Prof. Dr. Thomas Potthast - President

Prof. Dr. Thomas Potthast
© Kerstin Sauer

Thomas Potthast has explored across the boundaries that often divide sciences and the humanities. Starting with studies in biology and philosophy in Freiburg and Tübingen he took his PHD 1998 at the International Centre for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities (IZEW) at the University of Tübingen writing on the interdisciplinary theme of evolution and nature conservation. After posts at the Berlin Max-Planck-Institute for the History of Science (1998-2001) and in the USA, in 2002 he became the scientific coordinator of IZEW.

Since 2016 he has been Professor for Ethics, Theory and History of Biological Sciences in the biology department of the Mathematics and Natural Sciences Faculty while in addition remaining the speaker of the Centre for Ethics at the University of Tübingen. His research covers a wide spectrum of themes from the natural philosophy of biodiversiy to ethical issues of agriculture and nutrition. He is very appreciative of the fact that EuroNatur does not lose sight of the human beings involved in these fields. “It is through cooperation with local civil society actors that EuroNatur fosters the idea of a peaceful and unified Europe,” says Thomas Potthast, president of EuroNatur since 1 January 2020. In this function as an actively committed scientist he is among things keen to promote the exchange of ideas on current and fundamental questions of nature conservation.

He sees assuring fair access to Nature for today's and future generations as a central challenge of our time. “This embraces not only working for a sustainable use of resources but also enabling everyone to experience Nature with all the senses. To safeguard biological diversity is a political and cultural task – and moreover one to delight in!”