Founded in 1652, the Leopoldina is one of the oldest scientific academies in the world, with about 1,500 current members in 30 countries. The ranks of its members total 7,000 since its founding, and include such eminent scholars at Marie Curie, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi and Max Planck. Waibel will be inducted in March 2018.
Waibel leads the International Center for Advanced Communications Technologies (InterACT), which works with eight of the world's top universities. He has directed pioneering research programs in speech, translation, multimodal interfaces and machine learning, and has founded a number of successful companies.
In late June, Waibel also was named honorary senator of the Hochschul-RektorenKonferenz, or HRK, an umbrella organization that represents German academia with the government and the public. He was honored at a dinner at the German Parliament, or Reichstag.