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Venerable Academy Tended the Flame of Independence

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Science  15 Oct 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5439, pp. 394
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5439.394

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When Germany's unification treaty dissolved the politically-tainted East German Academy of Sciences at the end of 1991, it spared another academy in eastern Germany with a far richer tradition and a less sullied reputation: the German Academy of Natural Scientists Leopoldina. Founded in 1652 and named after the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I, the Leopoldina is German-speaking Europe's oldest science academy. Despite the restrictions imposed during East Germany's 40-year existence, the academy maintained its outside ties, with West Germans always dominating its governing board.