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The German Academy of Scientists "Leopoldina" at Halle (Saale)/Germany was founded by four physicians of the town of Schweinfurt in 1652. It is one of the oldest academies in the world and since its foundation "nunquam otiosus" and "the investigation of nature for the benefit of mankind" have been its two main objectives.The present thesis investigates the development and function of veterinary medicine within the natural and biological-medical sciences represented in this academy. After a short introduction, the Leopoldina"s historical development from foundation to present is described. The third chapter is dedicated to the institutions and publishing organs of the academy, the fourth to the honours, awards, and prizes given by the Leopoldina. Chapter 5 describes the development and acknowledgement of the veterinarian profession, since this is the basis for understanding the reasons which led to the foundation of a section of veterinary science. Chapter 6 presents the curricula vitae and scientific contributions of all members of the section and of other members deserving well of veterinary medicine. In chapter 7 the work of veterinary science and the Leopoldina"s section are discussed referring to the historical context, the present situation, and the future prospects.After the foundation period (1652-1665) the seat of the Leopoldina changed between 1686 and 1878 to the residences of the respective president. Since 1878, the Leopoldina has a permanent residence at Halle (Saale), due to the continuously growing stock of the library and the public records comprising scientific books and publications from all over the world. Periodicals such as the ,Nova Acta Leopoldina" and annuals, other scientific documentations, and regularly meetings inform the members of the Leopoldina and other interested people about the present state of science and encourage the contact among the members.Until the end of 1999 156 members of different sections were awarded the NOBEL prize reflecting the high standard of the Leopoldina. The Leopoldina itself awards honours and prizes for important scientific work, for example the COTHENIUS medal, which was given to J. E. L. FALKE, a veterinarian -professor of Jena, for he first time in 1861 ~ In the 20th century, three further veterinarians received said medal: Robert VON OSTERTAG (1937), Heinz ROHRER (1991), and Rudolf ROTT (1999). Furthermore, Werner SCHAEFER got the CARUS medal in 1957. The Leopoldina supports the rising generation by a promoting prize.The Leopoldina consists of wo main departments: Natural Sciences and Medicine. During the chairmanship of Emil ABDERHALDEN a section for animal health was founded in 1932 as precursor of the present section of veterinary science. According to the historical development, it is demonstrated that this was not possible before, because the veterinary science had to fight for its acknowledgement during centuries. This was achieved at the beginning of the 20 th century, mainly due to the recognition of the successful control of animal epidemics.The comprehensive scientific potential of German and international veterinarians is demonstrated based on the life work done by the members of the Leopoldina"s section ,,Veterinary Science". With important veterinarians such as VON OSTERTAG, FROHNER, COHRS, DOBBERSTEIN, BENESCH, GÖTZE, RAMON, LECLAINCHE, KITT, MAREK, BERGE, ACKERKNECHT, ROHRER, SCHAFER and others, the Leopoldina has elected internationally recognized and honoured scientists who have contributed to the acknowledgement of the veterinarian profession. Today, the veterinary science is an equal and indispensable scientific branch in he ensemble of natural sciences and biomedical fields represented in the Leopoldina.