About the Academy

"Fecundat et ornat" – it brings forth and it adorns – this was the central idea under which the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Lower Saxony (Niedersächsische Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen) was founded in 1751 by the monarch King George II. August of Great Britain, Elector of Hannover. As the oldest continuously existing institution of its kind in Germany, the Göttingen Academy can look back on a long tradition, with famous members such as the  brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, David Hilbert and Werner Heisenberg.

Presently, the Göttingen Academy runs more than 20 long-term projects of national and international standing and is the most prominent non-university institution in Lower Saxony in the field of basic research in the humanities. As a partner of the 'Göttingen Centre for Digital Humanities', the Göttingen Academy opens up new ways for electronic knowledge transfer. Research is also being done in nine scientific committees that publish proceedings of their colloquia and symposia.

With its about 400 Ordinary and Corresponding Members, the Göttingen Academy has at its disposal a unique network of competence – regional and worldwide. The Academy regularly addresses policy makers and the public at large with open lecture series, during the annual Göttingen Academy Week and in lecture evenings at both the State Parliament of Lower Saxony in Hannover and the State Represention of Lower Saxony at the Federation in Berlin. The Academy gives out several awards on a regular basis, thereby promoting outstanding scientific achievement with special attention to young scientists.

Since the end of 2015, the Academy has had a new building on Göttingen’s Geiststraße, in which nine projects of its programme have been brought together under one roof. In doing so, a new research centre for the humanities has been created, one that is unique to Lower Saxony. The opening ceremony on 12 May 2016, included a screening of the short film Haus des Geistes (‘House of the Mind’), which you can view here.