Academy of Sciences and Literature

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Academy of Sciences and Literature
motto Genio Leibnitii
founding 1949
Sponsorship autonomous
place Mainz , Germany
president Pure Anderl
Main building, Geschwister-Scholl-Strasse, Mainz

The Academy of Sciences and Literature in Mainz (AdW-Mainz) is a German academy of science with the aim of maintaining the sciences and literature and the preservation and promotion of culture . On the one hand, it is an interdisciplinary learned society that transcends national borders, and on the other hand, it is the sponsor of research projects from a wide variety of disciplines.


The Mainz Academy has its roots in the founding of the Electoral Brandenburg Society of Sciences by GW Leibniz in 1700. This society later became the Prussian Academy of Sciences, and after the Second World War the Academy of Sciences of the GDR as well as the "Academy of Sciences and Literature in Mainz". Leibniz's concern, to which the seal of the Mainz Academy with the motto "Genio Leibnitii" ("In the spirit of Leibniz") refers, was the association of outstanding scientists from all disciplines to promote interdisciplinary cutting-edge research and to encourage dialogue about burning contemporary and contemporary research Future issues of society.

The idea of ​​founding an academy of science and literature in West Germany arose in 1949 among former members of the Prussian Academy. After the Second World War, they wanted to continue their research and projects in the newly founded Federal Republic.

They found allies for the establishment of the Mainz Academy in the French occupation zone. General Raymond Schmittlein should be mentioned here, who already promoted the reconstruction of the University of Mainz and the establishment of the Institute for European History. Likewise Alfred Döblin , who - returned from exile - worked in Baden-Baden as a cultural officer and also had a re-establishment of the Prussian Academy of the Arts and its poetry section in mind.

On July 9, 1949, a science academy was founded, which held a unique position in the German academy landscape, since it had a class of mathematics and natural sciences as well as a humanities and social science class as well as a class of literature (now expanded to include music). The current location in Mainz was selected as the seat for the newly founded academy from the start.


On the one hand it is a learned society that transcends national borders, on the other hand it is the sponsor of various research projects and organizer of scientific conferences and symposia. The AdW-Mainz is also a member of the Union of German Academies of Sciences .

In its work, the academy focuses on the field of long-term basic research , provided that this is not carried out by other institutions such as the Max Planck Society .

The AdW-Mainz oversees many complete editions of well-known composers ( Bach Edition, Haydn Complete Edition, Mozart Edition, Wagner Complete Edition, Carl Maria von Weber Complete Edition, Schönberg Complete Edition) and the Répertoire International des Sources Musicales (RISM) with a central editorial office at the university library in Frankfurt am Main.

Legal form and structure

Structure of the Academy of Sciences and Literature

The AdW-Mainz is a corporation under public law . It is a state institution of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate.


The AdW-Mainz is divided into three classes:

  • Mathematics and science class
  • Humanities and social science class
  • Class of literature and music

At the head of the academy is the president, supported by the vice-presidents elected by the three classes and a general secretary. Each of the three classes can choose up to 50 full members from all over Germany, who present the broadest possible range of subjects and are among the leading scientists in their field. Most of the members - scientists and writers - have received multiple awards. The Nobel Prize went to Niels Bohr , Otto Hahn , Konrad Lorenz , Halldór Laxness , Heinrich Böll , and Jean-Marie Lehn , among others .

Each class has 50 ordinary and up to 50 corresponding members. While the full members are elected from among professors or writers from all over Germany, the corresponding members are internationally renowned scientists. An innovation in 2010 was the expansion of the literature class to include music and the selection of well-known musicians and composers.

Acting President of the AdW-Mainz is currently Reiner Anderl .

Place of dialogue

Regular meetings take place four times a year, in which all classes meet for an interdisciplinary discourse . There are also public lectures followed by discussions, as well as symposia and conferences that arise from the research environment of the members and the projects and are devoted to current topics. In the series of questions about the future of society , experts sit down interdisciplinary z. B. deals with problems of globalization, biomedical ethics, climate change, questions of religions or the problem of the aging of our society. The answers to such questions also provide insights for politics and society. Additional symposia on topics such as prospects for future energy supply , the euro crisis or questions of fundamentalism also take up current debates.

Young Academy logo

The Young Academy

The Young Academy of the Academy of Sciences and Literature Mainz consists of 37 young academics who are accepted for a period of four years in recognition of their outstanding scientific and artistic achievements to date. Membership in the Junge Akademie supports them in pursuing their academic career and offers them the opportunity to expand their academic network under the banner of interdisciplinarity.

The aim of the Junge Akademie is the interdisciplinary and intergenerational dialogue between excellent scientists, which should lead to a fruitful exchange and scientific excellence. The members take an active part in the events of the Academy by participating in the plenary sessions and other events. In addition, they can initiate their own research initiatives and events.

The Young Academy is financially supported by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation , which sees particular value in the integration of young scientists into the already established learned society of the Mainz Academy. There is also a cooperation with the Werner Reimers Foundation in Bad Homburg, which makes its premises available to the Junge Akademie for additional events.

The Digital Academy and the Mainz Center for Digitality

The range of tasks of the Digital Academy includes the areas of conception, design and implementation of humanities research applications or virtual research environments using IT processes, advising the academy on all aspects of digitization projects and project support in the implementation of digital components together with partners from science and industry. At the same time, the Digital Academy is researching key issues in the digital humanities with a focus on the long-term nature of the academy program.

In Mainzed ( proper spelling mainzed ), the Mainz center for digitality in the humanities and cultural sciences, the academy is located together with five other Mainz science organizations ( Institute for Historical Regional Studies at the University of Mainz eV, Leibniz Institute for European History , Mainz University of Applied Sciences , Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz , Roman-Germanic Central Museum and Leibniz research center for Archeology ) in order to jointly research and mediation in the field of digital humanities ( digital humanities to dedicate).

Awards and Foundations


The Academy of Sciences and Literature, Mainz, awards the following prizes:


  • Academy Foundation Mainz
  • Walter and Sibylle Kalkhof Rose Foundation
  • Kurt Ringger Foundation
  • Wilhelm Lauer Foundation

Regular events

  • Literature in the state parliament
  • Music in the state parliament
  • Mainz music lecturer
  • Mainz poetry lecturer
  • Mainz poetics round


Web links

Commons : Academy of Sciences and Literature  - collection of images, videos and audio files


Current research projects

Coordinates: 49 ° 58 ′ 35.7 ″  N , 8 ° 16 ′ 14.6 ″  E