Catholic World News

New president for Pontifical Academy of Sciences

June 21, 2017

Pope Francis has named Joachim von Braun, a German agricultural economist, as president of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

Braun is a professor of economics and technology, and director for the center for development research, at the University of Bonn. He has previously taught at the universities of Göttingen and Kiel, and served as director general of the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, DC. He is regarded as a leading expert on malnutrition, and has spoken at UN conferences and at the World Economic Forum in Davos. He has been a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences since 2012.

The outspoken Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo remains the chancellor of both the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Jun. 22, 2017 5:13 AM ET USA

    A quick search of the internet did not reveal any religious affiliation for von Braun. If he is not Catholic, and if other members of the august pontifical academies are not Catholic, what does this say to today's youthful Catholics about the importance to the Church of the secular over the spiritual? Many Catholics throughout history have contributed to the secular arts and sciences to an extent equal to their contribution to the cause of the Church (evangelization), but role models today?

  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - Jun. 21, 2017 10:55 PM ET USA

    A quick look at Wikipedia shows that some members have been there since the 1970s. I wonder why it was necessary to purge most of the members of the Academy of Life for long terms but not this academy. Is the Pope against Life? It appears that way.