AIP History Center Newsletter
Volume XXXIX , No. 2, Fall 2007
 

Leibniz Societät Supports History of Science
By Wilfried Schröder, Geophysical Institute, Bremen-Rönnebeck

Leibniz Societät was founded in 1993 as a consequence of the termination of the German Academy of Sciences (Akademie der Wissenschaften der DDR), the leading scientific body in the former German Democratic Republic. The Academy was founded in 1946 as successor of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, which included many leading scientists (e.g., Heisenberg, Born, von Laue, etc.) as members. In 1991 following the unification of Germany, the Academy was closed. Former members founded the Leibniz Societät as a successor in the tradition of the founding in 1700 of the Brandenburgische Sozietät der Wissenschaften by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. In the years following 1993 the membership grew, and now more than 300 scientists from all over the world are members in different classes.

One aim of the Societät is to support history of science, and over the years many interesting conferences have been held. Commemorations were held for the 300th anniversary of the Berlin Academy of Sciences in 2000, the 75th birthday of the internationally known physicist Hans-Jürgen Treder in 2003, and in 2004 the 100th birthday of the leading meteorologist and hydrodynamicist Hans Ertel (known for the Ertel Potential Vorticity). In 2004 the results of a international conference on Immanul Kant were published, followed more recently by a collection of papers on the history of the Berlin Academy. A well-attended conference was held in 2005 on Albert Einstein in Berlin, with lectures by leading scientists.

The Societät publishes Sitzungsberichte and Abhandlungen through the Trafo Verlag, Berlin. Current reports on work are available in the journal Leibniz-Intern. More details on the work and publications of the Leibniz Societät are available on the Web at www.leibniz-sozietaet.de.


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