2017 is a very special year for the Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung (SGN). It is thanks to the curiosity of 32 scientifically interested citizens of Frankfurt that the Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung was founded on 22 November 1817. At the beginning of Senckenberg's history, there was a citizens' society and a small natural history museum in Frankfurt am Main, where the early explorers showed never-before-seen things to an astonished public. Much has happened since then: Over 7,000 members now support the non-profit society. And it is now 200 years old! Of course, this must be celebrated properly.
Since spring, all eleven sites have been celebrating under the motto "Senckenberg researches for YOUR life with pleasure" with various special exhibitions and events. This is also the case in Frankfurt: exhibitions and guided tours, competitions, a science congress and a large citizens' festival on 19 November 2017 at the Senckenberg Naturmuseum Frankfurt, as well as many other events, are part of this. In keeping with the motto, the focus is on Senckenberg research.
One of the highlights of the anniversary was the grand ceremony to which the SGN invited guests to the Bockenheim Depot on Friday. Around 400 guests, including many prominent figures from politics and business, enjoyed a colorful program of music, film, dance, a science slam with Dr. Sebastian Lotzkat, and exciting lectures. Under the motto GRENZENLOS (Boundless), four acts, Man - Earth - Cosmos - Future, illuminated the Society's research - from the deep sea to the exploration of meteorites, from the origins of man to future scenarios for our planet. The focus was of course on the work of the past 200 years, but there was also a glimpse into the future of natural research, which is set to become enormously exciting in Frankfurt in particular as a result of the expansion of the Senckenberg exhibition and research area in the coming years.
Prominent speakers on the evening included the Federal Minister of Education and Research Prof. Dr. Johanna Wanka, who emphasised how proud Frankfurt was to celebrate the Senckenberg Society. The Prime Minister of Hesse, Volker Bouffier, also paid tribute to the work of the Society and thanked all those who contribute to ensuring that the Senckenberg Society can continue to fulfil its tasks in the years and decades to come. The Lord Mayor of Frankfurt, Peter Feldmann, and the President of the Leibniz Association, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Matthias Kleiner, as well as Dr h.c. Beate Heraeus, President of the Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung, then led the final part of the ceremony, which included gifts of remembrance and wishes for the future. The ceremony was musically accompanied by the Senckenberg Choir and violinist Puschan Mousavi Malvani.
At the end, there was a special gift from the city of Frankfurt: the subway stop Bockenheimer Warte will now be called Bockenheimer Warte / Senckenberg Museum. In view of the fact that the museum will occupy even more space here in the future and will thus have even greater significance, this is actually a long overdue and absolutely appropriate tribute to the museum by the city.
While the ceremony was a glittering climax to the celebrations, it was certainly not the last this year. After all, the society, which was once founded by Frankfurt citizens, still wants to celebrate with the citizens of Frankfurt. And there will be several other exciting events and exhibitions between now and the big celebration in November that will make clear what the name Senckenberg has stood for, not only in Frankfurt and Germany, but internationally for two centuries. You can find out more about the Senckenberg Society, its diverse fields of research and about the anniversary programme at: <link http: www.200jahresenckenberg.de _blank>Www.200jahresenckenberg.de