Advisory Board

SILBERSALZ Head of the Advisory Board

Prof. Dr Antje Boetius

Director of the Alfred Wegener Institute/Head of Science SILBERSALZ

Prof. Dr. Antje Boetius is Director of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center of Marine and Polar Research; Germany’s national polar research center. She is a deep-sea and polar researcher and an expert of marine biogeochemistry, biological oceanography, deep-sea biology and marine microbial ecology. Her research focuses on the Changing Arctic ecosystem and on extreme habitats of the oceans.

Antje Boetius has been awarded with the Medaille de la Societe d’Oceanographie de France, the Gottfried-Wilhelm-Leibniz Prize of the German Science Foundation, the Advanced Grant of the European Research Council, among many other honors. She is a member of the German National Academy Leopoldina (Section Geology), and of two European academies, as well as an elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and of the American Academy of Microbiology. She supports the strategic development of Wissenschaft im Dialog (WiD, "Science in Dialogue"), an initiative of the major German scientific associations, where she has been head of the steering committee since 2014. As a nonprofit organization, WiD promotes discussion and exchange about research in Germany.

SILBERSALZ Advisory Board Members

Prof. Peter Arens

Head of the Department – TV-show „History and Science“, ZDF

Prof. Peter Arens, born 1961, is head of the department „History and Science“ in ZDF, which includes brands like Terra X, Leschs Kosmos, ZDF History, nano, Scobel and 37°. He was responsable for documentary series like „2057 – Living in the Future“ (2007), „The Germans“ (2008 und 2010), „Saga of Europe“ (2017) or „Journey of mankind“ (2019) about the history of migration. He has published several books, such as about the German Migration (2002) and the Middle Ages (2004). Since 2008 he is leading the degree programm TV Journalism at the Film Academy of Baden Württemberg in Ludwigsburg.

Steve Burns is Chief Content Officer for, a 4-year-old subscription-video-on-demand (SVOD) channel. His career spans more than 25 years from National Geographic cinematographer/ producer to senior executive positions at Discovery Networks, including GM of Science Channel, returning to National Geographic as Executive Vice President of Global Content for NGC worldwide.  Before CuriosityStream, Burns was a freelance Executive Producer for WNET/ NY's long-running Secrets of the Dead series for PBS in the U.S. He has won multiple industry awards, including two Emmys for 5 Years on Mars and Spirit of the Rainforest. His teams have been nominated for two Academy Awards, well over 200 Emmy nominations, including dozens of wins, and two Peabody Awards.

Dr. Liat Ben David is an experienced professional in the field of education. Since completion of her Ph.D in molecular biology at the Weizmann Institute of Science in 1991, she has developed more than 25 years of experience in STEM-education, including the establishment of knowledge and learning centers, curriculum development and implementation, leadership development etc., both in Israel and the USA. Between 2011 and 2017 she served as CEO of the Wolf Foundation, awarding the internationally-acclaimed Wolf Prize, recognizing excellent Scientists and Artists worldwide, second only to the Nobel Prize. Liat lectures and teaches regularly in various spheres, including academia and TEDx. She is an accomplished author who has published numerous articles and books, fiction and non-fiction alike, in Hebrew and English.

Cedric Engels

Producer | Host | Consultant

Cedric Engels produces videos about science, technology and future topics published on his YouTube-Channel Doktor Whatson. With Twentytwo Film he is building his own production company in Cologne and works or customers as ZDF or the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Dr. Patrick Hörl is the founder and Managing Director of the factual entertainment label Autentic GmbH. The company produces and distributes high quality factual shows and series for audiences around the world. Furthermore Hörl is MD of the two factual pay-tv channels Spiegel Geschichte and Spiegel TV Wissen, a joint venture between Autentic and Spiegel TV. Hörl is one of the founders of Vereins Documentary Campus e.V. and serves Chairman of the Board of Campus a pan-european advanced training programme for young filmmakers/aspirants in the fields of documentary film and factual entertainment. Additionally Hörl is member of the Board of Directors of the factual section of Produzentenallianz and of the Board of the World of Congress of Science and Factual Producers.

Ann-Christin Hornberger

Commissioning Editor, Science and Knowledge

Ann-Christin Hornberger is a Germanist and PR-commissioner. She has been working for the German broadcaster ZDF since 1992. In past years and as one of the first ARTE-commissioners she works for several ARTE slots like travelling formats Entdeckung and Wunderwelten, Zu Tisch and Wissenschaft. The science slot is about 52’ long and broadcasted on Saturday evening. And last but not least, her commissions include a plethora of award-winning science documentaries.

Prof. Dr. Sandra Richter is directress of the Deutsches Literaturarchiv Marbach (German Literature Archive) and professor for modern German literature at the university of Stuttgart. She is interested how scientific insights are imparted in media and focusses on methodic questions in humanities about the history of German literature in the global context in her work. Her latest publication was “Eine Weltgeschichte der deutschsprachigen Literatur” (A world history of German Language Literature) published by C. Bertelsmann, 2017.

Louis Savy is the founder and festival director of the London Festival of Science Fiction and Fantastic Film, better known as SCI-FI-London. Louis champions creators to blend science fact and fiction for both entertainment and education, seeing the medium of film as a simple and accessible way to put across hard scientific concepts and look at possible outcomes from new developments. He has produced several films and also runs a major filmmaking competition as part of the festival, tasking people to create original science fiction films in just a weekend.

Prof. Dr. William Uricchio is professor of Comparative Media Studies at MIT in the US. He is founder & principal investigator of the MIT Open Documentary Lab, which explores the frontiers of interactive and participatory reality-based storytelling. His work explores new media, at times using a historical lens (old media when they were new, such as 19th Century television) and at times by working with interactive and algorithmically generated media forms (interactive documentaries and games in particular). Uricchio has received numerous awards for his work including Guggenheim, Humboldt and Fulbright research fellowships, the Berlin Prize, and most recently, the Mercator fellowship.

Caroline Wichmann is the spokesperson and Director of the Department of Press and Public Relations at the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. She has been active in science management and science communication for more than 20 years. After graduating in public administration, political science, and cultural affairs management she worked on numerous French-German cultural exchange projects and most recently as the spokesperson for the „Wissenschaft im Dialog“ Initiative (Science in Dialogue). In 2011 and 2015 Caroline Wichmann was elected German Science Press Spokesperson of the Year.