North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences and Arts

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North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences and Arts
founding 1970
place Dusseldorf
president Wolfgang Löwer

The North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences and Arts is one of the scientific academies in Germany . It belongs to the Union of German Academies of Science .

Headquarters of the Karl-Arnold-Haus Academy (2011)


The first idea of ​​founding a general society of learned people arose in 1815. At the beginning of the 20th century, a "Rhenish Society for Scientific Research" was founded, which from 1911 to 1915 promoted a large number of scientific projects.

The First World War brought this society to an early end. After the end of the Second World War, the then Prime Minister Karl Arnold founded the "Working Group for Research of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia" in 1950 at the suggestion of Ministerial Director Leo Brandt . The purpose of the amalgamation of scientific and technical disciplines was to advise the state government on the reconstruction of the country that was badly damaged by the war.

In the following years, the working group assumed an advisory role for the state government in the field of research and thus also had an influence on research policy. Research facilities were created and scientifically supervised, For example, the Jülich nuclear research facility , the German Research Institute for Aviation , the Society for Mathematics and Data Processing and the Institute for Silicosis Diseases. In 1952, the working group, which essentially represents today's class for natural sciences and medicine, was expanded to include a class for humanities. In order to take into account the great importance of engineering, the engineering and economics class was added in 2000.

With the construction of the Karl Arnold House in Düsseldorf-Unterbilk in 1960, the working group received its own building for its tasks. The working group became the “Rheinisch-Westfälische Akademie der Wissenschaften” in 1970. It was called “Nordrhein-Westfälische Akademie der Wissenschaften” from 1993 to 2008.

With the law amending and supplementing the law on the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences of June 24, 2008, the state parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia decided to add a fourth class of the arts. The North Rhine-Westphalian Academy was the first academy in Germany to include the arts as an independent class in a science academy and which has had the addition “and the arts” in its title since the law came into force. The admission of the first members of the class of the arts took place on May 13, 2009.


The academy is a corporation under public law . Their tasks consist of maintaining the scientific exchange of ideas among the members, maintaining relationships with other scientific institutions at home and abroad, stimulating scientific research, awarding prizes for outstanding scientific achievements, publishing scientific papers and, as a central point , the implementation of scientific projects of the academy program of the federal and state governments. The academy is based in Düsseldorf .

The North Rhine-Westphalian Academy is divided into three scientific classes and one class of arts. In addition, the Young College of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences and the Arts was founded at the Academy in 2006 to promote young academics in North Rhine-Westphalia , in which up to 30 outstanding young scientists from all disciplines can be appointed as fellows for four years each.

The classes are the actual bearers of the Academy's work. This includes the lecture program, scientific meetings, the academy's own publication series as well as specialist statements and events. The classes can set up commissions for the scientific supervision of research projects. In addition to the central commission for projects in the humanities class and the joint central commission for projects in the natural sciences and medicine class and the engineering and economics class, the following commissions have been set up:

  • Humanities class
    • Commission for the publication of the Real Lexicon for Antiquity and Christianity (RAC Commission)
    • Commission for Patristic and Late Antiquity
    • Archaeological Commission
    • Commission for the Hegel edition
    • Commission for the Averroes Latinus Edition
    • Commission for Papyrology, Epigraphy and Numismatics
    • Commission for the publication of the Acta Pacis Westphalicae
    • Commission for the German Inscriptions of the Middle Ages
    • Commission for the Monumenta Germaniae Historica
  • Science and medicine class
    • Commission for Large-Scale Climate Research
    • Discrete Mathematics and Applications Commission
    • Commission for the Hausdorff edition
    • Commission for the Study of Young Stars and Quasars
  • Engineering and economics class
    • Commission for the project "Rationality in the Light of Experimental Economic Research"
  • Class of arts

The current president has been the Bonn lawyer Wolfgang Löwer since January 1, 2016 . He was elected for a three-year term. Vice-presidents of the academy are from the class for engineering and economics Andreas Pfingsten , from the class for natural sciences and medicine Dieter Häussinger and Peter Michael Lynen from the class for arts.

A special feature of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy is the board of trustees. The Academy's board of trustees was headed by the former Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, Hannelore Kraft , and the former Minister of Science Svenja Schulze acted as her deputy . The Board of Trustees also includes the President of the Academy, the secretaries of the four classes and two public figures. These members are Udo Oels and Verena Kulenkampff . The personal composition of the board of trustees is intended to institutionalize contact with government agencies and at the same time enable connections to public circles.


The North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences and Arts awards:

Honorary members

See also


  • Wolfgang Löwer / Christiane Dusch (eds.): 50 years of academic conversation. Festschrift for the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences and Arts . Schöningh, Paderborn 2020. ISBN 978-3-506-76089-0 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Commissions of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences
  2. see the holdings of the edited collected works by GWF Hegel in the German National Library at
  3. Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Löwer elected as new President , press release of the Academy of October 8, 2015, accessed on February 14, 2017

Coordinates: 51 ° 12 ′ 34.7 "  N , 6 ° 46 ′ 17.1"  E