Primo Levi Prize

Primo Levi Prize


  • Area of expertise: Commitment to humanitarian goals
  • Consists of: ceramics, certificate
  • First awarded: 2017
  • Announcement: Currently not advertised
  • Awarded jointly by: SCI and GDCh

The Primo Levi Prize honors chemists who, in addition to their subject, are particularly committed to humanitarian goals. The award was used in 2016 by the GDCh together with the SCI, the Società Chimica Italiana.

The award is given in memory of Primo Levi (1919-1987), the Italian chemist and writer, who was deported to Auschwitz as a young man in the anti-fascist resistance and Jewish religion. There he had to do forced labor in a chemical laboratory at IG Farben-Bunawerke.

He survived.

Primo Levi processed what he had experienced and created world literature. He also shared his observations and experiences in countless encounters with others. His commitment therefore went far beyond his professional career as a chemist. Throughout his life, in writing or speaking, he pursued his concern to put into words the reality of the camp and what it makes of people.

Prize winner 2019 - Vincenzo Balzani, Bologna / Italy

Professor Vincenzo Balzani received the Primo Levi Prize in recognition of his deep interest in the social aspects and the ethical positions of science and scientists as well as his intensive efforts to promote science as a promoter of a peaceful better world with the aim of reducing poverty and putting an end to wars territories. As an outstanding scientist and formidable mentor, he has always been a role model and source of inspiration for generations of students and scholars.

More information on Professor Balzani

Award winners since 2017

2019 Vincenzu Balzani, Bologna / Italy
2017 Roald Hoffmann, Ithaca, NY / USA

Selection committee

Ex officio:
President of the GDCh, (lead): Prof. Peter R. Schreiner (2020 & 2021)
President of the SCI, (lead): Prof. Gaetano Guerra (2019-2021)
GDCh managing director: Prof. Wolfram Koch, Frankfurt aM (as secretary without voting rights)
A member of the Levi family: Prof. Renzo Levi, Turin / IT

other members:
Prof. Raffaele Riccio, Salerno / IT
Prof. Francesco de Angelis, L'Aquila / IT
Prof. Dr. Henning Hopf, TU Braunschweig
Prof. Dr. Gisela Lück, Bielefeld University

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last modified: 10.05.2021 14:59 H from