The first of these societies (of which there are now five) was founded exactly 70 years ago under the auspices of VDE. The Information Technology Society (ITG) is now the epitome of an expert network where specialists from an extremely wide range of fields work together to ultimately formulate recommended actions that will drive our country forwards.
Naturally, academic expertise also needs fertile ground so that it can bear fruit. The fact that those of us in the specialist community generally succeed in this regard is simply outstanding, and it gives us great hope. What gives us pause for thought, however, is that people in political, media, and social circles often no longer listen so carefully when academic expertise is needed. On this point, we will need to raise our voices more clearly in the future. Indeed, there are many “Scientists for Future” in our ranks, and we need to make sure they are heard!
One thing we have already heard loud and clear is a warning from all five of our technical societies: The lack of specialists is only getting worse. If we fail to halt the decline in student numbers, many things will be at risk. They include not only the digital transformation and the energy transition, but our very competitiveness, as well – and thus the prosperity we all enjoy. We all need to understand that the future needs people capable of building it!
Perhaps this new edition of VDE dialog can play a small part in putting more of a spotlight on the wonderful and varied world of electrical engineering and information technology. I hope you find this issue interesting and stimulating!
Alf Henryk Wulf, VDE President