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Think Tank for Humanism and Enlightenment

What do the philosopher of science Hans Albert and the comic artist Ralf König, the primatologist Volker Sommer and the authors of children’s books Janosch and Max Kruse have in common? What connects the former SPD top politician Ingrid Matthäus-Maier with the immunologist Beda M. Stadler, the neurophilosopher Thomas Metzinger or the astrophysicist Heinz Oberhummer; what do the evolutionary biologists Ulrich Kutschera, Axel Meyer, Eckart Voland and Franz M. Wuketits have in common with the authors Esther Vilar and Karen Duve? Answer: They all are members of the Giordano Bruno Stiftung (gbs).

The gbs is a think tank for humanism and enlightenment, which is aligned with the guiding principle of evolutionary humanism, and to which many prestigious scientists, philosophers and artists belong. The foundation’s goal is to develop a viable secular alternative to existing religions and to help it become established in society. This aim is based on the belief that we cannot deal with the complex challenges of the 21st century using the religious paradigms of the past. We need a modern view of the world, compatible with the results of scientific research (particularly those of evolutionary biology and brain research), and which ethically is clearly oriented towards the individual’s right to self-determination (as expressed in the General Declaration of Human Rights).

A clear and concise summary of the gbs’s central positions can be found in the brochure “Enlightenment in the 21st Century” as well as in the “Manifesto of Evolutionary Humanism”, which Michael Schmidt-Salomon wrote for the foundation. The history of the Giordano Bruno Foundation is summarized in the Chronology of Main Events. See also the documentary "In Humanity We Trust".

“Anyone capable of splitting the atom and communicating via satellites, must possess intellectual and emotional maturity. One of the ways this manifests itself is through the ability to let false ideas die, before people have to die for false ideas.«
(Manifesto of Evolutionary Humanism)


Members of the foundation

Board: Herbert Steffen, Dr. Michael Schmidt-Salomon

Trustees: Dr. Heiner Holtkötter, Robert Maier, Prof. Dr. Hermann Josef Schmidt, Shiro Sonoda, Ingrid Steffen-Binot, Wolf Steinberger, Jacques Tilly

Advisory Committee: Hamed Abdel-Samad, expert on Islam and the Near East, Prof. Dr. Dr. Hans Albert, philosopher of science; Andreas Altmann, writer; Prof. Dr. Christoph Antweiler, ethnologist; Dr. Uwe-Christian Arnold, doctor of medicine; Dr. Pierre Basieux, mathematician/expert on game theory; Rolf Bergmeier, ancient historian; Prof. Dr. Dieter Birnbacher, philosopher; Prof. Dr. Michael Braungart, chemist/process technician; Prof. Dr. Martin Brüne, neurologist/psychiatrist; Dr. Gerhard Czermak, jurist/author; Helmut Debelius, marine researcher/author; Karen Duve, writer; Prof. Dr. Theodor Ebert, philosopher/historian of philosophy; Dr. Carsten Frerk, political scientist/author; Dr. Colin Goldner, psychologist/non-fiction author; Dr. Monika Griefahn, politician/sociologist; Gerhard Haderer, cartoonist/illustrator/author; Prof. Dr. Dr. Eric Hilgendorf, jurist/legal philosopher; Ricarda Hinz, documentary filmmaker; Janosch, author/illustrator; Dr. Mathias Jung, Gestalt therapist/philosopher; Prof. Dr. Bernulf Kanitscheider, natural philosopher/physicist; Wolfram Kastner, performance artist; Prof. Dr. Günter Kehrer, sociologist of religion; Ralf König, cartoonist/author; Max Kruse, writer; Dr. Heinz-Werner Kubitza author/students of religion; Prof. Dr. Ulrich Kutschera, evolutionary biologist/physiologist; Dr. Fiona Lorenz, social scientist; Prof. Dr. Ludger Lütkehaus, literary scholar/author; Dr. Martin Mahner, biologist/philosopher of science; Ingrid Matthäus-Maier, politician/jurist; Prof. Dr. Axel Meyer, evolutionary biologist/zoologist; Prof. Dr. Thomas Metzinger, cognitive scientist/philosopher; Adel Ferenc Mohsin, concert pianist; Philipp Möller, pedagogue/author; Prof. Dr. Johannes Neumann, sociologist; Prof. Dr. Heinz Oberhummer, nuclear- and astrophysicist; Prof. Dr. Rolf Oerter, developmental psychologist; Volker Panzer, journalist/TV host; Udo Pollmer, food chemist/science journalist; Prof. Dr. Holm Putzke, jurist; Dr. Gisela Notz, social scientist; Gerhard Rampp, ethics teacher/vice president of the DGHS; Prof. Dr. Hermann Josef Schmidt, philosopher; Prof. Dr. Volker Sommer, anthropologist/primatologist; Prof. Dr. Beda M. Stadler, immunologist; Prof. Dr. Gerhard Streminger, philosopher; Assunta Tammelleo, entrepreneur/chairwoman of the bfg Munich; Jacques Tilly, sculptor/communication designer; Rüdiger Vaas, science journalist; Esther Vilar, writer; Prof. Dr. Eckart Voland, sociobiologist/biophilosopher; Prof. Dr. Dr. Gerhard Vollmer, physicist/philosopher; Lilly Walden, actress; Prof. Dr. Dr. Ulrich Walter, physicist/astronaut; Helmut Walther, editor/chairman of the Gesellschaft für kritische Philosophie; Prof. Dr. Isabell Welpe, economist; Prof. Dr. Ulla Wessels, philosopher; Prof. Dr. Franz Josef Wetz, philosopher; Prof. Gerhard Wimberger, composer/conductor; Prof. Dr. Franz Wuketits, philosopher of evolution

Friends and benefactors: Currently, around 5700 people from 30 countries are members of the foundation’s  “Friends and benefactors” association.