18 May 2018

Board of Trustees pays tribute to Honorary President Helmut Schwarz

Bust of the former president of the Humboldt Foundation unveiled

For ten years Helmut Schwarz shaped the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation as its President. Following two terms of office as head of the Foundation, he was succeeded by Hans-Christian Pape at the start of the year. The Board of Trustees directly appointed him Honorary President of the Humboldt Foundation in January. A bust in his honour was presented in Bonn today.

Enthüllung der Büste
Unveiling of the bust
(Photo: Humboldt Foundation/Daniela Schmitter)

The President of the Humboldt Foundation Hans-Christian Pape paid tribute to Helmut Schwarz's work for the Foundation as a "true piece of good fortune" and explicitly thanked him on the occasion of the unveiling. "Helmut Schwarz's actions are guided by the conviction that science and research and the way scientists treat one another establish a diplomacy of trust – also and especially during times of crises and conflict in global politics", said Pape, noting that at the same time Schwarz vehemently champions the individualistic creed of freedom of science, supports the freedom that enables curiosity- and knowledge-driven research, and tirelessly espouses scientific excellency. By doing so, Schwarz has generated important impetus for the Foundation.

Helmut Schwarz, Präsident der Humboldt-Stiftung von 2008-2017
The Honorary President of the Humboldt Foundation Helmut Schwarz at the presentation of his bust, with Foundation President Hans-Christian Pape (l.) and Secretary General Enno Aufderheide (r.).
(Photo: Humboldt Foundation/Daniela Schmitter)

The bust of Helmut Schwarz was created by the Berlin-based artist Oleg Bessonov. It will henceforth stand in the Gallery of Former Presidents in the Siebold Hall at the Humboldt Foundation's head office in Bonn-Bad Godesberg.

Award-winning molecular chemist Helmut Schwarz served as President of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation from 2008 through 2017. He has been Honorary President since January 2018. In this capacity he continues to be closely connected with the Foundation and takes part in, for example, meetings of the Board of Trustees in an advisory capacity. After reading chemistry, he took his doctorate at Berlin University of Technology (TU Berlin) in 1972, completed his professorial qualifications there in 1974 and was appointed to a professorship for the theory and practice of mass spectrometry four years later. Helmut Schwarz has been Professor for Organic Chemistry at TU Berlin since 1983.


Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
Division Press, Communications and Marketing
Phone: +49 228 833-144
Fax: +49 228 833-441

Further Information