Sebastian Lentz, Director of the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography and Professor of Regional Geography at the University of Leipzig, has been awarded the Semyonov Gold Medal by the Russian Geographical Society.
On the occasion of its 175th anniversary, the Russian Geographical Society awards the P.P. Semyonov Gold Medal to Professor Sebastian Lentz for his research on transformation processes in Russia and Eastern Europe. The award committee particularly acknowledges the projects he initiated with Russian scientists and the promotion of young geographers from Russia through cooperation programmes in Germany, especially at the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (IfL) in Leipzig.
Sebastian Lentz: "I am very happy about the award and feel very honoured. Above all, it is a great recognition of our many years of cooperation with Russian colleagues and our intensive efforts to abolish clichés and prejudices about Russia and Eastern Europe through differentiated analyses and joint research on the ground."
Sebastian Lentz has been director of the IfL since 2003. The institute conducts research on current socio-spatial developments, especially in Eastern Europe, and in Germany. For many years, it has maintained close cooperative relations with research institutions and researchers in Russia and other post-socialist states. Together with the University of Leipzig and seven other partners, the IfL runs the Leibniz Science Campus "Eastern Europe – Global Area". The network supports young academics who would like to research the position of Eastern Europe and Russia in globalisation processes together with colleagues in Central Germany.
The medal, named after the explorer and geographer Pyotr Petrovich Semyonov-Tyan Shansky, has been awarded by the Russian Geographical Society to outstanding scientists since 1899. Only five non-Russian researchers have received the prestigious award so far. The last foreign laureate before Sebastian Lentz was the US geographer John O'Loughlin in 2015.