President Gruss honoured with Maximilian Order

Prestigious award of the State of Bavaria for Max Planck President

November 27, 2012

This Tuesday, Bavarian Minister-President Horst Seehofer awarded Max Planck President Peter Gruss the Bavarian Maximilian Order for Science and Art. "You are a first-class scientist, a brilliant scientific administrator, and an excellent scientific policy-maker – and it is admirable how you manage to unify these three very different roles," said Horst Seehofer in his laudatory speech at a function held in the Antiquarium of Munich's Residenz palace.

Seehofer spoke of Peter Gruss' time in active research and made particular reference to his studies on molecular developmental biology, which led to the development of a completely new branch of research by him. As President of the Max Planck Society, Seehofer continued, Peter Gruss has made a significant contribution to the reorganization of the science system, and in his role as a scientific ambassador, he is "largely responsible for the excellent reputation enjoyed by Bavarian and German cutting-edge research."

The Free State of Bavaria is an important location for the Max Planck Society: not only does the Society have its Administrative Headquarters in Munich, but of almost 80 institutes in Germany, 13 are located in Bavaria, the largest federal state. Seehofer made special mention of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Erlangen, which was established during Peter Gruss's time as President. "By so doing, you have provided Bavaria, as a key location for science, with yet another beacon," said Seehofer.

The Bavarian Maximilian Order for Science and Art is a particularly prestigious state honour and is presented in recognition of outstanding services in the sciences and the arts. Other members of the Order from the Max Planck Society are previous Presidents Reimar Lüst and Hans Zacher. The Order is awarded in separate classes for men and women every two years, preferably to German scientists and artists. Membership in the Order cannot exceed one hundred.

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