Individuals with outstanding academic and research achievements may be awarded an honorary doctorate. Here is a list of honorary doctors of the University of Konstanz and some word about their careers.
Faculty of Sciences
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Professor Dr Dr h.c. mult. Friedrich Hirzebruch (1927–2012) was a German mathematician and worked primarily at the University of Bonn. He is well-known for his work on modern algebraic geometry. In his role as academic network manager, Hirzebruch was able to interlink mathematics in Germany to the rest of the world.
Department of Biology
- Professor Bertil Andersson is a plant biochemist and president of the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapur. He is a globally recognised expert in the areas of plant physiology and biochemistry. Andersson supports the collaboration of the Konstanz Research School Chemical Biology and the School of Biological Sciences in Singapur.
- Professor Helmut Beinert (1913-2007) was a professor of biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin. He was both a pioneer and an advocate for the use of electron spin resonance. This method allows for the measurement of the resonant microwave absorption of a probe placed inside an external magnetic field in biological systems.
- Professor Bert Hölldobler (1936) is a German behavioural scientist, sociobiologist and evolutionary ecologist. He works at the University of Würzburg’s Biocentre, among other places.
- Professor Herbert Jäckle has been the director of the Max Planck Institute of Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen since 1991. He has been awarded the Leibniz Prize, the Feldberg Prize, the Otto-Bayer Prize, the Deutscher Zukunftspreis and the German Order of Merit, among others. He was vice president of the Max Planck Society from 2002 to 2014 and contributed greatly to the promotion of ecological studies within the university's Department of Biology.
- Professor Arnold Levine (1939) is an American biologist and cancer researcher. His work forms the basis for understanding how cancer first develops, thus opening up new possibilities for cancer prevention, detection and treatment. He is currently the president of the Rockefeller University in New York.
- Professor Sten Orrenius (1958) is active in the fields of biochemistry, toxicology and cellular biology and works at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.
Department of Chemistry
Professor Dr Dr h.c. Per-Olov Löwdin (1916 - 2000) was a Swedish chemist at Uppsala University and worked, among other things, for the Nobel Committee.
Department of Physics
Professor Abraham Nitzan (1944) is a chemical physics professor at Tel Aviv University.
Department of Psychology
- Professor Michael M. Merzenich (1942) was a neuroscience professor at the University of California in San Francisco.
- Professor Gregory A. Miller (1962) is a professor of clinical psychology and behavioural neuroscience at the University of Illinois.
- Professor Dr Dr Dr h.c. mult. Heinz Haefner (1926) is a psychiatrist and founder of the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim. This institute makes it possible for individuals with mental illnesses to receive community-based care. Haeffner’s achievement lies in humanising society’s treatment of its mentally ill members.
Faculty of Politics, Law and Economics
Department of Economics
- Professor Wulf von Schimmelmann (1954) is a former CEO of the Deutsche Postbank AG. He began his career as a business consultant and went on to become CEO and director in a wide variety of enterprises around the world.
- Professor Harris Schlesinger (1952) is an economics and finance professor at the University of Alabama. He has made significant contributions to the fields of risk theory and insurance economics.
- Professor Dr Axel Weber (1957) is an economist, professor and banker. He was president of the Deutsche Bundesbank from 2004 to 2011. He has been chairman of the board of directors at the major Swiss Bank UBS since 2012.
- Professor Dr Dr h.c. Peter Bernholz (1929) is a German-Swiss business and economics academic and teaches at the University of Basel.
- Professor Dr Dres. h.c. Gottfried Bombach (1919-2010) was a German economist and is considered a pioneer in the mathematically oriented economic theory.
- Professor John S. Chipman, Ph.D. (1926) is an American business and economics academic. He has made notable contributions to the fields of international trade and index and aggregation theory. He works to this day at the University of Minnesota and carries out a number of guest professorships.
- Professor Dr Dr h.c. Otmar Issing (1936) is a German economist and former chief economist at the EZB (European Central Bank). He is perceived as one of the leading advocates for monetarism in Germany. This school of thought in the field of economic theory and policy considers the regulation of the money supply as the most important factor in guiding economic activities.
Department of Law
- Professor Dr h.c. Wolfgang Kartte (1927-2003) was a German lawyer for administrative law and a government official. He was president of the Bundeskartellamt between 1976 and 1992. Kartte also lectured at the University of Bonn.
- Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Ernst Stiefel (1907-1997) worked as a lawyer and legal advisor. In this capacity, he supported a broad range of German and American enterprises and played a decisive role in international commerce, especially between Germany and the United States.
Faculty of Humanities
Department of Philosophy
- Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. Adolf Grünbaum (1923) is a German philosopher. He emigrated to the United States shortly before the Second World War ended. There he studied mathematics, physics and philosophy. He has been a philosophy professor at the University of Pittsburgh since 1960. It was there that he founded the Center for Philosophy of Science.
- Professor Dr Dr h.c. Gustav Hempel (1905-1997) was a German philosopher. He collaborated with Paul Oppenheim to develop the Hempel-Oppenheim-Scheme, also known as the deductive-nomological model. It creates a formal structure for scientifically explaining causality using natural language. Hempel lectured around the world.
- Professor Dr Dr h.c. mult. Hans Jonas (1903-1993) was a German philosopher and author. As a professor, he taught in New York, among other places.
- Professor Dr Dr h.c. mult. Ernst Mayr (1904-2005) was a biologist and the main proponent of modern synthetic evolutionary theory. Mayr worked in New York, taught at Harvard and is regarded as one of the most influential natural science researchers of the 20th century.
- Professor Dr Dr h.c. Nicholas Rescher (1928) is currently one of the most internationally renowned and accomplished contemporary philosophers in the United States.
- Dr Dr h.c. Martin Walser (1927) is a writer and is considered to be one of the most significant story tellers and playwrights in the post-war era. Walser has taken and continues to take a stand on political and societal controversies in Germany.
Department of History and Sociology
- Professor Dr Jan Assmann (1938) is a German scholar in the fields of Egyptian, religious and cultural studies. He taught at Heidelberg University.
- Profesor Dr Dr h.c. Jan Philipp Reemtsma (1952) is a German scholar of German studies, an essayist, a political journalist and a patron of the arts. He also taught at the Universität Hamburg. The broad spectrum of his prolific work ranges from literary studies to sociological analysis of violence.
- Professor Dr Dr h.c. Wolfgang Reinhard (1937) is a German historian who taught at the University of Freiburg.
Department of Literature
- Professor David Wellbery (1947) is professor of German literature at the University of Chicago. Wellbery is an internationally acclaimed literary scholar.
- Professor Geoffrey Hartmann (1929-2016) was a literary theorist. He taught English and comparative literature at Yale.
- Professor Andrei Corbea-Hoise (1951) is a Romanian scholar of German studies and Romance languages, a university lecturer and a diplomat. He has been a professor of German literature at the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iassy in Romania since 1995.
- Professor Eduard Goldstücker (1913-2000) was a Czech literary historian and publicist, who worked in Prague and Sussex. He also worked for the Czech diplomatic service.
Department of Linguistics
- Professor Dr. John J. Gumperz (1922-2013) was an American linguist and taught at the University of California at Berkeley.
- Professor Dr. Paul Kiparsky (1941) is a professor of linguistics at Stanford University.