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Conversation with Uwe Michael Neumann on Germany and Science, and Religion: Member, CIVIQ High IQ Society (6)


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2021/10/22


Uwe Michael Neumann developed a love of photography when he got his first camera, a Polaroid, at the age of eight years old. From 1982 to 1988, Neumann diverted from photography, studying law at Cologne State University. But his love of photography, driven by curiosity and the desire to see new things and discover and show their beauty, always called him back. He conducted his first photo tour in Provence, France in 1992. In 1998 he visited New York where he further developed his photographic style; experimenting with verticals and keystone/perspectives. Launching into the field of international cooperation he combined his daily work with his photography in Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Finland, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Sweden and Ukraine. In November 2014, Neumann attended the wedding of a daughter of the Sultan of Foumban, Princess Janina, in Foumban, north-west of Cameroon. There he met and became friends with the famous French photographer and producer, Alain Denis who inspired him to become a professional photographer, instructing him in portrait and landscape photography. After his life-changing visit to Cameroon in 2014 Neumann returned there in February 2015 taking photographs of Central Africa’s unique nature and everyday life, which differed greatly from Europe, and even tourist destinations in Africa like Kenya and the Republic of South Africa. During his stay in Central Africa, he lived in Yaoundé, Cameroon and travelled frequently to Equatorial Guinea, the Central African Republic, Gabon, Chad and Congo Brazzaville, among the poorest countries in the world. He also visited and photographed Algeria, Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo), Benin, Kenya, Egypt, Mauretania and the Republic of South Africa. Neumann focused on often-overlooked treasures in nature, the environment, and beauty in places seemingly dominated by poverty. In October 2017, Neumann returned to Berlin and worked on over 90,000 photos from Africa, launching his first exhibition in May in ‘Animus Kunstgalerie’, Berlin. In October 2018 his exhibition ‘Inner Africa’ in GH 36 gallery in Berlin was focused on Central Africa displaying not only a huge variety of photographs, but also traditional masks from different regions. In 2019 and 2020, other exhibitions at Bülow90, Berlin and Nils Hanke, Berlin followed. In Ghent, Belgium, he was a speaker at the European Mensa Meeting 2019 on Africa and presented some of his works.  He was also invited to present his works in the online exhibition e-mERGING a r t i S T S. and again at GH36 in the exhibition No Time. One of his photos was on the title page of the Norwegian magazine Dyade in 2019. His photos have also been featured several times in the online Magazine Foto Minimal & Art. In December 2021 his works were part of an exhibition at Basel Art Center in Basel, Switzerland. He discusses: Germany and the state of science, and religion there; and unexplored areas.

Keywords: Germany, IQ, religion, science, Uwe Michael Neumann.

Conversation with Uwe Michael Neumann on Germany and Science, and Religion: Member, CIVIQ High IQ Society (6)

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citation style listing after the interview.*

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What do you think is the current stance within Germany about science, about faith? In other words, the general public perception of either. How does this impact individual lives? I mean, for instance, if we look at the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, you can see differences in terms of how the countries adhere to standard scientific stances. Also, you can see the contrasts in the degrees to which in the United Kingdom, individuals, adhere to more of a secular perspective. United States individuals adhere to more to a religious perspective. Canada’s sort of a grey middle ground between them. Although, I have it on good authority; Canadians are good zoo specimens for this kind of stuff, too. So, how does Germany, generally, use some of these things in general?

Uwe Michael Neumann[1],[2]*: I think Germany is not very religious, let’s say. The percentage of people who believe and practice religion is less, let’s say the religions are basically dying out, especially the Protestants; they are going down. And the problem is also that even religious people, they don’t believe in it anymore. They are trying to sell it like religion, especially the Protestants, to me they are more like a self-help group. But it’s not really about metaphysics and so on, because they don’t believe it themselves anymore. But it’s one thing, I would say. So, regarding science, let’s say a vaccination, there is a group, at least. They are very loud and they criticize or they don’t believe that vaccinations would work. So, they criticize science. They say, “It’s all financed. It’s all Bill Gates making profit off it. And that’s all big pharma making lots of money.”

And so, it’s very stereotyped. But this would go out for modern techniques. And that’s an interesting thing because Germany was a very poor country until the Industrial Revolution. We were always poorer than France, and we always had less, our population was always smaller than France because they have better climate for agriculture etc. And the Industrial Revolution brought Germany so much forward. And we owe science and technique and industrial development so much. But still people in Germany are very romantic about nature. They think nature’s paradise and industry is bad and can make us bad and everything is bad. I think that’s a very broad movement and we have this Green Party. I don’t know how familiar you are with the German or the European landscape. But it’s a green movement, a green party that started in end of the seventies.

Many of them were left wing before then they moved to green. And they are against industry, Big Pharma very often. They try to preserve nature, which, of course, is also a good thing. But they are sometimes dogmatic. We also have some kind of natural healers that are officially allowed to practice and they have also an official title. We call them Heilpraktiker. It means practitioner of healing. And these people promise you to avoid any pain and to treat you with natural healing methods. And the idea behind this is that natural healing is always good and it doesn’t hurt. And of course, people are afraid of that.

And so, they like the idea of natural healing. So, that is very popular in Germany. I think, maybe, that’s particular in this scale, on this level. Maybe, in other countries, I think people are less influenced by that. And also, if you look at nuclear science and nuclear power plants in France, they have a lot of them. I think they are building new ones and many countries are building new ones. But in Germany, we have abolished them because people are afraid of nuclear power. Which is understandable, but they tend to forget the other dangers of other systems I mean, it’s very romantic thinking. And remember there was a period of time till the 60s when Germany was very positive about innovation, about developing and growth, economic growth and so on. And now, it’s the opposite. I mean, we don’t have any big player in the computer industry. It’s just SAP.

But there are no computers just being built in Germany. There are no smartphones being built. I think Apple, they have some parts from Germany, but there is no German iPhone, German Nokia, and so on. Because people are not open to this kind of thing anymore. And it’s more like the good of the times before the Industrial Revolution are being regarded as the good old times, and then the air was clean and water was pure, and so on. And then the industrial revolution came and coal and all that. So, that is seen very negative now. So, I think that is very intense in Germany. That’s the view. Yes, so, I would say romantic. It’s backward. We don’t have a plan. Our government does not make plans for Germany 2050 or something. At least, at the moment, because I think Germans don’t think that we will survive the next ten years or so because of climate change and all that will kill us and overpopulation, and so on.

And that’s also a myth because there is no overpopulation, especially not in Africa. I’m giving speech talks about Africa, and what I can say is that Africa’s apart from some points. It’s not as densely populated as Europe. And we cannot talk about overpopulation in general, but OK, that has nothing to do with Germany. But there’s this very romantic backward thinking at the moment. I don’t like that because I grew up in the sixties when we were looking forward and everything was going up. And now we are lacking momentum, I would say. But people like to keep it, and they don’t want change at the moment. So, maybe, that gave somehow an impression.

Jacobsen: Are there any areas that we haven’t explored yet that you want to discuss?

Neumann: Maybe, yes. And what my personal interest is, I’d like to see also the real strategic connections between politics and raw materials and production methods and so on. And that’s also what I’m talking about in my speeches, I think that is also something that people don’t understand, especially not in Germany. And let’s say, when I look at the map and I always wonder, why they went into World War One? You only just have to look at the map. You see that Germany is a country with a small coastline, and we are not a maritime power. And we can be cut off easily from our supply lines. So, it was a complete loss to get into this war.

And then there are many people that I like to talk about I’m trying to see reality and to draw conclusions, which can, maybe, help people understand the world better. And I’ve learned at least by fighting my depressions to see things more balanced. And if I could help to give people more information about reality, that’s what I like to do. It will be great. Also, I think it would help people to understand many things and to calm down a little bit also because I think we have a certain hysteria here in many parts. Let’s say, it’s about Africa and migration and so on. And I think you have to have a more rational approach in this. In this field, it would be good to be more rational.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Member, CIVIQ High IQ Society.

[2] Individual Publication Date: October 22, 2021:; Full Issue Publication Date: January 1, 2022:

*High range testing (HRT) should be taken with honest skepticism grounded in the limited empirical development of the field at present, even in spite of honest and sincere efforts. If a higher general intelligence score, then the greater the variability in, and margin of error in, the general intelligence scores because of the greater rarity in the population.


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