of the Humboldt Jubilee
Your Events for the Jubilee Year
Do you want to participate with events relating to Alexander von Humboldt during the jubilee year? Your Organization is located in Berlin or Brandenburg? Then write to us and present your project. After considering your proposal, we would be pleased to include your events on our website and provide access to the brand insignia “250th Anniversary of the Birth of Alexander von Humboldt” for your communication purposes.
Partners of the Humboldt Jubilee
The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation promotes academic cooperation between excellent researchers from Germany and around the world. It awards over 700 fellowships and prizes annually, funding academics from abroad to come to Germany to undertake a research project of their own choosing with a host and a cooperation partner. With the support of the foundation, academics from Germany can go abroad and collaborate with a member of the Humboldt network. Following the example of Alexander von Humboldt, the foundation thus maintains an institutional network of academic collaboration and trust. There are over 29.000 Humboldt scholars around the world, including 55 Nobel Prize winners.
As a pioneer in global cooperation, Germany is closely linked to Latin America thanks in particular to Alexander von Humboldt’s ground-breaking expedition to the region (1799 – 1804). On the occasion of the 250th anniversary of the polymath’s birth, the Federal Foreign Office, together with the Goethe-Institut and several other partners, will launch the initiative “Humboldt y las Américas” in Latin America in 2019 under the patronage of the Federal President. With a variety of cross-border and interdisciplinary projects on topics studied by Humboldt himself – from exhibitions, symposiums and conferences to workshops for schools, game jams and a big festival in Bogotá – the Humboldt Season will intensify both dialogue and exchange with Latin America.
The Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities is a learned society with a three-hundred-year-old tradition of uniting outstanding scholars and scientists across national and disciplinary boundaries. 79 Nobel prizewinners have shaped its history. As the largest non-university research institute for the humanities in the Berlin-Brandenburg region, it preserves and reveals the region’s cultural inheritance, while also pursuing research and offering advice on issues that are crucial for the future of society and providing a forum for dialogue between scholarship and public.
“The Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities is closely associated with Alexander von Humboldt. In 1800, he became a member of the academy and participated in an extensive reform of Berlin’s academic landscape. Intensive research on Humboldt has taken place at our institution since the 1970s. With our current long-term project, we are setting standards for the digital edition of Humboldt’s legacy. It is an honor for us to contribute to the jubilee celebration with numerous events at our location.”
Prof. Dr. Martin Grötschel, president, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities
“Alexander von Humboldt’s understand of science and scholarship is a model for us today. It is about diversity and maintaining an overview, now and then.”
—Dr. Patricia Rahemipour, director, Botanisches Museum
Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum Berlin with 400,000 visitors annually is one of the city’s major attractions. 20,000 species of plants can be discovered in this unique garden complex. Berlin’s Botanisches Museum is the city’s only blossoming museum, presenting models of blossoms, dioramas, plant materials found at Egyptian burial sites, and even Alexander von Humboldt’s walking stick.
As part of Berlin’s Freie Universität, the Botanischer Garten is a nodal point for international biodiversity research. The collections are the basis for research on biodiversity and systematizing plant life around the world. The herbarium is one of the world’s largest botanical archives with 3.8 million plant samples from 1700 until today, including over 3,000 original samples collected by Alexander von Humboldt himself.
Deutsches Historisches Museum is conceived as a central location to promote historical and political reasoning that forms in the discussion of diverse, often contrary opinions. To complement the chronological permanent exhibition “German History from the Middle Ages to the Fall of the Wall” at Zeughaus, special exhibitions in the exhibition space designed by I. M. Pei are dedicated to the historical foundation of current issues.
This includes an exhibition on Alexander and Wilhelm von Humboldt examining the work of the two brothers in the context of their time. In an interdisciplinary and international program of events, their work is examined under current aspects in order to better classify and evaluate their attitudes and actions in the sense of historical reasoning.
“The Humboldt brothers stand for reason, a talent for diplomacy, and academic curiosity. But their biographies also reveal the problematic aspects and constraints of scientific research and the ideal of education they helped to shape. Even today, their work and their biographies remain a strong challenge for us, and we want to accept this challenge in this exhibition.”
Prof. Raphael Gross, president, Deutsches Historisches Museum
Anfang des 19. Jahrhunderts erkannten die Humboldt-Brüder, dass eine Reform der Bildung notwendig sei, denn schon damals diagnostizierte man in Deutschland einen Nachwuchsmangel in den naturwissenschaftlich-technischen Disziplinen. Sie richteten das sogenannte Franz-Neumann-Seminarein, um jungen Leuten einen praktischen und experimentellen Zugang zu den Naturphänomenen zu ermöglichen. Das dort etablierte experimentelle Arbeiten beeinflusste die gesamte deutsche Naturwissenschaft im 19. Jahrhundert. Die Schüler dieses Seminars besetzten in den folgenden Jahren fast alle deutschen Lehrstühle für Physik.
Seit der Gründung des wissenschaftlichen Mitmachmuseums Extavium (2006) steht dieser Humboldtsche Grundgedanke im Mittelpunkt unserer pädagogischen Arbeit: In unseren angeleiteten Experimentierkursen wird durch eigenes Handanlegen, Ausprobieren und Erkennen ein unmittelbares Be-greifen möglich. Denn Lernen ist kein passives Geschehen. Selbst tätig werden und ein entdeckendes und erfinderisches Denken sind unabdingbare Voraussetzungen für ein Verständnis der Welt, die uns umgibt.
In legendary “Kosmos” lectures, Alexander von Humboldt linked various scholarly disciplines with one another, studying the interactions between natural phenomena and human actions and viewing the world in a global way. The ingenious researcher and explorer thus introduced an entirely new approach to scholarship.
“Alexander von Humboldt’s rigorously interdisciplinary approach to research, his realization that all phenomena, those of nature and of humanity, are globally linked to one another, is today more relevant than ever. We can only solve the great challenges of our time by continuing to pursue this approach,” according to Prof. Sabine Kunst, president, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.
Alexander von Humboldt studied, taught, and researched at the university founded by his brother Wilhelm in 1810. He also held most of his Kosmos lectures here.
The Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut – Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz is a multidisciplinary institution of the humanities, social sciences and culture with a regional focus on Latin America, the Caribbean, Spain, and Portugal. As an “area studies” institute that includes trans-regional interconnections and a library with the second largest collection worldwide on Latin America and the Caribbean, it is genuinely international in terms of its orientation. A unique center that combines information, research, and culture, it is a place of knowledge production and distribution.
“Entirely in the spirit of Alexander von Humboldt, the interlinkage of knowledge and its materiality form the foundation of work at Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut.”
Prof. Dr. Barbara Göbel, director, Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut
The Museum für Naturkunde Berlin is an open, integrated, and globally acting research institute. Its collections are a unique academic and cultural treasure that together with international experts can be researched and made accessible from anywhere around the world. The Museum’s collection has around 800 objects that were collected by Alexander von Humboldt himself or are linked to him in some way; the museum presents these exhibits both in the permanent exhibition as in the special Humboldt exhibition. Humboldt showed how science and scholarship can penetrate the consciousness of a society.
“Humboldt’s life’s work and our work form a symbiosis: enthusiasm, fascination, research, communication and education, changing society for nature!,” in the words of general director Prof. Johannes Vogel.
The German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina brings together the expertise of some 1,500 distinguished scientists to bear on questions of social and political relevance, publishing unbiased and timely scientific opinions. The Leopoldina represents the German scientific community in international committees and pursues the advancement of science for the benefit of humankind and for a better future.
Alexander von Humboldt was elected member of the Leopoldina in 1793. In the Humboldt Year 2019, the Leopoldina pays tribute to the legacy of this cosmopolitan world scholar. In various events, it remembers Humboldt’s work and highlights its relevance for today’s science.
“As one of the last great universal scholars, Alexander von Humboldt laid the foundations for many areas of modern science. Through his research trips and his incessant correspondence with scholars from almost all continents, Humboldt was truly a pioneer of networking and globalised science.”
Professor Jörg Hacker, President, German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
The largest general academic library in Germany has a collection consisting of 12 million books and over 2 million special materials, manuscripts from all around the world, scores, maps, and historical newspapers. The 1,600 literary estates in the collection include that of Alexander von Humboldt, digitized completely on line. The collection of electronic media is also growing constantly. The focus of current collecting is placed on the humanities and social sciences. Literature from all periods, countries, and languages is acquired and kept in our holdings: the reading halls can be found in the buildings on Unter den Linden and at Postdamer Platz.
When Alexander von Humboldt set off in Berlin on his voyage of world discovery at the end of the eighteenth century, he was well aware that our view of the other, the foreign, is always shaped by our own world. He even considered this perspective typical of human experience.
“It is in this very spirit that Humboldt Forum will open in September 2020 as a place of encounter, dynamic experience, and inspiring learning. A wide range of offerings will encourage visitors to encounter the differences that characterize the world’s art and culture, differences that bring us together,” in the words of Hartmut Dorgerloh, the general director of Humboldt Forum.
Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg administers over 300 architectural ensembles and more than 700 hectares of gardens. 35 buildings are regularly accessible to the public, including Potsdam’s Sannssouci, Neues Palais, the Bildergalerie, the Neue Kammern, the Orangereie, and Schloss Charlottenhof, the Marmorpalais, Schloss Cecilienhof and Schloss Babelsberg; in Berlin Schloss Charlottenburg, Schloss Glienicke, Schloss Grunewald and Schloss Schönhausen. Alexander von Humboldt lived for most of his life as guest of the Kings Friedrich Wilhelm III and Friedrich Wilhelm IV, reporting on his travels and his research at illustrious gatherings hosted by the royal family.
In five institutions, Stadtmuseum Berlin presents exhibitions on the city’s history from the very beginning to the present: at Märkisches Museum, Nikolaikirche, Ephraim-Palais, and Museum Knoblauchhaus, and Museumsdorf Düppel. As of 2019, an exhibition at Humboldt Forum will be dedicated to exchanges between Berlin and the world. With 4.5 million objects, the holdings of Stadtmuseum Berlin make it one of the largest historical municipal museums in Germany. All the objects related to Alexander von Humboldt have been digitized and are available to the public at https://sammlung-online.stadtmuseum.de. In future, Museum Knoblauchhaus will feature a special exhibition on the brothers Alexander and Wilhelm von Humboldt.
Founded in 1765, the TU Bergakademie Freiberg is world’s oldest university of mining. For 250 years, raw and engineering materials as well as energy have been the focus of the Bergakademie’s holistic resource profile in research and teaching. From exploration and extraction through preparation, refining and processing and even on to recycling, the Bergakademie accounts for economic, ecological and social aspects. The TU Bergakademie Freiberg owes its excellent international reputation to this unique research and teaching profile.
Over the centuries, a large number of important personalities from Germany and abroad have carried out research and studied at the Bergakademie. One of the best-known among them was Alexander von Humboldt. He focused on natural and mining sciences during the short time he had studied in Freiberg from June 1791 to February 1792.