Klaus Roth

Pro Academia Prize 2021

The Exe­cu­tive Board of the Pro Aca­de­mia Prize has de­cid­ed to con­fer the Pro Aca­de­mia Prize 2021 on

Klaus Roth of Berlin, Germany,

as the hub of of a academic network, in recognition of his efforts, contributions, and achievements in science and academic life.

The Owl

Excerpts from the Prize Assessment

laus Roth has been in­stru­mental in fur­ther­ing the aca­demic ex­change and is being no­mi­nat­ed in re­cogni­tion of his ef­forts in foster­ing aware­ness and en­gage­ment in science by the aca­demic and gene­ral pub­lic. The Prize pro­posal stresses in par­ti­cular his direc­­torate of the inter­disci­plinary Dahlem Conferences in Berlin in difficult times.

From 1964 until 1969 he studied chemistry at the Free University of Berlin and received his doctorate in chemistry (summa cum laude) in 1973. He stayed at the Free University for some years, then became a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill, London (1979-1980); he returned to Berlin, then stayed as a Visiting Professor at the University of California, San Francisco. He became Associate Professor at the Free University of Berlin in 1990, Full Professor at the Institute of Chemistry of the Free University of Berlin in 2000. From 1991 until 2000 he was the Director of the Dahlem Conferences in Berlin.

His decades-long pursuit describing and emphasizing the chemical background in many areas that at first glance are not associ­ated with chemical science at all is another outstand­ing achievement in his academic life. The description of where and how chemistry meets with industrial or daily life offers a window onto chemi­cal science and at­tracts interest to the natural sciences. His work of populariz­ing science in a wonderfully understandable and humorous way went beyond the usual style and content of lectures and textbooks. His papers were and are published in printed ver­sions and, in particular their English rendi­tion, on the internet. Some are included in three outstanding books for which he received the Writer’s Prize of Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (Society of German Chemists).

Dr. Roth is a clear example of one of those rare university professors who have gone be­yond their professional interests and succeeded in encouraging the understanding of sci­ence and academia at a grander scale. By treading pathways outside the given scientific fences and networks he created interest in a wide range of interconnected fields. He is clearly an outstanding teacher, as evi­denced by the numerous positive comments about his lectures, articles, books, and patents — moti­vating young scientists to pursue new avenues of re­search and teaching and opening the natural sciences to the public at large.

Due to restrictions caused by the pandemic, Dr. Roth received the Pro Academia Prize by proxy in Berlin.

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 The Prize Certificate. 
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 Owl and Olive Tree.