top of page
Grabkapelle_Drohnenbild _1_ c_SMG_Goldamsel Film.jpg


Top international scientist secured for the opening event!


With Professor Andreas Wagner, we have succeeded in attracting a top-class, internationally renowned

and multi-award-winning top scientist as a speaker for the festive lecture at the opening event of

ESPO 2025.


Wagner is an evolutionary biologist and has dedicated his scientific life to the question of how

innovations arise in nature. In doing so, he has filled a gap in Darwin’s evolutionary biology:

“Natural selection can preserve innovations, but it cannot create them. Nature’s many innovations

—some uncannily perfect—call for natural principles that accelerate life’s ability to innovate.”


Darwin’s theory of natural selection explains how useful adaptations are preserved over time. But the

biggest mystery about evolution eluded him. As genetics pioneer Hugo de Vries put it, “natural selection

may explain the survival of the fittest, but it cannot explain the arrival of the fittest.”


Can random mutations over a mere 3.8 billion years really be responsible for wings, eyeballs, knees, camouflage, lactose digestion, photosynthesis, and the rest of nature’s creative marvels? And if the answer is no, what is the mechanism that explains evolution’s speed and efficiency?


In his bestseller "Arrival of the Fittest", popular science literature in the best sense of the word, renowned evolutionary biologist Andreas Wagner draws on over fifteen years of research to present the missing piece in Darwin's theory. Using experimental and computational technologies that were heretofore unimagined, he has found that adaptations are not just driven by chance, but by a set of laws that allow nature to discover new molecules and mechanisms in a fraction of the time that random variation would take.


So you can look forward to an exciting lecture that will provide completely new insights into our congress core topic “innovation” in an entertaining and enlightening way. We also highly recommend taking a look at his fascinating and fluently written books, such as the aforementioned "Arrival of the Fittest" or the recently published follow-up book "Sleeping Beauties".


Andreas Wagner (born 26 January 1967) is an Austrian/US evolutionary biologist and professor at the University of Zürich, Switzerland. He is known for his work on the role of robustness and innovation in biological evolution. Wagner is professor and chairman at the Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies at the University of Zürich. See here for a complete biography:

bottom of page