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First lecture at German sciences headquarters

30 May 2012

German Science HQ webThe new home of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina in Halle

Professor Ole Petersen FRS, Director of the School of Biosciences, has given the prestigious Leopoldina Lecture at the opening of the German National Academy of Sciences’ new headquarter in Halle, Germany.

The world’s oldest Science Academy, the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina has just moved into the magnificent new building, a gift from the Federal German Government. The Leopoldina, formed in 1652, this year celebrates its 360th anniversary. The formal opening ceremony - attended by the Federal Minister for Science and Education, Annette Schavan – took place at the end of last week.

German Science HQ web 2Professor Petersen together with Professor Irene Schulz-Hofer in front of the Leopoldina Building, Halle

Professor Petersen, one of the few Fellows of The Royal Society also to have been elected Member of the Leopoldina, gave the main public lecture - in German - on the eve of the opening festivities.

Speaking in the Academy’s Festive Hall, Professor Petersen explained his discoveries of the mechanisms by which alcohol abuse destroys the pancreas.

The hour-long lecture in the presence of the President of the Leopoldina Academy, Professor Jörg Hacker, was chaired by Professor Irene Schulz-Hofer. Professor Schulz-Hofer, Leader of the Academy’s Life Science Class, introduced Professor Petersen as "one of the world’s leading researchers in the pancreatic field".

Professor Petersen said: "I was really delighted – and greatly honoured - to have the opportunity to give a major public lecture on this historic occasion. Having maintained a strong interest in German Literature since the two years I spent in a German Gymnasium in the late 1950s, it was a particular pleasure to deliver the lecture in German in order to make it accessible to a large general audience."

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