Dossier Anneliese Maier Research Award

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Collaboration award for researchers in humanities and social sciences

The Anneliese Maier Research Award is presented to world-class researchers from abroad from the fields of the humanities and social sciences whose academic achievements have been internationally recognised in their research area. The award winners independently choose the people with whom they would like to collaborate in Germany and the collaborative research projects last for up to five years. The research award is endowed with €250,000.

The aim is to sustainably internationalise the fields of humanities and social sciences in Germany. In addition to researchers who already number among the established leaders in their subject, the award is also aimed at researchers who are not yet so advanced in their careers but are already internationally established figures in the academic world and are expected to sustainably shape humanities and social sciences in Germany through long-term collaborations.

Nominations are made by researchers in Germany; candidates cannot nominate themselves. The award winners are expected to conduct active research over the coming years with great academic influence. Particular importance is attached the nomination of qualified female researchers.

The award is named after the German philosopher and science historian Anneliese Maier (born 1905 in Tübingen, died 1971 in Rome). She studied philosophy, physics and mathematics in Berlin, Zurich and Paris and received her Ph.D. in 1929 on completing her dissertation on Kant’s categories of quality. She was unable to complete her habilitation for political reasons during the Nazi era. For a researcher of her time, her biography is extraordinarily international. Maier conducted research on the emergence of modern scientific thought from the 14th to 18th centuries, particularly in the natural sciences. She was awarded the title of Professor by the Minister of Education and the Arts of North-Rhine Westphalia in 1951 and was appointed as a scientific member of the Max Planck Society in 1954. She was also a corresponding member of the Academies of Science in Mainz, Göttingen and Munich.

The inaugural Anneliese Maier Research Award was presented to seven researchers in 2011. The Humboldt Foundation grants up to eight Anneliese Maier Research Awards per nomination round funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Who was Anneliese Maier?

Anneliese Maier, who was born in Tübingen in 1905 and died in Rome in 1971, was an internationally acclaimed German philosopher and historian of science. She studied philosophy, physics and mathematics at the University of Berlin, where she received her doctorate in 1930. As a contributor to the Leibniz-Edition of the Prussian Academy of Sciences she conducted archive studies in Italy. In 1938 she started to work in Rome, first as a fellow of the DFG (German Research Foundation) and later as a fellow at the Bibliotheca Hertziana, then the Institute for Cultural Sciences and Arts in the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft, the later Max Planck Institute of the History of Arts. Anneliese Maier's main work is a five-volume study on the Natural Philosophy of Late Scholasticism, of which the volume "The predecessors of Galilei in the 14th century" became most widely known. In 1951 she was granted the title of a professor by the state of North Rhine-Westfalia. She was corresponding member of the Academies of Sciences in Mainz, Göttingen and Munich and from 1970 also a member of the Medieval Academy of America. A scientific member of the Max Planck Society from 1954, she was the first German to be awarded the George Sarton Medal, the most distinguished international honour in the field of the history of science, in 1966.

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