Meet Gerald H. Haug, President of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, Co-Founder and President of the Virchow Foundation for Global Health, Member of the Virchow Foundation for Global Health Board of Trustees and Chair of the Virchow Prize Committee
Gerald Haug is a paleoclimatologist, marine geologist and paleoceanographer where he studies the development of the earth’s climate over thousands to millions of years. Professor Haug received his Ph.D. from the Geological Institute at the University of Kiel in Germany and has completed his post-doctoral trainings at GEMOR, Centre for Marine Geosciences in Kiel, the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts. Since 2015, Gerald Haug has been appointed Ordinary Professor for Climate Geochemistry at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Switzerland and Director of the Climate Geochemistry Department at the Max-Planch-Institute for Chemistry in Germany. In 2007 he was awarded the Gottfried-Wilhelm-Leibniz Prize of the German Research Foundation (DFG), Germany’s most important and highest endowed research promotion prize.
He was appointed President of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina in March 2020.
From your perspective, why is engagement and awareness raising for global health important?
The health of future generations is dependent on the decisions and solutions we implement today. We are falling short on global commitments to improve the health of both people and the planet as outlined in the United Nations 2030 Agenda. Only through increased awareness and engagement can we sustain the momentum needed to affect tangible change for our future.
How are you committed to engaging in global health topics within your current professional role and activities?
Climate science and global health are inextricably linked. As a climatologist, I research the causes of climate change and how different elements of the ecosystem work together – with every component having the potential to impact our health. Ultimately, climate protection is health protection. At the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, we advise policies which are rooted in science and address pressing issues facing society. Global health is a top priority and key issue that we are bringing forth within our national and international dialogues.
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?
Our vision for the Virchow Foundation for Global Health is to provide a platform that integrates and elevates awareness for the urgent issues faced by humanity today. By awarding the Virchow Prize for Global Health, we highlight exceptional efforts of individuals or organisations towards improving universal health and wellbeing. This brings attention to these important causes, while injecting optimism and energy to further advance their impact worldwide.