Erwin Stein Award

The Erwin Stein Preis which is financed with 10,000 euros (from 2019: 15. 000 euros) has been awarded eleven times to date: to the philosopher Odo Marquard, the art historian Horst Jähner, the Japanese natural scientists Hideshi Kobayashi, Tsuneo Fujita and Kenjiro Wake, and the political scientist Dieter Oberndörfer, the endocrinologist Wolf-Georg Forssmann, the historian Dieter longwiesche and the sociologist Wolfgang Schluchter, the lawyer and education researcher Ingo Richter, the life scientist Makuto Asashima and the education researcher Heinz-Elmar Tenorth and the American idea historian Professor. Dr. Eric Nelson, as well as last Prof. Dr. Hartmut Leppin.

Prof. Dr. Hartmut Leppin

Giessen, March 13, 2019

Extract from the award certificate:
"With his groundbreaking research on the polyphony of late antique Christianity, the prizewinner has set new standards in the academic world and has also drawn attention to a phenomenon long neglected in public consciousness: the diversity of late antique Christianity and oriental Christianity. Hartmut Leppin explores this diversity, which has been effective up to the modern age but is currently acutely threatened, in historical depth, especially in the period from the early 4th to the 9th century A.D. Instead of the Eurocentric perspective that has prevailed until now, Hartmut Leppin broadens the view and works within a global frame of reference. The prizewinner demonstrates his great foresight based on magistral expertise, his sovereign access to sources lying outside of university subject boundaries and a maximum of interdisciplinarity.“

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Angelika Neuwirth

Giessen, March 14, 2017

Extract from the award certificate:
"Angelika Neuwirth contributes with her academic life's work in three ways to the scientifically based dialogue with Islam. Standing in the hermeneutical tradition of the historical-critical interpretation of religious texts, as it was first developed and applied to the Qur'an, especially in Germany in the 19th century, she continues this tradition and expands it in view of the special role of the congregation in the creation of the texts of the Koran. In this way, it opens up new horizons for research into Quranic texts and their historical context. With the outstanding project of the Corpus Coranicum, Angelika Neuwirth makes a contribution to the historical, sociological, cultural-historical and religious contextualization of the Koran that can hardly be overestimated. At the same time, the basic scientific research conducted by Angelika Neuwirth is an important contribution to the interreligious dialogue through her cooperation with numerous scholars from the Islamic world, who are in a different hermeneutical tradition. Finally, through the continuous publication of the scientific commentaries and the corresponding texts from the cultural environment of the Qur'an, she contributes to the foundations of the social discourse on the Qur'an and Islam."

Prof. Dr. Eric Nelson

Giessen, March 19, 2015

Extract from the award certificate:
"With his study: The Hebrew Republic, Jewish Sources and the Transformation of European Political Thought, the prizewinner, with sovereign knowledge of the sources, has presented a fascinating description of the reception of Old Testament and rabbinical texts on the community by Protestant state thinkers of the 16th and 17th centuries, thus shedding new light on the development of political thought in Europe. This panorama of a hitherto little recognized and acknowledged intellectual-historical encounter challenges traditional images of progressive secularization processes and helps us to understand the transformations of European political thought, the DNA of which includes theological elements precisely where it appears most modern: in the orientation towards the republic, the fair distribution of goods and religious tolerance. He has thus contributed to the fact that the history of modern political thought can no longer be written without its Jewish component.

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Heinz-Elmar Tenorth

Berlin, September 12, 2011

Extract from the award certificate:
"In all his works, the prizewinner convinces through thoroughness and complexity of argumentation, clarity of language and determination of point of view. He has contributed significantly to the reputation of educational science both within and outside the university. His voice carries weight in the realm of science. ... The prizewinner is one of the educational researchers who are heard by the general public. As a brilliant speaker at conferences, as an eloquent author in newspapers and magazines, as a never boring interlocutor on radio and television, he has a formative influence on the formation of opinion thanks to his expertise and critical judgement".

Prof. Dr. Makuto Asashima

Tokyo, April 17, 2008

Extract from the award certificate:
"The winner... has earned worldwide merits in the field of developmental biology of the animal organism. He was the first to recognize activin A as an inductor for the differentiation of the third cotyledon, the mesoderm. He is thus a pioneer of research into the formation of tissues and organs from totipotent cells in vitro. His investigations have enabled the rapid progress of knowledge of tissue and organ formation processes and organ regeneration. By elucidating the mechanism of action of the activin signal on the genome, genes activated during the process of organ differentiation can be identified and their function investigated. The tissue organizer theoretically postulated by the German developmental biologist Hans Spemann in 1924 has thus been recognized by the prizewinner 65 years later in activin A and its mechanism of action on morphogenesis has been analyzed with molecular biological methods. These findings provide a fundamental basis for the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic methods in human medicine ...".

Prof. Dr. Ingo Richter

Berlin, September 21, 2007

Extract from the award certificate:
"As a professor of public law, the prizewinner has made groundbreaking contributions to the revival and further development of educational and youth law, which is still neglected at universities today, in broad-based research. In this context, his activities as head of the Department of Law and Administration of Education at the Max Planck Institute for Educational Research from 1969 to 1979, his role as deputy chairman of the Commission on School Law of the German Lawyers' Association from 1978 to 1980, his function as editor of the journal "Recht der Jugend und des Bildungswesens" (Law of Youth and Education) for 30 years now and his numerous publications, including the book 'Recht im Bildungssystem' (Law in the Education System), which appeared in 2006 and at the same time represents the sum total of his work in the field of educational law...".

Prof. Dr. Dieter Langewiesche und Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schluchter

Erfurt, November 26, 2001

Extract from the award certificate:
"Both prizewinners have made groundbreaking contributions to the development of their disciplines: the historian Dieter Langewiesche through his research on the history of the 19th century, which is primarily concerned with the emergence and impact of liberalism, the workers' movement and nationalism, and the bourgeois revolution of 1848/49; the sociologist Wolfgang Schluchter through his research on the process of modernizing society, with which he in particular opened up and continued Max Weber's work. Not least thanks to the clarity and comprehensibility of their language, they have made the subjects heard across disciplinary boundaries. For many years, both prizewinners have successfully worked to improve the conditions for scientific work: by assuming responsibility in academic self-administration, in the committees of professional societies, and in national and international scientific organizations. After 1989, both prizewinners have rendered great services to the rebuilding of higher education in the eastern German states. When the University of Erfurt was re-founded, they championed the Erfurt reform concept as vice-rectors and founding deans with determination, consistency and reliability, thereby leaving a lasting mark on the university ...".

Prof. Dr. Wolf-Georg Forssmann

Giessen, September 22, 1998

Extract from the award certificate:
"The award winner has earned globally recognized merits in the field of endocrinology. In particular, his research has led to the knowledge of the endocrine function of the heart and thus contributed greatly to the understanding of the regulation of various bodily functions. Particularly noteworthy are the laureate's studies on the structure and function of peptide hormones. He succeeded in discovering a family of hormones in the muscle cells of the heart atria as well as the associated receptors. Thus he laid the foundation for an independent branch of hormone and receptor research ...".

Prof. Dr. Dieter Oberndörfer

Freiburg i. Br., November 5, 1994

Extract from the award certificate:
"The award winner has made groundbreaking contributions to research on developing countries, democracy and elections. As a leading representative of the Freiburg School of Practical Political Science, he has fulfilled its postulate of making both res gestae and res gerendae its subject in research and teaching in an exemplary manner. He resolutely opposes the delusion of the national in its völkisch and cultural collectivist forms and advocates the cosmopolitan ethos of an open republic. In particular, his understanding of the freedom of culture as a central component of the modern constitutional state links him to the objectives of the foundation established by Erwin Stein ...".

Prof. Dr. Hideshi Kobayashi, Prof. Dr. Tsuneo Fujita (†) und Prof. Dr. Kenjiro Wake

Tokyo, August 20, 1993

Extract from the award certificate:
Each of the three award winners "has earned worldwide recognition for his services in the field of cytological functional analysis. With the help of a broad methodological spectrum, which includes new experimental procedures as well as phylogenetic perspectives, they have enriched comparative research on the functions of vertebrate organ systems with essential insights ...". The award also honored the contribution of the researchers to the promotion of international cooperation, especially the German-Japanese friendship, and emphasized that they "always educated their students in a spirit of humanity, tolerance and cosmopolitanism and worked with untiring energy and great commitment for the cooperation of German and Japanese scientists".

Prof. Dr. phil. Horst Jähner

Friday, November 13, 1992

Extract from the award certificate:
"As an art historian, Horst Jähner has influenced and enriched the research on Expressionism through his groundbreaking publications, in particular through his large-scale volume "Künstergruppe Brücke". As the long-standing director of the Verlag der Kunst in Dresden, he has opened up access to important artists and their work to a broad public. Horst Jähner has always stood up for the autonomy of art, even in difficult times. Thoroughness, appropriateness and empathy are reflected in his wide-ranging work. Horst Jähner has rendered outstanding services to the promotion of the arts".

Prof. Dr. Odo Marquard

Gießen, February 7, 1992

Extract from the award certificate:
"The prizewinner teaches a philosophy of skepticism and modesty: a skepticism that doubts clear solutions and absolute orientations; a modesty that takes man seriously in his finiteness and within his limits. With this "farewell to the principle" he affirms the diversity of convictions and life plans, traditions and mentalities, myths and stories. In this way he works towards a separation of powers that reaches far beyond the realm of the political and opens up a space of freedom for the individual in which he can develop as an individual. The skepticism of this skeptical philosophy doubts without losing itself in paralyzing doubt. It does not paint in pessimistic shades of gray, but opens up life in its colorfulness. It releases forces, generates confidence, gives courage ...".