The Leopoldina was founded in 1652 and is one of the world’s oldest science academies. It is also Germany’s largest academy with 1,400 members from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and 30 other countries.

Since 2008, the Leopoldina has represented Germany on the international level as the German National Academy of Sciences and, as such, takes a number of positions on current scientific discussion topics. The Leopoldina

  • promotes discussions that include both scientists and the general public,
  • supports young academics,
  • confers awards,
  • carries out research projects
  • and advocates for the protection of human rights for scientists facing persecution.

Members of the Leopoldina from the University of Konstanz


Professor Aleida Assmann (1947) is a German scholar of English, Egyptology as well as literary and cultural studies. She was Chair of English and General Literary Studies at the University of Konstanz.

Professor Thomas Elbert (1950) is a German neuropsychologist. He is a member of the Leopoldina’s section Psychology and Cognitive Sciences.

Professor Dr Dr h.c. Karin Knorr Cetina (1944) is an Austrian sociologist and philosopher of science. She was a professor of sociology who taught at the University of Konstanz until 2010. She is a member in the Leopoldina’s section History and Sociology.

Professor Paul Leiderer (1944) is a German physicist and professor at the University of Konstanz.

Professor Hubert Markl (1938 – 2015) was a German zoologist, behavioural scientist and research manager. In 1974, he became a professor of biology at the university and represented his department at the Leopoldina.

Professor Axel Meyer, PhD (1960) is an evolutionary biologist.

Professor Dr Jürgen Mittelstraß Jürgen Mittelstraß (1936) is a German philosopher. He specialises in the philosophy of science. From 1970 to 2005, he worked as a professor of philosophy and the philosophy of science at the University of Konstanz. He represents the Konstanz Science Forum at the Leopoldina.

Professor Dr Jürgen Osterhammel (1952) is a German historian and a professor of modern and contemporary history at the University of Konstanz.

Dr Brigitte Rockstroh (1950) is professor of clinical psychology and neuropsychology.

Professor Dr Bernhard Schink (1950) is chair of limnology and microbial ecology. He was Vice Rector for Research at the University of Konstanz from 2004 to 2007. He represented the Department of Biology at the Leopoldina.

Professor Wolfgang Spohn (1950) is chair of Philosophy and the Philosophy of Science at the University of Konstanz.

Professor Volker Strassen (1936) is a German mathematician and was a professor of mathematics at the University of Konstanz until 2001. He represents the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the Leopoldina.

Professor Gereon Wolters (1944) is a German philosopher.