The Free University of Berlin (German: Freie Universität Berlin, often abbreviated as FU Berlin or simply FU) is a research university located in Berlin, Germany. One of Germany's most distinguished universities, it is known for its research in the humanities and social sciences, as well as in the field of natural and life sciences.
The Free University was founded in West Berlin in 1948 with American support during the early Cold War period as a de facto western continuation of the Frederick William University, which was located in East Berlin and faced strong communist repression; its name refers to West Berlin's status as part of the Western "free world," in contrast to the "unfree" Communist world in general and the "unfree" communist-controlled university in East Berlin in particular.
The Free University of Berlin is one of eleven German elite universities in the German Universities Excellence Initiative.
In 2008, in a joint effort, The Free University of Berlin, along with the Hertie School of Governance, and WZB Social Science Research Center Berlin, created the Berlin Graduate School for Transnational Studies.
|Free University of Berlin|
Freie Universität Berlin
Seal of the Free University of Berlin
|Latin: Universitas Libera Berolinensis|
|Motto||Veritas, Iustitia, Libertas (Latin)|
Motto in English
|Truth, Justice, Liberty|
|Budget||€ 510.2 million|
|President||Günter M. Ziegler since 2018|
Kaiserswerther Straße 16–18,
|Campus||Suburban and urban |
1.8 km2 (180 ha)
|Affiliations||UNICA, EUA, German Excellence Universities, DFG, U15, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin|
Free University of Berlin was established by students and scholars on 4 December 1948. The foundation is strongly connected to the beginning of the Cold War period. The University of Berlin was located in the former Soviet sector of Berlin and was granted permission to continue teaching by the Soviet Military Administration in Germany (SMAD) in January 1946. The universities were increasingly influenced by communism as they were ground for the political disputes of the postwar period. This led to protests by students critical of the prevailing system. Between 1945 and 1948, more than 18 students were arrested or persecuted, some even executed by the soviet secret police (NKVD).
At the end of 1947, first students demanded a university free from political influence. The climax of the protests was reached on 23 April 1948: after three students were expelled from the university without a trial, about 2,000 students protested at the Hotel Esplanade. By the end of April, the governor of the United States Army Lucius D. Clay gave the order to legally check for the formation of a new university in the western sectors. On 19 June 1948 the "preparatory committee for establishing a free university" consisting of politicians, professors, administrative staff members and students, met. With a manifesto titled "Request for establishing a free university in Berlin" the committee appealed to the public for support.
The municipal authorities of Berlin granted the foundation of a free university and requested the opening for the coming winter semester 1948/49. Meanwhile, the students committee in the German Democratic Republic protested against the formation, the GDR described the new university as the "so-called free university" in official documents until the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The council-manager government accepted the by-law on 4 November 1948. The by-law achieved prominence under its alias "the Berlin model": The university was founded as a statutory corporation (Körperschaft des öffentlichen Rechts) and was not directly subjected to the state, as it was controlled by a supervisory board consisting of six representatives of the state of Berlin, three representatives of the university and students. This form was unique in Germany at that time, as the students had much more influence on the system than before. But until the 1970s, the involvement of the students in the committees was slowly cut back while adapting to the model of the western German universities in order to be fully recognized as an equivalent university. On 15 November 1948, the first lectures were held in the buildings of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society for the Advancement of Science. The actual foundation took place on 4 December 1948 in the Titania palace, the film theater with the biggest hall available in the western sectors of Berlin. Attendants of the event were not only scientists, politicians (the Governing Mayor Ernst Reuter amongst others) and students, but also representatives of American universities, among them Stanford University and Yale University. The first elected president of the FU Berlin was the historian Friedrich Meinecke.
By 1949, Free University had registered 4,946 students. Until the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961, many students came from the soviet sector, often supported through the "Währungsstipendium" of the senate.
On 26 June 1963, the same day he held his famous Ich bin ein Berliner speech at Rathaus Schöneberg, John F. Kennedy was awarded honorary citizen by the Free University and held a ceremonial speech in front of the Henry Ford building in which he addressed the future of Berlin and Germany under the consideration of the motto of the FU. Amongst the attendant crowd are also the Governing Mayor of Berlin Willy Brandt and the Chancellor of Germany Konrad Adenauer. His brother, Robert F. Kennedy visited the university in 1962 for the first time and in June 1964 for receiving his honorary degree from the Department of Philosophy. The speech he held at the event was dedicated to John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated just the year before.
In the late 1960s, Free University of Berlin was one of the main scenes of the German student movement of 68 as a reaction to the global student protests during that time. After the assassination of student Benno Ohnesorg and the attempt on Rudi Dutschke's life, protests quickly escalated to violence in all of Germany. The events of the 68-movement provided the impulse for more openness, equality, and democracy in German society.
During the 1970s and the 1980s, the university became a "Massenuniversität" (mass/mega university) with 50,298 registered students in 1983. After reunification, Free University of Berlin was the second largest university in Germany (after the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich) with 62,072 students in the winter term of 1991/92. Shortly thereafter, the senate of Berlin decided to drastically reduce enrollment until 2003, the number of students shrank to 43,885 in the winter term of 2002/03.
Since 2000, the Free University of Berlin has revamped itself. The university's research performance increased markedly with regard to the number of graduates, PhDs granted, and publications.
Since 2003, the FU Berlin has been regrouping its research capacities into interdisciplinary research focus areas called clusters. Due to financial cutbacks and restructuring of medical schools in the same year, the medical institutions of Free University of Berlin and the Humboldt University merged to create a joint department, the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin.
The year 2007 was another crucial year for the Free University of Berlin as it was the university with the most approved funding applications in the German Universities Excellence Initiative, and it is now one of nine elite German universities to receive funding for its future development strategy. In the same year, Free University of Berlin dedicated a monument to the founding students who were murdered during the protests. The university presents its Freedom Award to personalities who have made a special contribution toward the cause of freedom.
Based on its founding tradition, the Free University of Berlin seal to this day bears the Latin terms for Truth, Justice, and Liberty. The designer of the seal was art historian and former president of the Free University of Berlin, Edwin Redslob.
Most of the facilities of Free University of Berlin are located in the residential garden district of Dahlem in southwestern Berlin. Around the beginning of the 20th century, Dahlem was established as a center for research of the highest caliber. Academic activity in Dahlem was supported by Friedrich Althoff, Ministerial Director in the Prussian Ministry of Culture, who initially proposed the foundation of a "German Oxford".
The first new buildings housed government science agencies and new research institutes of the University of Berlin. The Kaiser Wilhelm Society – forerunner of the present-day Max Planck Society – was founded in 1911 and established several institutes in Dahlem.
A dynamic group of researchers carried out pioneering research resulting in numerous Nobel Prizes. Since its foundation, Free University of Berlin has been using buildings formerly belonging to the Kaiser Wilhelm Society and, in addition, has added numerous architecturally innovative buildings.
Free University of Berlin central campus consists of building ensembles within walking distance of each other (about 1.5 km radius). The planners oriented themselves along the type of campus found in the United States – a novelty in post-war Germany. The first independent structure to be completed on campus was the Henry Ford building, funded by the Ford Foundation. To that point, the university was housed in several older structures around the neighborhood, including the Otto Hahn building, which houses the Department of Biochemistry to this day. Thanks to further donations from the United States, Free University of Berlin was able to construct several new central building complexes including the Benjamin Franklin university clinic complex.
The largest single complex of university buildings is the Rost- und Silberlaube, which translates roughly to the "Rust and Silver Lodges". This complex consists of a series of interlinked structures corresponding to either a deep bronze (hence, "rust") or shiny white ("silver") hue, surrounding a variety of leafy courtyards. It has been complemented in 2005 by a new centerpiece, the brain-shaped Philological Library, designed by British architect Lord Norman Foster.
With 43 ha and around 22,000 species of plants, the botanical garden of the FU in the east of Dahlem is one of the biggest of its kind.
The main campus can be reached by public transportation: With the U-Bahn line U3, various busses and the S-Bahn line S1, students can reach the centers of Berlin in under 15 minutes. A nearby station (Dahlem-Dorf (Berlin U-Bahn)), was awarded a prize for being the prettiest underground station in Europe.
The campus in Lankwitz, formerly part of a teacher training college, is now home to the department of Earth sciences and a part of the university archives. Until their move to Dahlem in 2008, the Institute for Media and Communication Studies was located there.
Most of the divisions of the Department of Veterinary Medicine are based in Düppel. It is 2 km southwest of the main campus and consists of numerous clinics and institutes, amongst them a small animal clinic, a clinic for horses and an institute of poultry diseases.
Since the formation of the FU in 1948, it has used public hospitals as part of the medical faculty. Between 1959 and 1969, the "Steglitz Clinic", about 3 km southeast of Dahlem, was built with large financial supports of the United States. The medical center became one of the biggest European medical establishments unifying all institutes, clinics and lecture halls. In honor of the support by the United States, the clinic was renamed "University Clinic Benjamin Franklin". In 1994, it consists of 36 scientific institutes and 1,200 hospital beds. After the merger in 2003, it became part of the Charité medical school.
Today, the district of Dahlem is a hotspot for research and culture: Beside several institutes of the renowned Max Planck Society (amongst others: The Max Planck Institute for Research in Education (MPIB), the MPI for the History of Science, the MPI for Molecular Genetics, the Fritz Haber Institute (FHI) working in the fields of molecular physics and physical chemistry and the archive of the MPG), the campus is also home to the Zuse Institute Berlin as well as some federal institutions like the Federal Institute for Materials Research (BAM) and the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR).
The Berlin Geography Society founded in 1828, the Berlin University for Professional Studies and the German Archeological Institute (DAI) are also located on the campus. In addition, Dahlem is an important location for the Berlin State Museums group, housing the Ethnological Museum of Berlin and the Museum of Asian Art.
With an inventory of 8.5 million volumes and over 25,000 journals distributed in the central university library (UB) and 49 specialized libraries of the institutes, the library system of the FU is the biggest in Germany. Items published since 1990 are fully digitalized and accessible through an OPAC. The UB is granted the status United Nations Depository Library and is linked to the global library system of the UN under direction of the Dag Hammarskjöld Library in New York. The European Union also uses the UB as a European Documentation Center. As part of the library of the UN and the EU, it contains all publications of the UN General Assembly, the UN Security Council, the International Court of Justice as well as publications from the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
Although the UB is generally a lending library, some smaller libraries of the departments are so called Präsenzbibliotheken, where students are only able to read books or journals. Since 2005, the FU creates a new library with about 12,250 m2 of usable space. It is planned to include all libraries of the natural science departments and the smaller institutes in the humanities (e.g. Egyptology). The projected costs are around 51 million euros. Construction work started in March 2012 with plans on finishing at the end of 2014.
The executive board consists of the president (Prof. Dr. Günter M. Ziegler), an executive vice president (Prof. Dr. Klaus Hoffmann-Holland) and three other vice presidents, as well as the Director of Administration and Finance (Dr.-Ing. Andrea Bör). There are also supporting offices for Public Affairs and the General Counsel for legal affairs.
There are currently eight central service institutions (ZE) of the FU:
The ISQ ("Institut für Schulqualität der Länder Berlin und Brandenburg", Institute for Quality of Schools in Berlin and Brandenburg) is an independent facility on the campus. It consults local schools and the senate to achieve and develop a high standard of school quality in Berlin and Brandenburg and closely cooperates with the Department of Education and Psychology of the FU.
The Collegium Musicum of Free University of Berlin was founded during the first semester in 1948/49. Under conductor Karl Forster, it merged with the ensemble of the Technical University Berlin in 1954. Today, the Collegium Musicum has around 500 members from all fields of studies who spend their leisure time making music. It currently consists of five ensembles: a big choir, a chamber choir, two symphony orchestras and a big band. There are frequently events on which the Collegium Musicum plays, for instance on ceremonies.
With 12 departments (FB) and three interdisciplinary central institutes, the university can be seen as an universitas litterarum (a traditional university where studies in all basic sciences is possible).
With 33,000 applicants for the undergraduate programs (Bachelor) in 2013, admissions at Free University of Berlin remain highly competitive as the university only offers about 4,300 places each year. Due to the high numbers of applicants, most undergraduate programs at Free University of Berlin have limitations determined through the NC. The general deadline for students directly from high school applying to limited programs in the coming winter semester is 15 July every year at all universities in Germany.
In some cases (especially Medicine and Psychology), the NC every year is as high as 1.0 (see Grades in Germany and Abitur). Critical applicants which just scored slightly below the NC can be invited to an selective interview or an entry exam, depending on the department/faculty. Applicants at Charité medical school who do not directly fulfill the NC-criteria have to pass an entry exam, which covers the basic fields of Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry and Physics in addition to passing a selective interview. Both results are then added to the Abitur grade. The final decision depends on the results of the competitors.
Free University of Berlin operates on a semester calendar where the winter term begins on 1 October and ends on 31 March. The exact same model can be found at almost every university in Germany. The time where lectures are being held varies each year, normally beginning around mid-October and ending as early as mid-February. Free University of Berlin offers a broad spectrum of subjects in over 190 degree programs. A speciality of the FU is the possibility to study a vast number of "small subjects" (e.g. theater and film studies, Egyptology, Byzantine studies, Jewish studies, Turkology, Sinology, Communication studies, Meteorology, Bioinformatics, Biochemistry) with a high level of specialization. Due to the Bologna process, most of the undergraduate programs are now leading to the three-year Bachelor's degree with 180 ECTS. At Free University of Berlin, Bachelor programs are generally divided into three categories: a regular Bachelor called "Mono-Bachelor", a combined Bachelor ("Kombi-Bachelor") consisting of two fields of studies and a combined Bachelor with a teaching option. Besides the core subject(s), all students are required to complete a series of courses related to general professional skills (ABV). The old Diplom and Magister artium programs are still running, but do not accept new admissions anymore. In the fields of Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy and the law, students enroll in programs with Staatsexamen. Free University of Berlin also offers a variety of graduate degrees, from the master's degree to doctoral degrees.
Free University of Berlin does not charge any tuition fees in the classical sense. Since 2003, public universities in Berlin introduced the model of semester contributions (Semesterbeiträge). It consists of an enrollment/re-registration fee, a contribution to the student union (Studentenwerk), a contribution for the student government and the fee for the semester ticket (public transportation pass) for the current semester. The fees for the semester ticket is defined by a contract with the local transportation company, the Verkehrsverbund Berlin-Brandenburg and allows students to move freely in the ABC zones of Berlin. In the winter semester of 2013/14, students are required to pay €285.83 in total. Since 2011, Free University of Berlin participates in the national "Germany Scholarship" program organized by the federal government, universities and numerous private companies. Highly talented and committed students can get €300 each month.
In terms of external endowments by the DFG, Free University of Berlin ranks third behind the RWTH Aachen University and LMU Munich. Between 2009 and 2013, 289 foreign guest researchers came to the university through fellowships granted by the renowned Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, making the FU the most popular destination for foreign researchers in Germany.
In the field of natural sciences, research focuses on basic research with a strong emphasis on interdisciplinarity, whereas research in the humanities focuses on the current economical, political and cultural development of society (transformation processes, effects of globalization and environmental politics). In the field of Earth sciences, the FU has contributed to various aeronautical missions, e.g. the Mars Express and the Cassini-Huygens to Saturn.
Excluding the Charité medical school, which is co-administered by the university with the Humboldt University, Free University of Berlin is currently the lead university for eight collaborative research centers of the German Research Foundation and also has five DFG research units.
As part of the MATHEON – Mathematics for Key Technologies research center of the DFG, Free University of Berlin together with the TU Berlin, HU Berlin and the Zuse Institute Berlin is working on mathematical modeling, simulation and optimization of real-world processes.
Twice every year, the "Dahlem Conferences" are held at Free University of Berlin. Over the course of one week, international renowned scientists and Nobel laureates come together and discuss current problems in all fields of studies.
The annual "Einstein Lectures Dahlem" hosted by the university and several external institutions since 2005 are dedicated to Albert Einstein, who was the director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Physics for more than 15 years. It is an colloquium which presents fields in science which were influenced by Einstein's thinking.
In the German "ExcellenceRanking" of the CHE (Center for Higher Education Development) in 2013, Free University of Berlin ranks top in the fields of Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Political science. In the CHE "SubjectRanking", Freie Universität has been evaluated as one of Germany's best universities in Earth sciences, Computer science and Philosophy and also ranks among the Top 5 in Psychology, English studies and Education.
The 2011 British QS World University Rankings ranked the university at 66th internationally. The 2011 QS WUR for law ranked the FU at 41st internationally, 12th best in Europe and 2nd in Germany. In the QS WUR 2014, Free University of Berlin was placed at the 81–90 slot being the fifth German university ranked in the list.
Because of an unresolved dispute over the Nobel laureates before the Second World War (both Humboldt and Free University of Berlin claim to be the rightful successor of the University of Berlin), they do not appear in the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), anymore. The last ARWU, also known as Shanghai Ranking, placed the FU at 83rd in the world in 2007.
Free University of Berlin maintains wide-ranging international contacts to top universities and organizations which provide key impulses for research and teaching. In the 1950s, the Free University of Berlin had already established partnerships with leading universities in the United States such as the University of California System (including University of California, Berkeley, University of California, Los Angeles and University of California, Santa Cruz), University of Chicago, Cornell University, Stanford University (which also has a small campus within the FU ), Duke University, Princeton University, Yale University, and Columbia University, as well as with Western European universities like the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, University College London, University of Sussex and École Normale Supérieure in Paris.
The university is a founding member of the global educational center for the study of transnational law, the Centre for Transnational Legal Studies in London. First contacts with universities in Eastern Europe were made in the 1970s. In the 1990s, links were in particular extended to include growing numbers of institutions in Canada (McGill University, University of Alberta, York University), Eastern Europe, and the Far East (China: Peking University, Fudan University, Nanjing University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University; Japan: University of Tokyo, Kyoto University, Nagoya University, Waseda University; South Korea: Korea University, Yonsei University, Seoul National University). The newly established Centre for International Cooperation (CIC) concentrates on identifying new strategic partners for international projects.
Today, Free University of Berlin has established over 400 partnerships in five continents, many of them as part of the European ERASMUS program. Every year, about 600 visiting scientists contribute to the university teaching and research. For the grant programs in Germany, Free University of Berlin is one of the first choices both for the ERASMUS and Tempus as well as for the Fulbright program and the international programs of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). An International Summer and Winter University (FUBiS) has been set up for international students offering (semi-)intensive German courses and numerous subject courses.
The Free University of Berlin operates foreign branch offices in New York City, Brussels, Moscow, Beijing, Cairo, São Paulo and New Delhi. The foreign branch offices work to expand upon cooperation partnerships already existing with universities in the country.
In April 2005, the Free University of Berlin, in conjunction with Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU Munich), opened a joint representative office in New York. This German University Alliance, located in German House, the seat of the German Consulate General and the German UN Mission, represents the interests of the two universities in the United States and Canada and works to increase the exchange of students and scientists.
In addition, Free University of Berlin, as the first German institution of higher education, founded an alumni- and fundraising organization, the Friends of the Freie Universität Berlin (FFUB) in New York. Since 2003 this alumni- and fundraising organization has maintained close contact to alumni and scientists of the Free University of Berlin in the U.S. and attempts to gain alumni and friends as sponsors, to strengthen the long-lasting trans-Atlantic relations. Some of the proceeds from these fundraising activities were contributed to the renovation of the Henry Ford Building.
In April 2006 Peking University opened its first branch in Germany. Its objectives include the promotion of knowledge of Chinese culture, the cultivation of Chinese-German cooperation, and the spread of Chinese language. Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, has a Berlin program (Duke in Berlin), that is held in cooperation with the Free University of Berlin and Humboldt University. The University of California System organizes programs for American students in Berlin and Potsdam. At the Free University of Berlin the UC System maintains an office to attend to the needs of the exchange students from California.
The Office of Global Programs of Columbia University in New York administrates the Berlin Consortium for German Studies. Students from Columbia University and the other colleges and universities included in the consortium (University of Chicago, Cornell University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, and Vassar College) can attend classes at the Free University of Berlin for one or two semesters as external students. This temporary enrollment is preceded by a six-week intensive language program.
Alumni of Free University of Berlin include many scientists, philosophers and politicians, amongst them five Nobel Prize winners and 15 Leibniz laureates.
The Berlin-Dahlem Botanical Garden and Botanical Museum (German: Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum Berlin-Dahlem) is a botanical garden in the German capital city of Berlin, with an area of 43 hectares and around 22,000 different plant species. It was constructed between 1897 and 1910, under the guidance of architect Adolf Engler, in order to present exotic plants returned from German colonies.
The garden is located in the Lichterfelde locality of the borough of Steglitz-Zehlendorf. When it was founded, a part of it was located in Dahlem, a fact that is still reflected in its name. This part of Dahlem became part of Lichterfelde in 1938.
Today, the garden is part of the Free University of Berlin. The Botanical Museum (Botanisches Museum), with a large herbarium (Herbarium Berolinense) and a large scientific library, is attached to the garden.
The complex consists of several buildings and glass-houses, such as the Cactus Pavilion and the Pavilion Victoria (which features a collection of orchids, carnivorous plants and giant white water lily Victoria-Seerosen). The total area of all glass-houses is 6,000 m². The garden's open-air areas, sorted by geographical origin, have a total area of 13 hectares. The garden's arboretum is 14 hectares.
The best-known part of the garden is the Great Pavilion (Großes Tropenhaus). The temperature inside is maintained at 30 °C and air humidity is kept high. Among the many tropical plants it hosts a giant bamboo.Cyclone Anatol
Anatol is the name given by the Free University of Berlin (the Danish TV2 channel named it "Adam" also often referred to as århundredets orkan (storm of the century) or Decemberorkanen in Denmark, and commonly as Carolastormen or Orkan Carola in Sweden) to a powerful winter storm that hit Denmark, Southwest Sweden, and Northern Germany on December 3, 1999. The storm had sustained winds of 146 km/h and wind gusts of up to 184 km/h, equivalent to an intense category 1 hurricane, which is unusually strong for storms in northern Europe. The storm caused 20 fatalities, and over 800 injuries in Denmark.
According to the Danish Meteorological Institute, the storm is estimated to have caused damage in Denmark of DKK 15 billion, or about US$3 billion. Storms causing damage of this magnitude are only expected every 500 years in Denmark.
The storm is referred to as a hurricane in Scandinavia and Germany even if it was, in fact, a European windstorm.Cyclone Burglind
Cyclone Burglind (known as Storm Eleanor in the United Kingdom and Ireland) was an extratropical cyclone and European windstorm that affected Ireland, the United Kingdom, France, Benelux, Germany, Austria and Switzerland on the 2–3 January 2018. The storm caused extensive damage and traffic disruption. It was given the name Eleanor by Met Éireann and the UK Met Office, while the Free University of Berlin named the low pressure Burglind.Cyclone Dagmar
Cyclone Dagmar (also referred to as Cyclone Tapani in Finland) and as Cyclone Patrick by the Free University of Berlin) was a powerful European windstorm which swept over Norway on Christmas Day 2011, causing severe damage in central coastal areas, before continuing over the Scandinavian peninsula towards the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Finland. The storm caused $45 million (2011 USD) in damage.Cyclone Per
Cyclone Per was a powerful storm with hurricane-force winds which hit the west coast of Sweden and Norway on the morning of 14 January 2007. In Sweden, six people died from the storm and approximately 300,000 households were left without electricity.
The storm was officially named Cyclone Hanno by the Free University of Berlin, which names all low-pressure areas that affect Europe, while the storm was named Per by the Norway Weather Service, which names all strong storms that affect Norway.Ernst Ruska
Ernst August Friedrich Ruska (25 December 1906 – 27 May 1988) was a German physicist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1986 for his work in electron optics, including the design of the first electron microscope.Frederik Pleitgen
Frederik Pleitgen (1976 in Cologne) is a German journalist and correspondent for CNN International.He studied North American Studies at the University of Bonn and at Free University Berlin. Pleitgen also spent one year studying at the School of Journalism at New York University. He worked for German television broadcasters ZDF and RTL as well as German news channel n-tv before joining CNN in 2006. He covered from Paris the aftermath of Charlie Hebdo shooting.
Pleitgen lives in Berlin. He is the son of German journalist and former director of West German Broadcasting Corporation, Fritz Pleitgen.Gerhard Ertl
Gerhard Ertl (born 10 October 1936) is a German physicist and a Professor emeritus at the Department of Physical Chemistry, Fritz-Haber-Institut der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft in Berlin, Germany. Ertl's research laid the foundation of modern surface chemistry, which has helped explain how fuel cells produce energy without pollution, how catalytic converters clean up car exhausts and even why iron rusts, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said.
His work has paved the way for development of cleaner energy sources and will guide the development of fuel cells, said Astrid Graslund, secretary of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry.
He was awarded the 2007 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his studies of chemical processes on solid surfaces. The Nobel academy said Ertl provided a detailed description of how chemical reactions take place on surfaces. His findings applied in both academic studies and industrial development, the academy said. “Surface chemistry can even explain the destruction of the ozone layer, as vital steps in the reaction actually take place on the surfaces of small crystals of ice in the stratosphere,” the award citation reads.
In 2015, Ertl signed the Mainau Declaration 2015 on Climate Change on the final day of the 65th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting. The declaration was signed by a total of 76 Nobel Laureates and handed to then-President of the French Republic, François Hollande, as part of the successful COP21 climate summit in Paris.Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize
The Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize is a program of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (the German Research Foundation) which awards prizes “to exceptional scientists and academics for their outstanding achievements in the field of research.”
It was established in 1985 and up to ten prizes are awarded annually to individuals or research groups working at a research institution in Germany or at a German research institution abroad.The prize is named after the German polymath and philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646–1716) and officially called (in German) Förderpreis für deutsche Wissenschaftler im Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz-Programm der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft. It is one of the highest endowed research prizes in Germany with a maximum of €2.5 million per award.
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft aims to improve the working conditions of outstanding scientists and academics, expand their research opportunities, relieve them of administrative tasks, and help them employ particularly qualified young researchers.Some prize winners includeStefan Hell (2008), Gerd Faltings (1996), Peter Gruss (1994), Svante Pääbo (1992), Theodor W. Hänsch (1989), Erwin Neher (1987), Bert Sakmann (1987), Jürgen Habermas (1986), Hartmut Michel (1986), and Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard (1986).Günter M. Ziegler
Günter Matthias Ziegler (born 19 May 1963) is a German mathematician who has been serving as president of the Free University of Berlin since 2018. Ziegler is known for his research in discrete mathematics and geometry, and particularly on the combinatorics of polytopes.Hagen Schulze
Hagen Schulze (31 July 1943 – 4 September 2014) was a German historian who held a position at the Free University of Berlin. He specialized in early modern and modern German and European history, particularly in comparative European nationalisms.Horst Mahler
Horst Mahler (born 23 January 1936) is a German former lawyer and political activist. He once was an extreme-left militant and a founding member of the Red Army Faction but later became a Maoist before switching to neo-Nazism. Between 2000 and 2003, he was a member of the far-right National Democratic Party of Germany. Since 2003, he has repeatedly been convicted of Volksverhetzung ("incitement of popular hatred") and Holocaust denial and served much of a twelve-year prison sentence.
In April 2017, he was ordered back to prison for a further three and a half years, and on 18 April 2017 Mahler fled the Federal Republic of Germany, hoping to avoid the execution of the sentence. His attempt to receive political asylum in Hungary was rejected, and he was deported back to Germany, where he was arrested and put back in jail to finish serving his sentence.Humboldt University of Berlin
Humboldt University of Berlin (German: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, abbreviated HU Berlin) is a university in the central borough of Mitte in Berlin, Germany. It was established by Frederick William III on the initiative of Wilhelm von Humboldt, Johann Gottlieb Fichte and Friedrich Ernst Daniel Schleiermacher as the University of Berlin (Universität zu Berlin) in 1809, and opened in 1810, making it the oldest of Berlin's four universities. From 1810 until its closure in 1945, it was named Friedrich Wilhelm University (German: Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität). During the Cold War the university found itself in East Berlin and was de facto split in two when the Free University of Berlin opened in West Berlin. The university received its current name in honour of Alexander and Wilhelm von Humboldt in 1949.The university is divided into nine faculties, including its medical school shared with the Free University of Berlin, has a student enrollment of around 32,000 students, and offers degree programmes in some 189 disciplines from undergraduate to postdoctorate level. Its main campus is located on the Unter den Linden boulevard in central Berlin. The university is known worldwide for pioneering the Humboldtian model of higher education, which has strongly influenced other European and Western universities, and the university has been widely called "the mother of all modern universities."As of 2017, the university has been associated with 55 Nobel Prize winners (including former students, faculty and researchers), and is considered one of the best universities in Europe as well as one of the most prestigious universities in the world for arts and humanities. It was widely regarded as the world's preeminent university for the natural sciences during the 19th and early 20th century, and is linked to major breakthroughs in physics and other sciences by its professors such as Albert Einstein. Former faculty and notable alumni include eminent philosophers, sociologists, artists, lawyers, politicians, mathematicians, scientists, and Heads of State.Klaus Wowereit
Klaus Wowereit (born 1 October 1953) is a German politician, member of the SPD (Social Democratic Party), and was the Governing Mayor of Berlin from 21 October 2001 to 11 December 2014. In 2001 state elections his party won a plurality of the votes, 29.7%. He served as President of the Bundesrat (the fourth highest office in Germany) in 2001/02. His SPD-led coalition was re-elected in the 2006 elections; after the 2011 elections the SPD's coalition partner changed from the Left to the Christian Democratic Union. He was also sometimes mentioned as a possible SPD candidate for the Chancellorship of Germany (Kanzlerkandidatur), but that never materialized.Peter Walter
Peter Walter (born 5 December 1954) is a German-American molecular biologist and biochemist and Professor at the University of California, San Francisco.Reinhard Selten
Reinhard Justus Reginald Selten (5 October 1930 – 23 August 2016) was a German economist, who won the 1994 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (shared with John Harsanyi and John Nash). He is also well known for his work in bounded rationality and can be considered as one of the founding fathers of experimental economics.Susanne Küchler
Susanne Küchler, FBA is a German anthropologist and academic, who specialises in material culture. Since 2006, she has been a professor at University College London. She previously worked at the University of East Anglia and the Johns Hopkins University.Thomas Lengauer
Thomas Lengauer (born November 12, 1952) is a German computer scientist, working in the fields of computational biology, computational chemistry and combinatorial optimization.Wolfgang Becker
Wolfgang Becker (born 22 June 1954) is a German film director and writer. He is best known to the international audience for his work Good Bye Lenin! (2003).
Free University of Berlin