Humboldt 250 – looking back at the Anniversary Year

Alexander von Humboldt would have been 250 years old this year. Reason enough to reflect on the great naturalist’s legacy and visions in numerous events and campaigns.

The ornithologist and Humboldtian Martin Wikelski gave the opening lecture on "Humboldt 2.0: The Internet of Animals". (Foto: Humboldt-Stiftung/Michael Jordan)

Bonn Humboldt Award Winners’ Forum: What would Humboldt's 'Kosmos' look like in the 21st century?

Award winners of the Humboldt Foundation met in Bonn at the Humboldt Award Winners’ Forum from 16 to 20 October. “These meetings are magical moments that remind us why we became scientists”, praised the Brazilian ecologist Marco Ribeiro de Mello on Twitter. For this anniversary year, the forum addressed researchers from the environmental sciences, geology, climate research and anthropology. 
Be it biodiversity, animal tracking or sustainable land use – the participants gave lectures and used posters to present their respective contributions to the exploration of nature and the environment. Each lecture was a piece of the puzzle for a new cosmos which brings the diverse disciplines together in Humboldt’s spirit to form a scientific vision of researching and preserving nature and the environment. One of highlights of this year’s Award Winners’ Forum was the lecture given by the Humboldt biographer Andrea Wulf. “It’s great to give a lecture in front of so many knowledgeable Humboldtians; a fantastic audience, intriguing questions, terrific music”, the Humboldt expert raved.

KOSMOS Lecture: Spotlight on universal interconnectedness

The Humboldtian Dame Mary Anne Salmond provided a fitting close to the anniversary year on 28 November with the presentation she gave as part of the KOSMOS Lectures at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Drawing from the title “Entangled Worlds”, the New Zealand professor from the University of Auckland examined how Alexander von Humboldt’s idea of a "web of life" can suggest new directions for the future.

Anniversary website: Humboldt today

The Humboldt Foundation helped celebrate the anniversary year with a website of its own. This website revolves around a video campaign everyone can take part in. How modern, how relevant is Alexander von Humboldt today, some 250 years after his birth? This question is answered by researchers, partners from the Humboldt Foundation’s network, and many others. If you’d like to know what Humboldt means today to, for example, Angela Merkel or Ranga Yogeshwar, just click here.

This site also features interviews with Humboldt experts, tips regarding upcoming events, and numerous other texts about the life and work of Alexander von Humboldt.


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