What worldview is science working on today, and what role does Einstein’s legacy play within it? And what is science anyway: a guarantee of progress, or the modern form of superstition? In any case, the consequences of Einstein’s work make apparent the long-term character of the development of knowledge. Not until decades later does the practical importance of many of his insights become clear, be it in the form of lasers or in satellite-based navigation.
Among the scientific challenges Einstein left behind is the search for gravitational waves, and for a unified theory of all forces of nature. Even today, borderline problems between the disciplines play a key role in scientific innovations, from biophysics to the question of the Big Bang.
More than ever, however, scientific questions are also questions for society at large. Which technologies should be our basis for generating energy? How can we prevent the proliferation of atomic weapons? Should scientific information be freely available in the Internet? Einstein’s legacy also includes the demand for a responsible, free, and democratic culture of knowledge.