The order, also known as the Federal Cross of Merit, was presented to him by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on German Unity Day at Bellevue Palace. Twenty-three recipients of the Order of Merit have made outstanding contributions to, among other things, more educational justice and modern knowledge transfer.
Harald Lesch is Professor of Theoretical Astrophysics at the Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at LMU. As a science journalist and presenter, he presents scientific knowledge to a broad audience in programs like ZDF. The announcement for the award of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany states that for Harald Lesch, research is always an adventure, which he communicates to an audience of millions on television, the Internet, and in schools.
He knows how to present complex relationships so that even laypeople can understand them. In this way, he arouses interest in the natural sciences, especially among young people, and motivates them to learn and discover new things. Lesch focuses, in particular, on climate change. In addition, he repeatedly contributes to the public debate on education and is involved in schools. By explaining how to distinguish "fake from fact," he also strengthens democracy.