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Earth System Research

Leopoldina member Paul J. Crutzen introduced the term "Anthropocene” in the year 2000. This linguistic innovation expresses the indisputable fact that humankind has been a determining force on our planet since the middle of the 20th century. In terms of force and effect, we are in no way inferior to geological forces and are changing the system Earth permanently.

In the German science system, the geosciences in particular have traditionally been concerned with the Earth system. This discipline has changed dramatically in the past 20 years. Atmospheric research, geophysics, geology, biogeochemistry, geodesy, meteorology, microbiology, mineralogy, ecosystems research, remote sensing, paleoclimatology and space exploration are all part of the geosciences or at least facets of Earth system research. Earth science has thus become a highly diverse discipline that interfaces with many other departments and is correspondingly fragmented.

The goal of the Earth system research working group is to designate and analyze the systemic potentials and specific problems of transdisciplinary scientific development within the field of the Earth system and to formulate proposals for improvements on current research and educational structures.


Members of the Working Group

  • Prof. Dr. Jörg Bendix ML, Universität Marburg
  • Prof. Dr. Antje Boetius ML, Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Bremerhaven
  • Prof. Dr. Martin Claußen ML, Max-Planck-Institut für Meteorologie, Hamburg
  • Prof. Dr. Christian Dullo ML, GEOMAR – Helmholtz-Zentrum für Ozeanforschung Kiel
  • Prof. Dr. Wilfried Endlicher ML, Humboldt-Universität Berlin
  • Prof. (ETHZ) Dr. Gerald Haug ML, President of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
  • Prof. Dr. Heiner Igel ML, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
  • Prof. Dr. Ulrike Lohmann ML, ETH Zürich
  • Prof. Dr. Joachim Reitner, Universität Göttingen
  • Prof. Dr. Peter Schlosser ML, Arizona State University, Tempe
  • Prof. Dr. Manfred Strecker ML, Universität Potsdam
  • Prof. Dr. Friedhelm v. Blanckenburg ML, Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam, Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ
  • Prof. Dr. Gerhard Wörner, Universität Göttingen

ML = Member of the Leopoldina


Standing Committees and Topic Sites

Standing Committee Environment

Climate, Nutrition and the Environment



Dr. Christian Anton

Scientific Officer, Department Science - Policy - Society

Phone 0345 47 239 - 861
Fax 0345 47 239 - 839
E-Mail christian.anton (at)leopoldina.org



Dr. Henning Steinicke

Scientific Officer, Department Science - Policy - Society

Phone 0345 - 47 239 - 864
Fax 0345 - 47 239 - 839
E-Mail henning.steinicke (at)leopoldina.org