Distinguished Senior Scientist

Prof. Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard

Distinguished Senior Scientist

Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard is a German biologist and biochemist. She studied biology, physics and chemistry at the Goethe University in Frankfurt/Main and obtained her diploma in biochemistry in Tübingen in 1968. She received her doctorate in natural sciences from the University of Tübingen (1973) in genetics.

Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard‘s research focuses primarily on questions of evolutionary biology, in particular on forms and shapes during the development of animals. From 1985 to 2014, she was Director of the Department of Genetics at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Tübingen. Since then, she has continued to lead a large emeritus research group at the same MPI entitled, Colour Pattern Formation. Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard has received numerous awards, honorary doctorates and prizes for her discoveries, including the Leibnitz Prize of the German Research Foundation (1986), the Albert Lasker Medical Research Award (1991) and, as the first German woman ever, the Nobel Prize for Medicine (1995). She is a member of the Royal Society (England), the National Academy (USA), the Leopoldina (Germany), the Berlin-Bran- denburg Academy (Germany), the Curia of Science (Austria) and the Académie des Sciences (France). As a member of the German Ethics Council (2001-2006), Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard has always faced the critical questions of genetic engineering and discussed them openly. She was President of the Society of German Natural Scientists and Physicians (until 2008) and Secretary General of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) (until 2009). Since 2005 she has been a member of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council (ERC) of the European Union, and since 2013 she has been Chancellor of the Order Pour Le Mérite for Sciences and Arts, of which she has been a member since 1997. Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard has published around 200 publications in scientific journals, numerous newspaper articles (FAZ, Die Zeit) on current topics, as well as several books for general readers: „Das Werden des Lebens“ by CH Beck, and „Von Genen und Embryonen“ by Reclam, and „Schönheit der Tiere“ by Matthes und Seitz.

For many years, Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard has been committed to promoting women scientists. The Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard Foundation for Women in Science, which she founded in 2004 and in which she is still active as chairper- son, supports talented young female scientists with children to give them the freedom and financial support they need for a scientific career. Furthermore, Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard mentors young female and male researchers on their way to a scientific career of their own. In summer 2020, she was appointed honorary senator of the Max Planck Society. With this award, the members of the General Assembly of the Max Planck Society honoured her decades of top-level research and highlighted her extraordinary commitment to promoting female scientists.

Prof. Hartmut Rosa

Distinguished Senior Scientist

Hartmut Rosa is a German sociologist and political scientist. He studied philosophy, political science and German studies in Freiburg and London from 1986 to 1993. He then received a doctoral scholarship from the German National Academic Foundation (1993 to 1996). With his dissertation „Identity and Cultural Practice. Political Philosophy after Charles Taylor“, he was awarded a doctorate (Dr. rer. soc.) summa cum laude in 1997 at the Humboldt University in Berlin. In 2004 he habilitated with a thesis on „Social Acceleration. Die Veränderung der Zeitstrukturen in der Moderne“ (Social Acceleration: The Change of Time Structures in Modernity) in the subjects of sociology and political science at the University of Jena, where he is still active today as Professor of General and Theoretical Sociology.

Hartmut Rosa specialises in the topics of time diagnosis and modernity analysis, normative and empirical foundations of social criticism, subject and identity theories, sociology of time and acceleration theory, and currently with what he calls the „sociology of world relations“. Particularly noteworthy are his analyses of the thematic spectrum of „resonance“ and the question of „unavailability“ as attitudes or attitudes of people in our culture. Rosa has received several awards for his research and special services to science, including the Tractatus Prize for Philosophical Essay Writing (2016) and the Erich Fromm Prize of the International Erich Fromm Society for the Recovery of Humanistic Thought and Action in the Sense of Erich Fromm (2018). In 2020, he was awarded the Werner Heisenberg Medal by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in recognition of his services to international scientific cooperation and for his many years of work on the Anneliese Maier Selection Committee. Rosa‘s research contributes significantlyto „education to global citizens“; thus educating them to become responsible individuals in a globalised world. For this, he received the Rob Rhoads Global Citizenship Education Award from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2020.

As Director of the Max Weber College for Cultural and Social Studies at the University of Erfurt, Hartmut Rosa has dedicated many years to promoting diversity and equal participation and transparency in theory and practice in a prejudice-free working environment. The fellows of the Max Weber College like the JQYA fellows work on an interdisciplinary research project for a limited period of time. Furthermore, the College stands for inter-generationality, inter-nationality and intersectorality.

His contribution to promoting interdisciplinarity and internationalisation in research was recognised when he gave the keynote lecture at the conclusion of the Salzburg University Weeks. The Salzburg University Weeks are an annual summer university of the University of Salzburg, the aim of which is to form a university forum where theology, together with all other sciences, addresses both fundamental and current questions, and the problems of our time. Hartmut Rosa is committed to the freedom and independence of research and teaching – two important principles of the JQYA – and shows solidarity with scholars all over the world who do not enjoy this freedom.

Prof. Eleonore Stump

Distinguished Senior Scientist

Dr. Eleonore Stump is an American Robert J. Henle Professor of Philosophy at Saint Louis University. She received a B.A. in Classics from Grinnell College, a Master‘s from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in Medieval Studies and Medieval Philosophy from Cornell University in 1975. She taught at Oberlin College, Virginia Tech and the University of Notre Dame before coming to Saint Louis University in 1992.

Eleonore Stump is one of the most important philosophers in the USA. She is distinguished in the field of analytic philosophy with a focus on systematic epistemology and philosophical epistemology, but also in practical philosophy, especially ethics. In classical subject areas such as the history of philosophy, the special focus is on 13th century philosophy, logic and ontology. Eleonore Stump has also contributed significantly to the authors of late antiquity (such as Boethius) and the early Middle Ages.

She has published widely in the fields of critical philosophy of religion, contemporary metaphysics and medieval philosophy. Her books include Aquinas (2003), Wandering in Darkness: Narrative and the Problem of Suffering (2010), and Atonement (2018). Eleonore Stump has received numerous honorary professorships and honorary doctorates from Wuhan University and Logos Institute, St Andrews, and the Australian Catholic University, among others. She has delivered the Gifford Lectures in Aberdeen a prestigious series of lectures on natural theology in the ancient universities of Scotland; the Wilde Lectures in Oxford (2006); the Stewart Lectures in Princeton (2009) and the Stanton Lectures in Cambridge (2018). She is a past president of the Society of Christian Philosophers, the American Catholic Philosophical Association, and the American Philosophical Association, Central Division. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a recipient of the Aquinas Medal of the American Catholic Philosophical Association (ACPA) – one of the highest honours in philosophy. For her life‘s work outstanding teaching; personal publications of lasting and scholarly value and influence on American philosophical thought Eleonore Stump was awarded the American Maritain Association Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017.

Eleonore Stump is in close exchange with representatives of contemporary philosophy of science such as brain research; and combines analytical with hermeneutic methods in philosophy. She has a strong international reputation and has held visiting professorships in many countries in Asia (including frequent stays in China, Korea and Japan), Europe (including Goethe University Frankfurt) and America.
As a brilliant philosopher whose writings have shaped the intellectual climate of the discipline both within and outside the Catholic mainstream, Eleonore Stump will excel in the role of Distinguished Senior Scientist, significantly influencing and helping to shape the controversial discourses of the Johanna Quandt Young Academy.

Distinguished Senior Scientist 2018-2021

Prof. Dr. Seyla Benhabib

Distinguished Senior Scientist

Seyla Benhabib is the Eugene Meyer Professor of Political Science and Philosophy at Yale University and was Director of the Program in Ethics, Politics and Economics (2002-2008).

Professor Benhabib was the President of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association in 2006-07, a Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin in 2009, at the NYU Straus Institute for the Advanced Study of Law and Justice in Spring 2012, and at the German Marshall Fund’s Transatlantic Academy in Washington DC in Spring 2013.

In 2009, she received the Ernst Bloch prize for her contributions to cultural dialogue in a global civilization and in May 2012, the Leopold Lucas Prize of the Evangelical Academy of Tubingen.  She holds honorary degrees from the Humanistic University in Utrecht in 2004, the University of Valencia in November 2010, from Bogazici University in May 2012, Georgetown (2014) and Universite de Geneve (2017).

She received a Guggenheim grant during 2010-2011 for her work on sovereignty and international law.  Professor Benhabib was awarded the Meister Eckhart Prize of the Identity Foundation and the University of Cologne in May 2014 for her contributions of contemporary thought. Professor Benhabib was elected to be Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy for the Humanities and Social Sciences (Summer 2018).

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Prof. Dr. Gunnar von Heijne

Distinguished Senior Scientist

Professor Nils Gunnar Hansson von Heijne is a Swedish scientist working on signal peptides, membrane proteins and bioinformatics at the Stockholm Center for Biomembrane Research at Stockholm University.

Gunnar von Heijne graduated 1975 with a Master of Science degree in chemistry and chemical engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH). He then became a doctoral student in theoretical physics at KTH, in a research group focusing on statistical mechanics and theoretical biophysics, and was awarded his Ph.D. in 1980.

In 1983 he was made docent in theoretical biophysics at KTH, where he remained until 1988. 1982-1985 he was active as a science reporter at Sveriges Radio. 1989-1994 he was active at Karolinska Institutet, and in 1994 he was made a professor in theoretical chemistry at Stockholm University. In 2012 he was awarded the Accomplishment by a Senior Scientist Award by the International Society for Computational Biology.

Von Heijne is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences since 1997 and a member of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry from 2001 to 2009, and the Committees chairman from 2007 to 2009. In 2008, he received an honorary doctorate at Abo Academi.

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Prof. Dr. Nicola Spaldin

Distinguished Senior Scientist

Nicola Spaldin is Professor of Materials Theory at ETH Zurich, known for her pioneering research on multiferroics. Spaldin was inspired to search for multiferroics, magnetic ferroelectric materials, by a remark about potential collaboration made by a colleague studying ferroelectrics during her postdoctoral research at Yale University from 1996 to 1997.

She continued developing the theory of these materials as a new faculty member at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), and in 2000 published for the first time the explaination why few such materials were known.

Following her theoretical predictions, she was part of a team that experimentally demonstrated the multiferroic properties of bismuth ferrite. Spaldin was the 2010 winner of the American Physical Society’s James C. McGroddy Prize for New Materials, the 2015 winner of the Körber European Science Prize for „laying the theoretical foundation for the new family of multiferroic materials“ and one of the laureates of the 2017 L’Oréal-UNESCO Awards for Women in Science.

Spaldin is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (2008), the Materials Research Society (2011) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2013), and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2017.

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