AWK - About us




North Rhine-Westphalian Academy
of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts

The North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts is unique in its present form, in that it brings together all forms of creative discovery, be they scientific, scholarly or artistic. The Academy was founded in 1970 as the successor institution to the Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Forschung (work-collective for research) of the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia, which had been founded in 1950 by the then Premier of the Federal State, Karl Arnold. The purpose of this organisation, which united scientific and technological disciplines, was to provide advice to the State Government in the reconstruction of the State after its devastation in the war.

When the Karl Arnold House in Düsseldorf was established in 1960, the Arbeitsgemeinschaft gained its own building. In 1970 it became the Rheinisch-Westfälische Akademie der Wissenschaften (Rhenish-Westphalian Academy of Sciences).

Outstanding scientists and young scholars

It was named Nordrhein-Westfälische Akademie der Wissenschaften (North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences) from 1993 to 2008, at which point the State Parliament decided to extend it by adding a class of the arts. The North Rhine-Westphalian Academy is thus the first in Germany to admit the arts as an independent class.

The North Rhine-Westphalian Academy is today organised in three scientific and scholarly classes and one class of the arts. To promote young scholars, the Junges Kolleg was founded in 2006 with the support of the Stiftung Mercator. 30 outstanding young scholars or scientists of any discipline can be invited to join it.