Hans Mohr

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hans Mohr (born May 11, 1930 in Altburg ; † December 29, 2016 ) was a German biologist and plant physiologist as well as a proponent of a biological philosophy of science . He was a full professor at the Institute for Biology II at the University of Freiburg.


Hans Mohr studied biology , physics and philosophy at the University of Tübingen . In 1956 he completed his dissertation with Erwin Bünning , one of the founders of chronobiology , on a topic of photomorphogenesis . He then did a postdoc in Beltsville at the Research Station of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Sterling Hendricks' group . In 1959 he received his habilitation at the University of Tübingen.

In 1960, Mohr, succeeding Friedrich Oehlkers , became a full professor of botany at the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg . At that time he was the youngest professor of botany in Germany. In Freiburg, together with Bernhard Hassenstein , he set up what would later become the Faculty of Biology . They developed the interdisciplinary teaching areas of human biology and comparative behavioral research . The Botanical Institute of the University of Freiburg has become a leading international center for plant developmental biology. Mohr retired in 1998.

From 1992 Mohr was a scientific member of the board of directors of the Academy for Technology Assessment in Stuttgart , where he contributed to the public discussion on the subjects of genetic engineering , water quality, energy from biomass and human capital. He also founded and headed the special research areas “Molecular Basics of Development” and “Biological Signal Reaction Chains” of the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the “Nitrate Assimilation” research center of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences . During his time in Freiburg, he also held visiting professorships at the University of Massachusetts .

Hans Mohr was married to the biochemist Elisabeth Kraut.


With experimental studies (especially on white mustard ), Mohr and his group leaders contributed to the knowledge of the physiological, biochemical and molecular genetic control of plant development through light ( photomorphogenesis ). On the basis of his research results and his lectures as a university professor, a comprehensive textbook on plant physiology was created, which has found worldwide distribution in English.

In addition to the work on photomorphogenesis, Mohr dealt with pressing problems in questions of ethics and the theory of science, with the energy problem and renewable resources. His work has resulted in more than 20 books and over 350 publications in professional journals.

About Mohr's philosophy of science

In his 1999 book “Knowledge - Principle and Resource” , Hans Mohr describes the close connection between knowledge , science and scientists . “Science is a systematic, disciplined search for knowledge that is tied to methods and institutions .” He describes the young scientist as a novice , who is introduced to traditional knowledge and the corresponding methods by older colleagues. The scientist's interest in science is paired with the desire for recognition by the Scientific Society. In order for recognition to be rightly granted, every novice of science must acquire certain, recognized methods as well as certain, recognized scientific ethos . The latter presupposes the assumption that scientific knowledge is limited, which every scientist must accept. Mohr uses the medical case study of apoptosis to describe the limits that this ethos sets for science and the changes in scientific perspectives . The normative foundations of science, which have not yet been explored, are intellectual freedom, freedom of research and the primacy of knowledge. This guarantees the quality of scientific research. It is also sufficient for the majority of scientists to implement this scientific code in order to maintain a correct level of knowledge.

Memberships and honors

Mohr has received numerous honors for his scientific achievements:

Fonts (selection)

  • Unfolding, development, maturation / ed. by Kurt Wallenfels. Lectures by Hans Mohr… Freiburg i. Br .: Schulz, 1964. 115 pp.
  • Information and utopia: the future of man from the perspective of the natural scientist; [Lecture given on February 5, 1969 ...]. Freiburg i. Br .: Schulz, 1969.
  • Textbook of Plant Physiology Springer, 1969.
  • Control of development through light. Bonn-Bad Godesberg: Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, 1970.
  • Science and Human Existence: Lectures on the structure and meaning of science. 2., unchanged. Edition Freiburg: Rombach, 1970.
  • Molecular Foundations of Development / Hans Mohr; Peter custom. Munich: BLV, 1971.
  • About the importance of the natural sciences for the culture of our time. Halle (Saale): Dt. Akad. D. Naturf. Leopoldina, 1973.
  • Lectures on structure and significance of science. New York; Heidelberg: Springer, 1977.
  • The self-image of the university professor: presentations on d. 28th University Association Day on May 6, 1978 / by Thomas Ellwein and Hans Mohr. Bonn-Bad Godesberg: University Association, 1978.
  • Freiburg lectures on human biology. Bernhard Hassenstein , Hans Mohr, Günther Osche , Quelle u. M., Wiesbad., 1979.
  • Biological knowledge: its origin and meaning; with 4 tabs.Stuttgart: Teubner, 1981.
  • Evolutionary Epistemology: a plea for a research program; presented at the meeting on July 2, 1983. Berlin; Heidelberg: Springer, 1983.
  • Can science justify evolutionistically? In Weingartner / Czermak, Epistemology and Philosophy of Science, 1983.
  • Biological roots of ethics ?: [Lecture 7 December 1982]. Heidelberg: Müller, 1983.
  • The Evil in Evolution and the Goodness of God / Contribution by Hans Mohr ... Edited by Wolfgang Böhme. Karlsruhe: Böhme; Karlsruhe: Evang. Akad. Baden, 1983.
  • The ethics of science: Compatible with the concept of evolutionary epistemology? In Wuketits, Concepts and Approaches in Evolutionary Epistemology - 1984.
  • Homo investigans, homo politicus: the natural scientist's self-image. Konstanz: Universitaetsverl., 1985.
  • Order and Chaos in Evolution. Stuttgart: Hippokrates-Verl., 1987.
  • Evolutionary epistemology, ethics and morals. In Riedl / Wuketits , The Evolutionary Epistemology- 1987.
  • Nature and people / Hermann Dembowski (ed.). With contribution from Hans Mohr. ... Munich: Schnell & Steiner, 1990.
  • The nitrogen: a critical element of the biosphere; presented at the meeting on November 18, 1989. Berlin; Heidelberg: Springer, 1990.
  • Energy demand and cultural history. Freiburg i. Br .: Rombach, 1993.
  • Leopoldina Symposium The Terrestrial Nitrogen Cycle as Influenced by Man: German Academy of Natural Scientists Leopoldina, Halle (Saale). Leipzig; Berlin; Heidelberg: Barth, 1994.
  • Weak points in nitrate and ammonium assimilation - an opportunity for genetic engineering? Berlin; Heidelberg: Springer, 1994.
  • The tension field of energy: problems and perspectives. Freiburg im Breisgau: Rombach, 1995.
  • Qualitative growth: solution for the future. Stuttgart: Weitbrecht , 1995.
  • Forest damage in Central Europe - what's behind it ?. Opladen: Westdt. Ed., 1995.
  • Nature and Morality: Ethics in Biology. Special edition Darmstadt: Wiss. Buchges., 1995.
  • Does electrosmog endanger health? / Hans Schaefer. with a statement from the Academy for Technology Assessment in Baden-Württemberg / Hans Mohr. 2nd edition Stuttgart: Academy for Technology Assessment in Baden-Württemberg, 1995.
  • Exchange of words: Gabriele von Arnim with Hans Mohr / Director: Isolde Rinker . Stuttgart: SDR , 1996.
  • Biotechnology - genetic engineering. an opportunity for new industries (publications by the Academy for Technology Assessment in Baden-Württemberg) Thomas von Schell, Springer Verlag, 1996.
  • Biological roots of orientation knowledge. In Riedl / Delpos, The Evolutionary Epistemology in the Mirror of Science - 1996.
  • Water - the elementary resource: guidelines for sustainable use / H. Lehn; M. Steiner; H. Mohr. Berlin; Heidelberg: Springer, 1996.
  • Sustainable agriculture and forestry. Expertise (publications by the Academy for Technology Assessment in Baden-Württemberg) Günther Linckh, Hubert Sprich, Holger Flaig, Hans Mohr Springer Verlag, 1997.
  • The Overloaded Nitrogen Cycle: Strategies for Correction; with 35 tables / Holger Flaig and Hans Mohr. Edited by the Academy for Technology Assessment in Baden-Württemberg in collaboration with the German Academy of Natural Scientists Leopoldina. Leipzig; Heidelberg: Barth, 1996.
  • Technology assessment in theory and practice. Berlin; Heidelberg; New York; Barcelona; Hong Kong; London: Springer, 1998.
  • Plant Physiology Hans Mohr, Peter Schopfer Springer Verlag, 1998.
  • The Terrestrial Nitrogen Cycle as Influenced by Man Hans Mohr, Klaus Müntz , Karl F. Haug Fachbuchverlag, 1999.
  • Plant Physiology / Peter Schopfer; Axel Brennicke; by Hans Mohr. 5., fundamentally revised. and act. Berlin edition; Heidelberg: Springer, 1999.
  • Knowledge - principle and resource. Berlin; Heidelberg: Springer, 1999.
  • Truthfulness and Reliability in Research: Danger from Manipulation and Insincerity? Freiburg: Rombach, 2001.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Obituary notice , Badische Zeitung , December 31, 2016, accessed on December 31, 2016.
  2. ^ Mohr: Knowledge - Principle and Resource.
  3. Ibid. P. 165. See also p. 29.
  4. Ibid. P. 149 ff.
  5. Member entry by Prof. Dr. Hans Mohr at the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina , accessed on July 19, 2016.