Prof. Dr. Reto Weiler was rector of the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg from September 1, 2008 - September 30, 2018. Born in 1947 in Wädenswil, Switzerland, Reto Weiler studied biology at the University of Zurich and earned his doctorate and habilitation at Ludwig Maximilians Universität Munich. After various stays abroad at medical biology research institutes, including in Italy, the USA and Canada, he accepted a call to the chair of neurobiology and ethology at the Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg in 1986. He was coordinator of a collaborative research center for neurocognition and spokesman of a research group of the German Research Foundation.
He is the recipient of several scientific awards, including the Max Planck Research Award and the Australian International Research Award, and is a member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. From 2005 to 2008, he was Vice President of the Universität Oldenburg and founder of the European Medical School.
He was a member of the Austrian Science Council from 2013 until 2018.
The Bremen-born behavioral physiologist Prof. Dr. Dr. Gerhard Roth was founding rector of the Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg from January 1, 1997, and directed it until August 31, 2008. Roth, who holds a doctorate in philosophy and neurobiology, is a member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and was president of the German National Academic Foundation from 2003-2011. Since 1989, he has been director of the Institute for Brain Research at the University of Bremen and was spokesperson for the Collaborative Research Center on Neurocognition. He is the author of several books in the fields of cognitive and emotional neurobiology and has become known in particular for his statements on free will.