Reimar Lüst (1923 - 2020)

The German Astronomical Society mourns the loss of its honorary member Reimar Lüst.


Reimar Lüst (Foto: Privat-Archiv R. Lüst)Reimar Lüst was born in Wuppertal-Barmen, Germany in 1923. From 1946 to 1949 he studied physics at the University of Frankfurt. He wrote his doctoral thesis supervised by Carl-Friedrich von Weizsäcker at the Max Planck Institute for Physics in Göttingen. In 1959 he habilitated in theoretical physics at the University of Munich. After several positions at renowned universities in the USA, Reimar Lüst became director of the newly founded Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching near Munich.

The astrophysicist worked as a science manager at the head of numerous research organizations. From 1965 to 1972 he was a member of the German Science Council, from 1969 to 1972 as its chairman. In the following 12 years he was president of the Max Planck Society before he subsequently served as Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA). From 1989 to 1999 he was president of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. From 1999, at the request of the Bremen Senate, he took over the planning and founding of the “International University Bremen”, which is now known as Jacobs University.

Reimar Lüst was one of the outstanding scientific personalities of his time. He received numerous important awards for his services to science. In 1987, the German Astronomical Society awarded him honorary membership status for his special services to the interests and goals of astronomy.

Laudation by Prof. Pfau on the honorary membership of Reimar Lüst (in German):

Obituary from the Max Planck Society: