„Truths and values“: Schellnhuber awarded with the honorary doctorate of TU Berlin

06/29/2012 - For his outstanding achievements in the field of climate research and political consulting, the Technische Universität Berlin awarded Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), the honorary doctorate this week. “Professor Schellnhuber inspired entirely new approaches in research, like the research of the world climate’s tipping points and its consequences, or the action-orientated 2 degrees target”, said TU president Jörg Steinbach during the ceremony which was attended by 200 guests in the university’s atrium.
„Truths and values“: Schellnhuber awarded with the honorary doctorate of TU Berlin
At the atrium of the Technische Universität Berlin. Foto: TU Berlin

“It takes exceptional role models to show young academics how exciting science can be, and how important it is for society”, said Steinbach. For him, Schellnhuber is such a role model. The TU Berlin has been connected with PIK through their joint involvement in the Climate-KIC (Climate Knowledge and Innovation Community) of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) since 2009 – “an institution, which Schellnhuber managed to bring in for Berlin and Brandenburg.”

A laudation was held by Dean of the department Planning-Building-Environment, Johann Köppel, and Ottmar Edenhofer, who is a professor at TU and in the same time vice-director of PIK. He talked about "The meaning of doubt and the benefits of warning".

Hans Joachim Schellnhuber felt “very honored and  touched” by being awarded this title but said that the honorary doctorate will also demand great responsibility  from his side. Schellnhuber held a lecture about climate research and stressed that it was “not always a pleasure to vocalize inconvenient truths.” Last year Schellnhuber was already awarded an honorary doctorate of the University of Copenhagen. He was also awarded with the Federal Cross of Merit, first class and the Volvo Prize recently.

Among others, a ceremonial address was held by Julian Nida-Rümelin, professor of philosophy at LMU Munich and former minister of state. He talked about the roots of science and democracy in the age of enlightenment and about the separation of facts and values. Schellnhuber to Nida-Rümelin deserves the “highest appreciation”, because he continuously tries to bring forward both, truths and values.