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70 years Max Planck Society

The beginnings of a research giant: The Max Planck Society (MPG) celebrates its 70th anniversary on 26 February 2018. It was founded February 26, 1948 in Göttingen as successor organisation of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society.

February 26, 2018

The beginnings of a research giant

The Max Planck Society (MPG) celebrates its 70th anniversary on 26 February 2018. The turbulent beginnings of what is today Germany’s largest non-university science organization were attributable to differences of opinion between the occupying powers and the long shadow cast by its predecessor organization, the Kaiser Wilhelm Society. More

"Let's feel the spirit of unity"

Bill Hansson, Vice president of the Max Planck Society (MPG), explains the idea behind the Max Planck Day, the nationwide, public MPG science event that takes place on September 14 throughout Germany and beyond. More

The Max Planck Society (MPG) celebrates its 70th anniversary. Zoom Image
The Max Planck Society (MPG) celebrates its 70th anniversary.

Our history

The Max Planck Society (MPG) was founded February 26, 1948 in Göttingen as successor organisation of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society.
From its predecessor, the MPG took over the mandate to foster basic research in its own Institutes as well as elementary principles and structures of research funding. The Kaiser Wilhelm Society (KWG) was founded in 1911 and quickly established itself nationally and internationally thanks to its outstanding scientific achievements. After the Nazis came into power, the KWG leadership and many of its scientists became willing supporters of the regime. As a result, the Allies, after the end of WWII, urged that the KWG should be dissolved. In 1948, a new start became possible with the internationally renowned and Nobel Prize Laureate for Physics, Max Planck, who was regarded as an outstanding scientist internationally and whose reputation was untarnished by the war. The MPG evolved into one of the mainstays of the science landscape of the Federal Republic of Germany, which was founded in 1949. After German reunification, numerous institutes were opened in eastern Germany. More