Max Planck Communitas Prize for Wieland Huttner

Prize for outstanding commitment and service to the Max Planck Society

Photo: Gesine Born

This year's Communitas Prize for outstanding achievement in the Max Planck Society goes to Wieland Huttner, Director Emeritus at the MPI-CBG. The award ceremony took place on February 20 during the meeting of the Scientific Council. Max Planck President Martin Stratmann acknowledged Wieland Huttner as a highly dedicated member: “Over the past 22 years as Director at the Dresden Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, he has not only shown outstanding commitment to Dresden as a location for research, but has also been a strong supporter of our Max Planck Society in many committees and commissions.”

Among his efforts, Huttner headed various presidential commissions, took over the chairmanship of the Scientific Council from 2009 to 2012, and made successful efforts to establish Dresden as a location for scientific research. The Max Planck President emphasized on one of Huttner’s commitment in particular: his leadership in the Task Force “Working Culture and Working Atmosphere in the Max Planck Society”. Wieland Huttner had taken on the challenging task of guiding and overseeing the employee survey, coordinating the consultation with representatives of various sub-groups, and developing a catalogue of measures after the initial evaluation of the employee survey. “You have sown the first seeds to examine the inner state of the MPG and to address this issue systematically,” Stratmann concluded his speech.

With the Max Planck Communitas Prize, the President of the Max Planck Society has honored members for their dedicated service to the society since 2014. The Latin term ‘communitas’, meaning community or common sense, signals that special efforts are recognized and appreciated for the good of the whole society — such as, lengthy commission work, mediation in conflicts, representation of MPG interests in external committees or a special commitment to greater cooperation with universities. The award recognizes scientific and non-scientific members and has symbolic value — notably public appreciation, which is why the Max Planck Communitas Prize is awarded every year during the Scientific Council meeting.