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, beyond their discipline, are particularly committed to humanitarian goals. The prize was used in 2016 by the GDCh together with the SCI, the Società Chimica Italiana.

The prize is awarded 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 religious affiliation. There he had to do forced labor in a chemical laboratory of IG Farben-Bunawerke.

He survived.

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

awardee 2023 - Henning Hopf, Braunschweig

Professor Henning Hopf received the Primo Levi Prize in recognition of his lifelong and extraordinary commitment and his services to better chemistry as a member of numerous academies and chemical societies. His deep commitment to examining the involvement of German chemists and their organizations in the Nazi era is particularly noteworthy. It is thanks to his persistence that an investigation into the predecessor organizations of the GDCh during the Nazi era was initiated. As an active member of Chemists for Sustainability (C4S) and through his work in the International Organization for Development Chemistry (IOCD), he shows his commitment to responsible chemistry and international cooperation. His essays on topics such as resilience, circular chemistry and economics, ethics, diversity and inclusion have attracted a great deal of attention and his vision of "One World Chemistry" is an inspiration to many.

More information about Professor Hopf

Distinguished people since 2017

2023 Henning Hopf, Brunswick
2019 Vincenzu Balzani, Bologna/Italy
2017 Roald Hoffman, Ithaca, NY/USA

selection committee

Ex officio:
President of the GDCh (lead management): Dr. Karsten Danielmeier (2022 & 2023)
President of the SCI (lead management): Prof. Dr. Gianluca Farinola (2023 - 2025)
GDCh Executive Director: Prof. Dr. Wolfram Koch, Frankfurt aM (as secretary without voting rights)
A member of the Levi family: Prof. Dr. Renzo Levi, Turin/IT

other members:
Prof. Dr. Margherita Venturi, University of Bologna
Prof. Dr. Francesco de Angelis, L'Aquila/IT
dr Peter Golitz, Weinheim
Prof. Dr. Katharina Kohse-Höinghaus, Bielefeld University

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last modified: 08.07.2024 15:59 H from N/A