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9 January 2012
The senior committee of Leopoldina has responded to a proposal put forward by its members to elect Hermann Parzinger, president of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation and expert in archaeology and prehistory, as a new member of the academy, with effect from December 2011. Hermann Parzinger now occupies a place in the organization's cultural sciences section. According to the Leopoldina's constitution only those who 'lead distinguishing careers marked by important scholarly achievements' may be elected members.
Hermann Parzinger has received many awards and distinctions for his contribution to cultural sciences. In 1998 he was the first prehistoric archaeologist to receive the Leibniz Prize from the DFG (German Research Foundation). In 2009 the Russian President Dmitrii Medvedev awarded him the 'Order of Friendship', the highest honour for foreign nationals available in Russia, for his services to research and his rigorous commitment to consolidating German-Russian ties in culture and the sciences. In 2011 Parzinger also received the 'Pour le Mérite', a medal traditionally awarded by the Prussian state, in recognition of his services to the sciences and arts. And last year he was also awarded the Reuchlin Prize for his special services to the humanities by the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. He is a member of numerous academies in Russia, China, Spain, the UK, Romania, the USA and Germany, including the British Academy and the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Hermann Parzinger has served as President of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation since 2008.
The German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina was founded in 1652 in Schweinfurt and is the oldest academy in German-speaking countries with an unbroken history. The academy has had its headquarters in Halle (an der Saale) since 1878. In 2008 the Leopoldina was declared the National Academy of Sciences. The academy's original ambit was restricted to science and medicine but has been expanded since the Reunification by the establishment of new sections in the humanities and cultural and social sciences. The academy has around 1400 members from more than 30 countries.