For achievements in academic research and teaching, your commitment to communicating policy and science, and your outstanding role in communicating science to the general public
Antje Boetius is a marine biologist and professor of geomicrobiology at the University of Bremen. Since November 2017, she has headed the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven and leads the research group “Microbial Habitats” at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, where the first “meta-eaters” were discovered. She has worked as a leader of several collaborative projects in Germany and the European Union in the areas of biogeochemistry and microbiology of methane in the ocean. Ms. Boetius has participated in about 40 marine biology exploratory expeditions and has been the leader of several international research cruises. With the MOSAiC expedition, she has been responsible for one of the largest and most successful Arctic expeditions for comprehensive climate research. She is equally successful in research and academic teaching and was recently named university teacher of the year. Her work is accessible to the general public through the book Das dunkle Paradies – Die Entdeckung der Tiefsee (The Dark Paradise – The Discovery of the Deep Sea), which she co-authored with her father, the writer Henning Boetius.
Prof. Boetius is a member of numerous academies and associations. She is an interdisciplinary advocate for climate change research and urges the implementation of consistent measures to protect the Earth system in dialogue with policymakers. In 2019, she was one of the authors of the statement of the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, which is entitled Climate Targets 2030: Pathways to a Sustainable Reduction of CO2 Emissions. Among other things, it calls for the rapid introduction of a CO2 price.
Ms. Boetius plays an outstanding role in communicating scientific findings to broad sections of society. From January 2015 to December 2020, Boetius was chair of the steering committee of Wissenschaft im Dialog and is a member of Scientists for Future. As one of our country’s outstanding scientific personalities, she repeatedly gives a prominent voice to scientific argumentation, particularly on the topic of climate change. In the public debate on the climate crisis, Boetius advocates for a significant tightening of climate protection.
Both her scientific achievements and her social commitment have been honored many times, including the Leibniz Prize and the Federal Cross of Merit. Her commitment to science communication has been recognized with the Communicator Award and the Urania Medal, among others.
Ms. Boetius’ achievements in academic research and teaching, her commitment to communicating policy and science, and her outstanding role in communicating science to the general public make her an excellent candidate for the Eduard Rhein Foundation’s Cultural Award.