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Humboldt's treasures rediscovered: the Tableau Physique of Alexander von Humboldt

Two scientific lectures as a prelude to the international conference Continents under Climate Change

The prelude to the international conference "Continents under Climate Change" will be a discussion among Professor Dr. Wilfried Endlicher, Geographer and Climatologist of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Professor Mejía, an El-Niño expert from the Agricultural University in Guayaquil. Their lectures and discussion will focus on man-induced and natural climate change. As the event takes place in the framework of the 200th anniversary of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Endlicher and Mejía will concentrate their contributions on Ecuador, where Alexander von Humboldt climbed and studied the Chimborazo mountain. The lectures will be followed by a film presentation about Humboldt’s ascent of the Chimborazo, his life and work.

Prof. Dr. Wilfried Endlicher "Alexander von Humboldt and modern climate research" and
Prof. Mejía (MSc) "The Humboldt-Current and El Niño in Ecuador"
on 20 April 2010, at 7 p.m.
Seminar Room of the Jacob-und-Wilhelm-Grimm-Zentrum
Geschwister-Scholl-Str. 1-3, 10117 Berlin

Alexander von Humboldt conducted his research with such precision and over so many years that his findings have still not been fully studied, even today. And his collections and records are invaluable even for modern science. His iconic drawing of the Chimborazo, which was also selected for the book cover of Daniel Kehlmann’s renowned novel “Die Vermessung der Welt” is known throughout the world. That is why it was chosen as the centrepiece for a film about Humboldt’s travels and achievements. The film discusses the importance of this object in the past and present and goes on to show Humboldt’s great contribution to science.

The event is embedded in a lecture and film series entitled “Humboldt’s treasures rediscovered”. Three events focus on three historic objects from the collections of Humboldt-Universität, such as the map of the Chimborazo. The objects function as starting points for discussions about important topical theme in modern science, such as climate change. Humboldt’s map of the Chimborazo as a starting point to an international climate conference will lead to a lively debate about the challenges we are facing, our own contribution and natural causes.

  • Abteilung Internationales, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
  • Geography Department of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
  • Gesellschaft für Erdkunde zu Berlin

Dr. Esther von Richthofen
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
International Office
P: +49 30 2093-2443