We mourn the loss of our trustee Professor Hubert Markl

Hubert Markl was a member of the Robert Bosch Stiftung’s Board of Trustees between 2002 and 2010. Brilliant, powerfully eloquent, and fearless is how we came to know this great figure in the field of German research policy. Today, many think back to his farewell address as the president of the Max Planck Society in 2001 at the Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin as an example of his un-compromising integrity. Here he laid his carefully prepared notes aside and spontaneously decided to respond to the "Berlin Speech" on stem cell research given by former German President Johannes Rau. Combining his expertise on the subject, his temperament, and his sharp tongue, he countered Rau’s misgivings with his own arguments for the freedom of research. This caused a months-long debate about the pros and cons of stem cell research in the major German newspapers. We need these kinds of intellectual minds in Germany, and the Robert Bosch Stiftung also owes much to Professor Markl. There was barely a project from the Foundation’s wide range of topics that Hubert Markl did not have an opinion on – opinions that he defended eloquently. We often clashed during lively discussions and learned a lot from his wisdom. The zoologist Hubert Markl was an expert far beyond his academic field, well read, amiable, funny, and entirely unpretentious. An encounter with him was always an experience and, sometimes, much more – a magical moment.