You are here: Home News In Short Archive 2013 Hans Joachim Schellnhuber awarded Wilhelm-Foerster-Prize 2013

Hans Joachim Schellnhuber awarded Wilhelm-Foerster-Prize 2013

03/28/2013 - For his „important contribution to research on the global impact of civilization on the climate, and fostering awareness for these findings in society and politics”, the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, was awarded the Wilhelm-Foerster-Prize 2013 of Urania Potsdam last night. Among the many felicitators were the Brandenburg Minister of Science, Research and Culture, Sabine Kunst, and Potsdam´s mayor Jann Jakobs.
Hans Joachim Schellnhuber awarded Wilhelm-Foerster-Prize 2013

Hans Joachim Schellnhuber during his commemorative speech (Foto: PIK)

“Today, Urania honours a global thinking and acting humanist,” said Dieter Rauchfuß, chairman of Urania Potsdam. The award pays tribute to all those who devote themselves to the “trouble of explaining” and make science accessible. In her laudation Minister Kunst recognized Schellnhuber as an “exceptionally dedicated personality” and “eminent scientist of international rank.” He were “a citizen in the tradition and spirit of the enlightenment, who actively shapes the community” – both in Potsdam and internationally. Mayor Jann Jakobs added that the fact that the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research bears the city in its name were both an honour and an obligation for Potsdam.

As a longtime companion Stefan Rahmstorf, co-chair of one of PIK´s research domains, told of the “unique creative environment at the institute” that Schellnhuber established. Rahmstorf expressed his respect for leading the institute against all odds to his present success and reputation. He emphasized that Schellnhuber was often ahead of his times when boldly introducing new concepts like the two degree guardrail into politics. In his commemorative speech Schellnhuber himself talked about the responsibility of scientists, of conscious without absolute certainties. With events like Auschwitz and Hiroshima, history has shown that you cannot expect that everything will be alright. “Once you have tried the apple of knowledge and are cast out of the paradise of ignorance,” Schellnhuber said, “you bear a great responsibility.”

Document Actions

Contact PR

For further information please contact the PIK press office:
Phone: +49 331 288 25 07
E-mail: press@pik-potsdam.de