Pour le mérite Order for Sciences and Arts
The Pour le mérite is an order of merit established by King Frederick II of Prussia in 1740 as an honor for military and civil achievements. Although the order later became a military decoration, there has, since 1842, been a separate class of conferrals “for services to the sciences and the arts”.
According to the order’s statutes, active membership is limited to 80 eminent figures from the worlds of natural science, the humanities and the arts, 40 of whom are German citizens and 40 of whom live and work abroad. Members of the order are “men and women, who have, by virtue of the widespread recognition of their services to science and art, secured themselves an outstanding reputation”.
The Pour le mérite Order is under the patronage of the German head of state. Members of the order meet twice a year for internal discussions and negotiations, as well as for a conference which is open to the public.
The following members of the TUM have been admitted to the order:
Full Professor of Experimental Physics (Department of Physics)
Prof. Dr. Rudolf Mößbauer (1929–2011) was elected to membership of the Pour le mérite Order for Sciences and Arts in 1996.
Professor Emeritus of Engineering Physics (Department of Physics)
Prof. Dr. Heinz Maier-Leibnitz (1911–2000) was elected to membership of the Pour le mérite Order for Sciences and Arts in 1976.