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On Thursday evening (16 May 2024), the Leipzig Science Network, together with the Knowledge Policy Unit of the City of Leipzig, hosted its first reception for international researchers. The aim of the event was to demonstrate Leipzig’s welcoming culture in action, to showcase the internationality of Leipzig as a centre of science, and to give researchers the opportunity to network. The reception took place at Leipzig University’s Botanical Garden and was aimed at international researchers who have been living and working in Leipzig since October 2023.

After being welcomed by Dr Martin Freiberg, curator of the Botanical Garden at Leipzig University, the guests were addressed by Ulrich Hörning, Mayor for General Administration of the City of Leipzig, and Professor Eva Inés Obergfell, Rector of Leipzig University and Chair of the Leipzig Science Network. This was followed by a panel discussion, in which Professor Jenny Tung (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology), Dr Bilal Sheikh (HI-MAG), Dr Gabriele Goldfuß (International Cooperation Unit of the City of Leipzig) and moderator Dr Torsten Loschke (Knowledge Policy Unit of the City of Leipzig) discussed their experiences in Leipzig and their perspectives on Leipzig as a centre of science. Guided tours of the Botanical Garden and a get-together afterwards provided ample opportunity for dialogue. Around 70 people attended – international researchers and directors of Leipzig’s higher education and research institutions, city councillors and staff from the international offices of the academic institutions and the city administration.