MPI-M congratulates Reimar Lüst on his 95th birthday

Prof. Dr. Reimar Lüst. Photo: MPI-M

On March 25th 2018, Prof. Dr. Reimar Lüst celebrated his 95th birthday. The Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI-M) congratulates the former president of the Max Planck Society, scientific statesman, and astrophysicist on this occasion.

The MPI-M was founded in 1975, with the support of Reimar Lüst. He was at the time the president of the Max Planck Society and recognized the importance of climate research long before climate change took on today's prominent role in the societal discourse. Since his retirement Reimar Lüst has lived in Hamburg, where he maintains his office within the MPI-M and where he continues to play an active role in advising the institute and other scientific bodies. He is one of the outstanding researchers of our time and held close contacts with personalities such as Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker, Werner Heisenberg, and Helmut Schmidt. "With his experience and his support, Professor Lüst is an important friend of our institute, and we are delighted by the great honour of hosting him as an emeritus," says Prof. Dr. Jochem Marotzke, managing director of the MPI-M.

Stellar career: From self-study to the beginnings of European space research

Reimar Lüst, born 1923, studied physics and received his PhD in 1951 under Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker at the Max Planck Institute for Physics in Göttingen. After several research and teaching assignments at different renowned universities in the USA, Reimar Lüst became a director of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching near Munich in 1963, which he led until 1972. In Garching he laid the foundation for German space research and exploration. During this time he was also instrumental in setting up the European space agency ESRO. He was ESRO's Director of Science (1962-1964) and Vice President (1968-1970). From 1965 to 1972, Prof Lüst also was a member of the German Council of Science and Humanities (Wissenschaftsrat), becoming its chairman in 1969.
Lüst as president of the Max Planck Society, 1973. Photo: Reimar Lüst.
President of the Max Planck Society
In 1972 Reimar Lüst became the president of the Max Planck Society and served for two terms, twelve years in total. In the following six years he was the Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA), followed by his appointment as President of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation from 1989 to 1999. Reimar Lüst played an instrumental role in the founding of the Jacobs University Bremen. He became a member of the planning committee of the former International University Bremen in 1998 and chaired the Board of Governors of this newly launched university from February 1999 to December 2004. He remains the honorary chairman of Jacobs University's Board of Governors.

Reimar Lüst has received numerous awards; he was awarded the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius Medal of Honor for his merits in science. He has also been awarded numerous honorary doctorates and honorary professorships.

Reimar Lüst has spent his lifetime championing the ideas of scientific research, advancing scientific institutions, and expanding the frontiers of human knowledge. It gives all of us at the MPI-M the greatest pleasure to wish this extraordinary individual the happiest of birthdays.

Further information:

Prof. Dr. Reimar Lüst
Max Planck Institute for Meteorology
Phone: +49-40-41173 301 (Assistant Ina Döge)
Email: ina.doege@we dont want