledge with technological know-how. And this Leonardo World is facing particular challenges that can only be successfully addressed by the collaboration of the natural sciences, the engineering fields, the humanities, and other disciplines.