The Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science (German: Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften e. V.; abbreviated MPG) is a formally independent non-governmental and non-profit association of German research institutes founded in 1948[1][2] and named in honour of its former president, theoretical physicist Max Planck. The society is funded by the federal and state governments of Germany as well as other sources.[3] The Max Planck Society is the successor to Kaiser Wilhelm Society established in 1911.[1] One of its institutes, the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, is noted for its demographic tracking of extreme longevity.


According to its primary goal, Max Planck Society supports fundamental research in the natural, life, and social sciences, the arts, and humanities in its 83 (as of January 2014)[3] Max Planck Institutes.[1][2] The society has a total staff of approximately 17,000 permanent employees, including 5,470 scientists, plus around 4,600 non-tenured scientists and guests.[3] Society budget for 2014 was about €1.6 billion.[3]

The Max Planck Society has a world-leading reputation as a science and technology research organization, with 33 Nobel Prizes awarded to their scientists, and are generally regarded as the foremost basic research organisation in Europe and the world. In 2013, the Nature Publishing Index placed the Max Planck institutes fifth worldwide in terms of research published in Nature journals (after Harvard, MIT, Stanford and the US NIH).[4] In terms of total research volume (unweighted by citations or impact), the Max Planck Society is only outranked by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Russian Academy of Sciences and Harvard University.[5] The Thomson Reuters-Science Watch website placed the Max Planck Society as the second leading research organization worldwide following Harvard University, in terms of the impact of the produced research over science fields.[6]

The Max Planck Society and its predecessor Kaiser Wilhelm Society hosted several renowned scientists in their fields, including Otto Hahn, Werner Heisenberg, and Albert Einstein, to name a few.

Institute for Demographic Research

Main article: Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

There are 83 Max Planck institutes as of March 2015.[7][3] Most of them are located in Germany, but some of them are located in other European countries and the United States.[7][3] One of them is the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR), which was founded in 1996, and is one of the largest demographic research bodies in Europe.[8] The MPIDR is jointly led by founding director James Vaupel and Mikko Myrskyla. It conducts basic research into demographic processes, analyses the underlying causes of demographic change, describes contemporary demographic trends, produces forecasts for the future direction of demographic processes, highlights the potential consequences facing society, and assists decision-makers in the various political and social institutions by providing them with solid information and expert advice.[9] Its research includes the tracking of extreme longevity.


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