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Axel A. Weber to succeed Otmar Issing as Chairman of the Board of Trustees
After 14 years as
chairman of the House of Finance’s (HoF) Board of Trustees, Otmar Issing will
be retiring at the end of this year. He will be succeeded by economist and
Board of Trustees member Axel A. Weber.
FRANKFURT. As of January 1, 2023, Prof. Dr. Drs. h.c. Axel A. Weber will take over the position of Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the House of Finance. He succeeds Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Otmar Issing, who held the position since the HoF’s inauguration in 2008 and played a key role in establishing the House of Finance as a place for interdisciplinary, finance-related cutting-edge research, policy advice and continuing education.
Axel A. Weber was elected his successor at a Board of Trustees meeting
on November 8, 2022. His scientific career and work are a perfect fit for the
dialogue between science, politics and financial practice, as lived by and in the
House of Finance.
After studying economics at the University
of Constance, Axel A. Weber completed his habilitation at the University of
Siegen. His academic career also included stations at the University of Bonn,
Goethe University Frankfurt as well as the University of Cologne, where he held
the Chair of International Economics from 2001 to 2004. During this time, Weber
also served as member of the German Council of Economic Experts and the scientific
advisory board of the Deutsche Bundesbank, the central bank of the Federal
Republic of Germany, among others. In April 2004, the economist took over as
President of the Deutsche Bundesbank, a post he held until spring 2011. From
May 2012 to April 2022, he served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of UBS
Otmar Issing, who will hand over the baton
to Axel A. Weber at the end of the year, is certain that the future of the
House of Finance is in the best hands with his successor, who, just like
himself, is familiar with all the House of Finance’s areas of activity: "I
am delighted that with Axel A. Weber we have been able to win over an academic
for the chairmanship of the Board of Trustees who combines the experience of excellent
researcher, top manager and banker in one person."
When he leaves office at the end of the
year, Otmar Issing will hand over a well-functioning house that is home to,
among others, two university departments from the Faculties of Law as well as
Economics and Business, graduate and advanced education institutions and
several research institutes or units, including the Leibniz Institute SAFE –
itself an example of how under Ottmar Issing’s patronage, the HoF has been able
to develop as an interdisciplinary incubator of finance research and knowledge
transfer in politics and society.
The designated successor, Axel A. Weber,
is looking forward to supporting and further developing the House of Finance,
whose concept of interdisciplinary, internationally networked research and
teaching is more relevant than ever, in its contribution to tackling the
challenging issues of the present and the future: "In Frankfurt am Main,
we need excellent finance research to provide policy-makers and the financial
sector with orientation and know-how throughout the ongoing transformation
processes, and we must continue to foster the education and training of
qualified young professionals in this field. To that end, we intend to make
even greater use of the opportunities offered by a comprehensive university in
Image 1: Professor Otmar Issing will step down as Chairman of House of Finance’s Board of Trustees after 14 years. (Photo: Uwe Dettmar)
Image 2: In the future, economist Prof. Axel A. Weber will hold the reins at the HoF's Board of Trustees. (Photo: UBS)
Evaluation report recognizes outstanding work in research and education
The team of the Fritz Bauer Institute at Goethe University Frankfurt can be pleased about a recent laudation by the German Science and Humanities Council (Wissenschaftsrat). Despite its “low staffing", the Council testifies to the Institute's "impressive achievements" – and suggests better financing. Another positive development, the Council says, is the closer cooperation with Goethe University, made possible by a cooperative professorship.
FRANKFURT. Combining high-quality research
and a wide range of educational offerings is something the Fritz Bauer
Institute does very well despite its limited staffing. That is the conclusion
reached in an evaluation of the German Science and Humanities Council, which
was commissioned by the Hessian Ministry of Science and the Arts. The Frankfurt-based
institute's research on National Socialist crimes of violence, and especially
on the Holocaust, as well as on the legal and societal handling of these crimes
after 1945, is of high quality, the report said. "Research on the
Holocaust and the conveyance of a critical awareness of history remain greatly
important today, especially in Germany. The Fritz Bauer Institute makes a
valuable contribution to this, one that in future should resonate even more on
the international stage," Dorothea Wagner, Council chairwoman, was quoted
as saying in a press release.
In the face of the pandemic, the Institute
had offered its lecture events online – both as a livestream and also for later
accessing. The public's response to the offer was great, and the Institute was
able to expand its reach. That is why the German Science and Humanities Council
recommends maintaining the online offer, while at the same time emphasizing
that this would require better staffing. It is not just the Institute's
education and outreach activities that are thinly staffed, the Council's
evaluation found, but also the areas of IT, digitization and media support in
particular. It is solely thanks to the exceptionally high commitment of the
employees that the Institute is able to uphold its extensive and high-quality
services. The German authority recommends a moderate increase in the number of
base-funded positions and an annual increase in the budget to keep pace with
"We are happy about this great
appreciation of our work," comments Prof. Sybille Steinbacher, who has
headed the institute since 2017 and holds the specially created professorship
on "Researching the History and Impact of the Holocaust" at Goethe
University's Department of History. "Although we are a small institute, we
do a lot. The fact that our potential is recognized and appreciated is
important for us and will hopefully be reflected in an increase in our
funding." The evaluation formulated expectations with regard to
digitization, internationalization and networking, which had in fact already
been set in motion. "We are glad that the Council report confirmed that this
cannot be achieved without an increase in personnel. We are fully aware that
these are financially difficult times, but we urgently need more funds, especially
for our digital offerings, for outreach work in and outside of schools, and for
our exhibitions," Steinbacher said.
"We are pleased to have the independent
Fritz Bauer Institute working closely with us, especially thanks to the
establishment of a cooperative professorship at the History Department,"
said Goethe University President Prof. Enrico Schleiff. "The Fritz Bauer
Institute conducts research at the highest level and will increasingly explore
its research questions in an interdisciplinary manner – a development that is
in line with the entire Goethe University. After all, solutions to the challenges
facing society as a whole must be as diverse and multi-perspective as the
challenge itself. Doing that puts a comprehensive university enriched by
affiliated institutes in a position to research the knowledge for
tomorrow," Schleiff continued.
The Fritz Bauer Institute was founded in
1995 as a foundation under civil law. It was named after Fritz Bauer
(1903-1968), the Hessian attorney general who set the first Auschwitz trial in
Frankfurt in motion. In 2000, the Fritz Bauer Institute became an independent
cultural institute affiliated with Goethe University. In 2017, the institute's
director was for the first time jointly appointed with Goethe University, and
Prof. Sybille Steinbacher has held this position ever since. From the time of its
founding, the Fritz Bauer Institute has closely linked research on the
Holocaust and its impact and reception history with mediation and
documentation. The Institute implements research projects, publications,
scientific and public events as well as traveling exhibitions. It is also
involved in teaching at Goethe University's History Department. The Institute
is financed by the State of Hesse and the City of Frankfurt; a further, smaller
share is provided by the friends' association Fritz Bauer Institute e.V. Goethe
University also contributes to the financing by providing infrastructure. In
addition, the Fritz Bauer Institute also draws on third-party funding from
foundations and the public sector to finance its research projects, which
currently include several on the history of Frankfurt under National Socialism.
Apart from that, a fund endowed by and named after the Frankfurt physician
Dorothee Freudenberg was established in 2020, enabling both research projects
and scholarships, especially on the history of "euthanasia" in Nazi Germany
and occupied Europe.
The German Science and Humanities
Council's press release (in German)
can be accessed here.
for download: https://www.uni-frankfurt.de/127353222
Photo 1: "We are happy about this great appreciation of
our work." Prof. Sybille Steinbacher has served as
head of the Fritz Bauer Institute since 2017. (Photo: Niels P. Jørgensen)
Photo 2: Fritz Bauer at Club Voltaire, pictured
between 1965 and 1968. (Photo: Siegfried Träger, Fritz Bauer Institute,
Frankfurt am Main)
Photo 3: A look inside the archives of the
Fritz Bauer Institute. (Photo: Werner Lott)
Photo 4: The Fritz Bauer Institute is
located in the IG Farben House on Goethe University's Westend Campus. (Photo:
Two new Research Training Groups at Goethe University
Goethe University has attracted two new German
Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) Research Training
Groups. Based in Frankfurt, "Fixing Futures" deals with the
anticipation of "futures" and how societies, organisations and
individuals prepare for them. The second Research Training Group was jointly
applied for with the Technical University Darmstadt (TU Darmstadt) and is
dedicated to the question of how "standards of governance" change the
possibility of collective self-determination.
FRANKFURT. The German
Research Foundation yesterday announced eleven new Research Training Groups,
two of which are located at Goethe University and focus on the social sciences.
Offering new perspectives for young researchers who want to qualify in this
field, the Research Training Group "Fixing Futures" ties in with the
Master's program "Science and Technology Studies. Economies, Governance,
Life" and the interdisciplinary research network "Lab for Studies in
Science and Technology". Spokesperson is sociologist Prof. Thomas Lemke, with
cultural anthropologist Prof. Dr. Gisela Welz acting as co-spokesperson.
Although people have always wondered what
the future might hold, the question has never been as pressing as today.
Contemporary societies find themselves confronted with new kinds of political,
economic and ecological challenges – including, for example, in connection with
global warming, pandemics and new refugee movements. In order to be prepared
for the future, scenarios and problematic situations are anticipated, often
focusing on technological solutions. The future is "fixed" – a term
that holds a dual meaning: "On the one hand, it refers to the act of stabilising
futures so that one can prepare for them. But on the other, it also connotes the
act of repairing futures that are seen as deficient," explains Prof.
Lemke, who will be working in the Research Training Group with eight other
researchers. In addition to sociology and cultural anthropology, researchers
from human geography are also involved in “Fixing Futures".
How do you prepare for events that you
expect to happen in the future? What precautions are taken? How are these
decisions justified? What if the future turns out different and you are not
prepared? Misjudgments of this kind can have serious repercussions. The Research
Training Group will examine three areas: economies, governance and life. What
is striking to spokesman Lemke is that technological solutions are offered in
all areas – with the decisions often left to the individual. He points to the
example of so-called social freezing, i.e. the conscious choice to postpone the
desire to have children into the future in the interest of one's career. "Why
aren't these issues discussed socially," he asks. Whether we are talking
about a gene bank for extinct animal species or a switch to e-mobility, Lemke continues,
people often rely on the credo that "technologies will save us" –
when they could just as well be thinking about how to address the structural
conditions of the problems. The question of power also plays a major role,
Lemke points out, adding that nowhere is this more obvious than in the case of
climate change: Those who suffer most from the consequences are neither
responsible for the causes nor do they have any significant say in finding possible
A total of 14 positions must now be filled
until the Research Training Group starts its work – ten for doctoral students and two for
postdocs. According to Lemke, the Research Training Group will optimally
prepare them for a wide range of professional fields and institutions in the
academic sector and beyond.
The second new Research Training Group is
entitled "Standards of Governance" and was jointly applied for by
Goethe University and TU Darmstadt. Its spokesperson is Jens Steffek, Professor
of Transnational Governance at TU Darmstadt. Democracy researcher Prof. Sandra
Seubert will assume the role of deputy spokesperson. The cross-locational
Research Training Group deals with the concept of "good governance",
which comprises general norms such as transparency, participation and
accountability of those in power. Initially, the Research Training Group will
consist of two groups of ten doctoral students each. Seubert emphasizes that
this is not just about recruiting young scientists: "In view of the tasks
and problems facing democratic societies today, it is very important to train
young people well for different areas of politics, and to connect the knowledge
generated scientifically with society."
Funding for the two Research Training
Groups "Fixing Futures" and "Standards of Governance" will
begin on April 1, 2023, and initially run for five years. There is an option to
continue the funding for another four years.
for download: https://www.uni-frankfurt.de/127949666
These professors are involved in the new Research
Training Aroup "Fixing Futures": Thomas Lemke (photo: Mafra
Merielli), Martina Klausner (photo: private), Peter Lindner (photo: A.
Nikulin), Thomas Scheffer (photo: Uwe Dettmar), Marc Boeckler (photo: private),
Lizzie Richardson (photo: private), Barbara Brandl (photo: Jan-Frederik
Bandel), Josef Barla (photo: Merielli Mafra), Gisela Welz (photo: private).
Prof. Dr. Thomas Lemke
Sociology with a focus on biotechnologies, nature and society
Institute of Sociology
Phone: +49 (0)69 798-36664
"Standards of Governance":
Prof. Dr. Sandra Seubert
Political Science with a focus on Political Theory
Institute for Political Science
Phone: +49 (0)69 798-36553
Forum deepens the transatlantic conversation in times of threats to democratic governance and lifestyles
BAD HOMBURG/FRANKFURT. On Friday, November 4, 2022, the John McCloy
Transatlantic Forum was officially inaugurated before a full auditorium in the
lecture hall of the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften. The forum is named
after John J. McCloy, who served as U.S. High Commissioner in Frankfurt from
1949 to 1952.
Present at the ceremony were Goethe University President Professor Enrico Schleiff, the Mayor of Bad Homburg Alexander W. Hetjes, and the forum's initiators: Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften Director Professor Matthias Lutz-Bachmann, the spokespersons of the "Democratic Vistas" research area Professor Gunther Hellmann and Professor Johannes Völz, as well as the Bad Homburg-based forum sponsors Bernd von Maltzan and Felix Hufeld. Guest of honor was John J. McCloy II, son of U.S. High Commissioner John J. McCloy. The keynote was given by Professor Charles A. Kupchan of Georgetown University, an expert on U.S.-European relations, who served as special advisor to President Barack Obama and as a member of the U.S. Security Council. In his introductory remarks, Kupchan spoke about the West's enduring strengths as well as its vulnerability in the world of tomorrow.The forum's goals
The new forum at the Forschungskolleg
Humanwissenschaften brings together personalities from academia, politics,
culture and business to discuss the significance of transatlantic relations in
the crisis-ridden present. In fostering this dialog, it aims to help strengthen
the form of democracy that has emerged in the transatlantic setting and develop
it further in the context of a changing world order.
The forum's name commemorates the
Americans' commitment to the development of German democracy in the postwar
period. However, Johannes Völz, co-spokesman of the related research focus
"Democratic Vistas," emphasized that "our aim is not to
unreflectively revive the old transatlantic community of values." That, Völz said, would be too short-sighted.
While the Forum remains committed to the transatlantic idea, he said that
nowadays it is important to examine Western democracies in their
interconnectedness with a North-South and an East-West axis.
The new forum was initiated by Forschungskolleg
director Matthias Lutz-Bachmann and the two research project spokespersons.
Bernd von Maltzan accompanied and promoted the forum from the very beginning. In
his words: "As [German] Foreign Minister Baerbock recently put
it, it is extremely important now to use the 'transatlantic moment' to counter
the current challenges threatening democracy. As someone who grew up in the
postwar era and is deeply grateful to the Americans for their contribution to
building German civil society, I would like to contribute to that cause by
supporting the exchange of ideas among scholars and policymakers at the John
McCloy Transatlantic Forum."
Future forum and research focus activities
have already received commitments for funding, meaning democracy researchers
will be able to come to the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften for guest
visits as early as fall 2023 to contribute to the forum and its research focus.
Forum namesake John J. McCloy lived in Bad Homburg.
John J. McCloy served as American High
Commissioner in Frankfurt from 1949 to 1952 and lived with his family in
"Haus Hohenbuchen" on the edge of Bad Homburg's “Kurpark", the spa
gardens. His son, John J. McCloy II, now almost 85 years old, has vivid and
fond memories of the years he spent there as a youth. In his speech at the forum's
opening, he emphasized that naming it after his father was a great honor and privilege
for him. After all, he added, the forum builds on his parents' firm conviction
that culture, science, education and social commitment are crucial building
blocks for the development of democratic societies. His mother, for example,
was known throughout Bad Homburg and beyond for her social commitment as well
as for the events she organized. Bad Homburg Mayor Alexander Hetjes presented
the guest of honor with a large volume of photographs on the history of Bad
Homburg, saying, "The name of John J. McCloy and his wife Ellen enjoys a
very good reputation in Bad Homburg to this day."
Images for download: www.uni-frankfurt.de/127827194
1. Inauguration of the John McCloy
Transatlantic Forum: Rush McCloy, Alexander Hetjes, Laura McCloy, Enrico
Schleiff, John McCloy III, Bernd von Maltzan, John McCloy II, Gunther Hellmann,
Charles Kupchan, Johannes Völz, Felix Hufeld, Iris Koban, Matthias
First John McCloy Transatlantic Forum: Professor Matthias Lutz-Bachmann,
Professor Johannes Völz, Professor Charles Kupchan, Professor Gunther Hellmann
Website of the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften: www.forschungskolleg-humanwissenschaften.de
Event recording: The event, including the speech
given by Charles Kupchan, was recorded, and the video will be made available on
the Forschungskolleg's YouTube channel in the coming days.
Contact: Iris Helene Koban
Director Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften
firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel.: +49 (0)6172
email@example.com; Tel.: +49 (0)6172 13977-15
Frobenius Research Promotion Prize goes to Dr. des Valerie Nur
The Frobenius Research Promotion Prize goes to Bayreuth this year: Frobenius Institute for Research in Cultural Anthropology at Goethe University honors Valerie Nur for her outstanding dissertation on Tuareg artisans in Niger.
FRANKFURT. Each year, the Frobenius Institute honors excellent ethnological dissertations in German-speaking countries with the Frobenius Research Promotion Prize, endowed with 3000 euros. This year the prize went to Valerie Nur for her doctoral thesis "Handwerkliche Arbeit als soziale Praxis. Eine ethnologische Studie über die handwerklichen Praktiken der endogamen Handwerkergruppe der inadan Tuareg des Aïr in Niger" (Craft as social practice. An anthropological study of the craft practices of the endogamous artisan group of the inadan Tuareg of the Aïr in Niger). The thesis was supervised by Professor Gerd Spittler and submitted to the Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies in Cultural Anthropology. It is based on a field study in the course of which Valerie Nur spent a total of twenty months with the Inadan (Tuareg), who have received little attention in research to date, at various locations in the Aïr mountains as well as in the capital Niamey (Niger).
Together with the Inadan, Valerie Nur reflected on craft work and was able to gain intensive experience with craft practice during her field study. In her work, she describes the everyday handicrafts of the men and women, such as leather work, the procurement process itself, the making and reshaping of tools, and the recurring changes that occur in craft practice. Moreover, Valerie Nur explains how intricately this work is integrated into the daily family life of the mobile Inadan, who grow up with the craft and are connected by kinship over hundreds of kilometers. Since the finished products have a spiritual value beyond their market value, the craft is of special importance for the social relations of the Inadan beyond these family ties.
Valeria Nur's study also contributes to migration research; after all, mobile craftsmen are also migrant workers, capable of working anywhere and of expanding their skills. Valerie Nur's dissertation convinced the committee with its underlying intensive and self-reflective ethnographic research as well as with the excellent linguistic presentation of the results.
Images for download: https://www.uni-frankfurt.de/127688816
Image 1: A blacksmith in his workshop in Timia surrounded by neighbors and children. (Timia, 2013) (Photo: Valerie Nur)
Image 2: A craftsman soaks wood for a camel saddle. (Niamey, 2014) (Photo: Valerie Nur)
Image 3: Two craftsmen with shouldered axes on their way to a customer. (Mont Bagzan 2015) (Photo: Valerie Nur)