Giordano Bruno Foundation

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Giordano Bruno Foundation
Formation30 March 2004; 15 years ago (30 March 2004)
TypeNonprofit organisation
PurposeSupporting evolutionary humanism
Herbert Steffen

The Giordano Bruno Foundation (German: Giordano-Bruno-Stiftung) is a Germany-based non-profit foundation under public law that pursues the “Support of Evolutionary Humanism”. It was founded by entrepreneur Herbert Steffen in 2004 and was named after the Dominican friar Giordano Bruno who was convicted of heresy and burnt at the stake in 1600. The foundation's executive spokesman is Michael Schmidt-Salomon, who also wrote the “Manifesto of Evolutionary Humanism” (German: Manifest des Evolutionären Humanismus) on its behalf. From its beginnings the foundation was particularly committed to the work of church critic Karlheinz Deschner.

The Giordano Bruno Foundation is emphatic on criticism of religion. It holds the view that religions “balefully affect the cultural evolution of humanity to this day”. With its commitment to a “Cultural Ideal of Humanism and Enlightenment” it tries to counter the thoughts of “German (Christian) Cultural Ideals (Leitkultur)” as well as the politically indifferent multiculturalism.[1]

The Foundation supports the Central Council of Ex-Muslims (Zentralrat der Ex-Muslime), founded in 2007.[2] The council consists of former Muslims that criticize islamism and tries to raise consciousness of the lack of religious freedom within Islam.


One of its projects is the “Forschungsgruppe Weltanschauungen Deutschland” (fowid) (English: Research Group World Views Germany) that customizes empirical data on the social dissemination of world-views.

Its fields of work are:

  1. Evolutionary Humanism / naturalistic world-view
  2. Criticizing religion / Secularism
  3. Epistemology / Philosophy of Science
  4. Ethics

In collaboration with the “Humanistischer Verband Deutschlands” (English: Humanist Association of Germany) it set up the “Humanistischer Pressedienst” (English: Humanist News Service)”, The Humanist News Service brings secular humanist views to the public.

The foundation seeks the secularization of the German public holiday Christi Himmelfahrt (Ascension Day) by seeking to have it renamed "Evolutionstag" (Evolution Day).[3]

Deschner Award[edit]

In 2004 when Karlheinz Deschner was celebrating his 80th birthday, the foundation announced that they would award a biannual prize in honor of him. The award which is endowed with 10,000 Euros will be given to individuals or organizations that "contribute extraordinarily to the secular, scientific and humanistic cause".[4] The first Deschner award was given to Richard Dawkins on October 12, 2007. [5]

Board of directors[edit]

The board of directors consists of Herbert Steffen and Michael Schmidt-Salomon. The board of trustees consists of Carsten Frerk, Hermann Josef Schmidt und Jacques Tilly.


  1. ^ Dr. Michael Schmidt-Salomon: Leitkultur Humanismus und Aufklärung
  2. ^ Zentralrat der Ex-Muslime, KÖLNER STADT-ANZEIGER, 11 February 2007 (Accessed 8 April 2008)
  3. ^ Daniel Cressey (27 February 2009). "Songs about Science XV: You can't fool the children of evolution". Nature. Retrieved 1 December 2014. Note that this is unrelated to the Evolution Day which marks the anniversary of the first publication of Darwin's On the Origin of Species.
  4. ^ "Der Förderpreis der Giordano Bruno Stiftung". Giordano Bruno Stiftung. 2004-05-25. Archived from the original on 2008-10-06. Retrieved 2008-06-11.
  5. ^ "Richard Dawkins receives the Deschner Prize". 2007-10-14. Archived from the original on 2008-06-21. Retrieved 2008-06-11.

External links[edit]