Climate researcher Gerald Haug appointed new Leopoldina President

The Director at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry will take over the leadership of the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina in March 2020

December 11, 2019

Gerald Haug has been appointed as the new President of the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.  On 1 March 2020, the climate researcher will be taking over the office from Jörg Hacker, who has been head of the Academy since 2010. Haug is the Managing Director of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz and a professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich; he has been a member of the Leopoldina since 2012.

Haug is a member of the Leopoldina senate and speaker on the topic of mathematics and natural and technical sciences. He is also the spokesperson of the working group “Climate targets 2030: Towards a sustainable reduction of CO₂ emissions” and co-author of the statement on the Future of the Seas and Oceans. The statement was compiled by the scientific academies of the G7 states in preparation for the summit in Elmau (2015) and handed over to the G7 heads of state and government.

"The Leopoldina plays an important, integrating role for science in Germany. It makes a significant contribution to achieving a fact-based social consensus on important issues of the future," says the designated President. "I will do all I can to ensure that the voice of science is heard even more clearly in politics and in society." The active researcher will retain his position as Director of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry's Climate Geochemistry department.  

“I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to Gerald Haug on being elected to this office. Haug is not only an excellent scientist, but also a committed advocate for the political implementation of scientific findings – something needed more than ever today. I am also very pleased that the Leopoldina Presidency has gone to a Max Planck scientist. This shows that the Max Planck Society is an integral part of the German science landscape,” says Martin Stratmann, President of the Max Planck Society.

Gerald Haug is a paleoclimatologist. His research focuses on how the climate has developed over the past millions of years and the interplay between climate and cultures. He studied geology in Karlsruhe. For his PhD, he moved to the University of Kiel, where he was awarded his doctorate degree in 1995. He then worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver (Canada) and at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (USA). In 1998, he spent two years as a research assistant professor at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles (USA). In early 2000, he joined the ETH Zurich (Switzerland) as senior assistant, and went on to qualify as a university lecturer in 2002. In 2003, he became a department head at the Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam and obtained a professorship at the University of Potsdam. In 2007, he was appointed full professor at the ETH Zurich. Since 2015, he has been director of the Climate Geochemistry department of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz and a scientific member of the Max Planck Society.

Gerald Haug has received several awards for his research. In 2007, he was awarded the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize of the German Research Foundation (DFG). The DFG had already awarded him the Albert Maucher Prize in Geoscience in 2001. The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich awarded Haug the Max Rössler Prize in 2010.

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