Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker
Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker (born 25 June 1939 in Zürich, Switzerland) is a German scientist and politician (SPD). He was a member of the German Bundestag and currently serves as co-president of the Club of Rome jointly with Anders Wijkman.
A member of the prominent Weizsäcker family, he is the son of physicist and philospher Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker and nephew of former German president Richard von Weizsäcker. Since 1969, he is married to Christine von Weizsäcker. Together, they have five children, including Jakob von Weizsäcker.
Youth and education
In 1972, he was appointed full professor of biology at Essen University. In 1975, he was recruited as president of the then newly founded University of Kassel. In 1981, he joined the United Nations in New York as director at the UN Center for Science and Technology. From 1984 to 1991 he headed the Institute for European Environmental Policy in Bonn. In 1991, Weizsäcker became founding president of the Wuppertal Institute, soon establishing itself as a leading environmental think tank.
In 1998, he was elected a member of the German Bundestag for the social democrats and re-elected in 2002. As a legislator, he chaired the select committee on globalisation (2000-2002) and the environment committee (2002-2005). After his decision not to run in the 2005 election, he became Dean of the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He returned to Germany in 2009 where is his an honorary professor at Freiburg University.
A bestselling author in Germany, his English language books include Earth Politics (1994), Factor Four: Doubling Wealth, Halving Resource Use (1995), Factor 5 (2009) and Limits to Privatization (2005).
Awards and Honours
- 2000 Honorary doctorate of Sōka University
- 2001 Takeda Award
- 2008 Deutscher Umweltpreis
- 2009 Commander's cross in the German order of merit
- 2011 Theodor Heuss Prize
- 2012 Order of Merit of Baden-Württemberg
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