06114 Halle (Saale)
The International Georg Wilhelm Steller Society [e.V.] founded in May 2007, aims at studying the legacy of Georg Wilhelm Steller (1709-1749), the physician and naturalist influenced by Halle Pietism, and making his work known to the wider public.
The Society promotes the transcription and edition of historical sources and their utilisation by present-day natural scientists and by scholars working on the history of sciences, anthropology and ecology. It supports relevant editions of such sources, which are published in the series “Quellen zur Geschichte Sibiriens und Alaskas aus russischen Archiven” by the Francke Foundations in collaboration with the Archive of the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg.In addition, the Society supports scholarly conferences. In 2015 it organised the 20th conference of the "German-Russian Encounters" (Deutsch-Russische Begegnungen).
An important task of the Society is to generate more awareness of the importance of Halle for Steller and his era as a point of departure for German studies of Russia. Since 2009 on, the Society has honoured Steller, who connected Europe, Asia and America in his research, with an annual exhibition in the cool greenhouse of Halle’s Botanical Garden. In order to likewise commemorate his botanical work, the Society initiated the "Steller path" in Halle’s Botanical Garden and the "Steller bed" in the Francke Foundations’ school garden (Pflanzgarten), both containing plants from Siberia.In 2013 for the 350th anniversary of August Hermann Francke’s birthday, the Society donated an additional street sign for the Franckestrasse in the context of the action "Education in Passing."
The lively scholarly and cultural exchange of the International Georg Wilhelm Steller Society is also a contribution to building up peaceful relations, especially between Russia and Germany.