The Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities lives up to its seal motto "Fecundat et ornat" – it brings forth and it adorns ’ – by among others decorating a number of young scientists and outstanding scholars each year. Supported by sponsors and by its own members, the Academy in this way seeks to encourage extraordinary scientists to carry on with their successful work. The Lichtenberg Medal, the highest decoration the Academy has to award, is given to outstanding scientists who have made a mark beyond their specific professional discipline and whose impact extends into the public at large. The Dannie-Heineman-Prize is also of special significance – in the past, several of its holders were subsequently awarded the Nobel Prize.
With the Gauß Professorship the Academy invites extraordinary scientists from abroad to Göttingen. This enables international exchange, focused on subjects originally represented by Gauß.