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Foto: Alexander von Humboldt / Kosmos

From von Humboldt into the Anthropocene

June 20 – 21, 2019

Halle (Saale), Germany
Jägerberg 1

organized by:
Leopoldina - Nationale Akademie der Wissenschaften • Institute for Geosciences, Universität Postdam • GeoUnion Alfred-Wegener-Stiftung

Bild: Friedrich Georg Weitsch
Alexander von Humboldt und Aimé Bonpland am Fuß des Vulkans Chimborazo

On the occasion of Alexander von Humboldt's 250th birthday this symposium will assess, evaluate, and highlight his contributions to the field of Earth System Science and beyond, including life-long learning and the dissemination of scientific results. Alexander von Humboldt's seminal contributions addressed numerous topics in the Earth sciences - spanning from geobotany, climatology, paleontology, oceanography, stratigraphy, mineralogy, resource, and hydrogeology to links between the environmental impact of humans, erosion, and climate change. Early on he thus paved the way for a modern, integrated Earth System Science approach to decipher, characterize, and model the different forcing factors and their feedback mechanisms that govern the Earth's systems.

The future of Earth System Science

Today, the highly interdisciplinary field of Earth System Science stands at the vanguard of our attempt to understand and cope with those changes in our natural environment that continue to challenge us. In this way, Earth System Science will be essential to fostering awareness and facilitating discussion of key environmental and social issues in the 21st century.

Bild: Friedrich Georg Weitsch
Alexander von Humboldt und Aimé Bonpland am Fuß des Vulkans Chimborazo


Students*: 15,-€
Senior Professionals: 25,-€

Please register online until April 30th 2013 at: https://www.leopoldina.org/form/anmeldeformular-humboldt-anthropocene/ or via email to humboldt@geo.uni-potsdam.nomorespam.de

For detailed directions go to: www.leopoldina.org/de/service/kontakt 

Program (preliminary)


 Wednesday, June 19

19:00 – 20:30 | Public Lecture / öffentlicher Abendvortrag (in Deutsch)

Alexander von Humboldt. Die Erfindung der Natur
Andrea Wulf, London

Thursday, June 20

9:00 – 10:00 | Welcome and Keynote
Gunnar Berg ML, Vice-President of the German National Academy of Science
Manfred Strecker ML, Universität Potsdam

The Invention of Nature
Andrea Wulf, London

10:30 – 12:00
Plate Tectonics
Celal Şengör ML, Istanbul Technical University
Antje Boetius ML, Alfred Wegener Institut, Bremerhaven
Humboldt and Climate Change
Gerald Haug ML, MPI Chemie, Mainz

13:30 – 15:00
Unity in Multiplicity - Humboldt's Geography of Plants
Ulrich Päßler, Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften
Humboldt, Darwin, and the Art of Science Communication
Johannes Vogel, Museum für Naturkunde Berlin
History of Science
Ursula Klein ML, and Giulia Rispoli, MPI Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Berlin

15:30 – 17:00
Humboldt's Understanding of the Andean Geology
Victor Ramos, Universidad de Buenos Aires
The Physics of the Earth
Volker Mosbrugger ML, Senckenberg Naturforschende Gesellschaft
Challenges in Mining - Humboldt's Influence on todays Mining Routines
Helmuth Albrecht, Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg

followed by | Reception

Friday, June 21

9:00 – 10:30
Humboldt and Earth System Sciences
Stefan Brönnimann, Universität Bern
Humboldt and Alfred Russel Wallace: Their Influence on Historical Biogeography
Carina Hoorn, University of Amsterdam
Humboldt's Conservation Legacy: Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services on a Changing Planet
Stephen T. Jackson, USGS and University of Arizona

11:00 - 12:00
Humboldt's Essays: Popularizing Science
Oliver Lubrich, Universität Bern
Then and Now - Changes in Altitudes of Vegetation Zones
Naia Morueta-Holme, Kobenhavns Universitet

Departure for a guided tour of von Humboldt‘s mineral collection at the Naturkundemuseum Berlin


Adjunct Session - Thursday, June 20

Teachers Workshop on the Concepts of Nature
(organized by GeoUnion and GeoEd)

Scientific Board

Manfred Strecker, Universität Potsdam
Wolf-Christian Dullo, GEOMAR Kiel
Carina Hoorn, Universiteit van Amsterdam
Volker Mosbrugger, Senckenberg Naturforschende Gesellschaft Frankfurt a.M.