Georg von Neumayer – An early Sciencemanager
born: 21.6.1826 in Kirchheimbolanden
died: 24.5.1909 in Neustadt an der Weinstraße
Georg Neumayer, who was later raised to the nobility, began his studies in Munich. In 1851, as a newly-graduated geophysicist and hygrographer, he acquired his mate's certificate. His first voyages took him to Brazil and Australia. In 1857, after years looking for sponsors, King Max of Bavaria provided him with the financial support he needed to establish the Flagstaff Observatory for Geophysics, Magnetism and Nautical Science in Melbourne, Australia, where he was highly successful as Director until 1864. He returned to Germany in 1865. Between 1876 and 1903 he was the first Director of the German Hydrographic Office, of which he was a co-founder.
In addition to geophysical and oceanographic research, he was particularly outstanding as a champion of South Pole research and as a research organiser. From 1879 onwards, he was Chairman of the International Polar Commission, and played a major role in instituting the first International Polar Year (IPY) in 1882/83, as well as the Antarctic Year in 1901, the year in which the research ship "Gauss" took part in the German Antarctic Expedition for the first time.
Neumayer's name was given to the German Antarctic research station "Georg von Neumayer", which was built in 1981 and renamed "Neumayer Station" in 1992 after reconstruction.