Meet Christoph Markschies, President of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Co-Founder of the Virchow Foundation for Global Health and Member of the Executive Board and Board of Trustees
Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. mult. Christoph Markschies studied Protestant theology, classical philology and philosophy in Marburg, Jerusalem, Munich and Tübingen. In 1991, he received his doctorate and habilitated in 1994 in Tübingen. He held professorships in Jena and Heidelberg and followed a call to the Humboldt University Berlin in 2004, serving as president two years later until 2010. Professor Markschies was a fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin, Jerusalem and Princeton and a Visiting Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford. He is Professor of Ancient Christianity at the Humboldt University in Berlin and holds various honorary doctorates. Christoph Markschies received numerous prizes and honours, including the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz prize, the Federal Cross of Merit (1st class) from German Federal President, Frank Walter Steinmeier, is a member of several distinguished academies in Germany and abroad and serves on various advisory boards of scientific institutions. Professor Markschies has published extensively. He contributes to scientific and public discussions as a columnist.
Since 2019, he serves as President of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Read more on how he understands his role within the Virchow Foundation for Global Health.
From your perspective, why is engagement and awareness raising for global health important?
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that the global community cannot think of health in regional or even local terms. If we do not work for global health, we will get sick ourselves.
How are you committed to engaging in global health topics within your current professional role and activities?
As President of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, it is important to me – although, I conduct research in the field of ancient concepts of disease – that we deal with global health today and in the future. To this end, we pool expert knowledge and produce policy papers.
How do you hope to achieve greater awareness and engagement for global health in your new role at the Virchow Foundation for Global Health? How can the Virchow Prize for Global Health help to increase awareness?
In addition to experts from the field, the Virchow Foundation for Global Health also wants to inspire people who come from various professions and disciplines. That is how I understand and see my role within the Virchow Foundation in addition to my administrative functions.
[The Virchow Prize for Global Health can help because] laureates are impressive personalities and impressive personalities make an impression. Memorable impressive personalities increase awareness for global health.