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Arthur Jacobs Wins 2019 Gay-Lussac Humboldt Prize

Franco-German Research Award Goes to a Psychologist and Neuroscientist at Freie Universität Berlin

№ 191/2019 from Jun 25, 2019

Arthur Jacobs, a professor in the Experimental and Neurocognitive Psychology Division at Freie Universität Berlin, was in Paris to receive the prestigious Gay-Lussac Humboldt Prize. The psychologist and neuroscientist studies the foundations of human language, thinking, and emotion, in particular as they relate to reading and learning processes. Arthur Jacobs has conducted research and taught at German and French research institutions over the length of his career. He has been at Freie Universität since 2003. His contributions to collaborative research across borders as well as his empirical work in Germany and France earned him the Franco-German Gay-Lussac Humboldt Prize. It comes with a 60,000-euro monetary award. Prizewinners also spend several months in France for a research stay.

Jacobs studied psychology at Julius-Maximilians-Universität (Würzburg) and Université René Descartes (Sorbonne, Paris V). He completed his doctoral degree at the Sorbonne in 1986 with a study on the oculomotor system and cognitive processes. He then went on to teach and do research at RWTH Aachen University and the Laboratoire de Psychologie Expérimentale in Paris. During the 1990s, he was head of the Brain and Language department at the Laboratoire de Neurosciences Cognitives, part of the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) in Marseille. In 1996, he received a professorship in experimental psychology at the University of Marburg. In 1998, he took a professorship at the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, and in 2003, he came to Freie Universität Berlin.

French President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing and his German counterpart Chancellor Helmut Schmidt started the Gay-Lussac Prize. It was first awarded in 1982. Since then, every year top researchers from France and Germany are selected for the honor, which recognizes achievements by researchers who have made significant academic contributions supporting cooperation between the two countries. The prize derives its name from the German natural scientist Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859) and the French chemist and physicist Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac (1778–1850).

Further Information


Prof. Dr. Arthur Jacobs, Experimental and Neurocognitive Psychology Division, Freie Universität Berlin, Email:  ajacobs@zedat.fu-berlin.de