A Bust for Benjamin List

Nobel Laureate is honored by the Max Planck Society

March 18, 2024

The Max Planck Society honors all its Nobel Prize winners by having a bust set up in the General Administration building in Munich. Benjamin List, Director at the Max Planck Institut für Kohlenforschung, has now been awarded this honor.

Otto Hahn, Albert Einstein and Karl Ziegler. Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard, Stefan Hell and Gerhard Ertl.  Anyone visiting the Munich premises of the General Administration of the Max Planck Society will soon be walking through the MPG's "Hall of Fame". It is a tradition that a bronze bust is set up for those researchers who have been awarded a Nobel Prize. The aim is to preserve the memory of these special people and to inspire visitors with the pioneering work of the Nobel Prize winners. 

Benjamin List has been Director at the Max Planck Institut für Kohlenforschung in Mülheim an der Ruhr since 2005. He has often visited the General Administration in Munich and has often looked at the busts of the Nobel Prize winners. He would never have dreamed that he himself would one day win a Nobel Prize, as happened in 2021. And now the Max Planck Society has had a bust set up for him. The special thing about it: The bust, which has now been unveiled, was created by his brother Nikolaus List. Nikolaus works as a professional painter and sculptor in Berlin.

"It is a great honor for me to be immortalized in the form of a bust in the Hall of Fame of the Max Planck Society," says Benjamin List. The memories of his first visit to the General Administration 20 years ago were particularly vivid for him when this bust was unveiled. "It was the first time I saw the bust of my aunt Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard, who looked back at me skeptically but somehow also encouragingly."

The fact that he was able to experience the creation of the bust together with his brother was also something very special for him - especially as his brother does not normally work with busts. "The process was great, and I'm very happy and proud to have such a talented artist as a brother," says Benjamin List.

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