The official opening ceremony of the institute took place on March 23, 1973 in the presence of numerous prominent people. MPG President Reimar Lüst and Honorary President Adolf Butenandt were present, as well as other high-ranking representatives from science and politics.
Richard Naumann, mayor of the municipality of Planegg, appealed to the scientists in a humorous speech, “Well, go for it!” The former director of the old MPI of Biochemistry, Adolf Butenandt, praised the fact that a “little Dahlem” had been created in Martinsried—an allusion to Berlin-Dahlem, where the first institutes of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society (KWG), the predecessor of the MPG, had been built at the beginning of the last century.
But different attitudes also clashed at the ceremony. When the 70-year-old Butenandt demanded of the younger scientists that they should “serve science”, he earned whistles. In the spirit of the ’68 movement, a democratic, anti-hierarchical understanding of science was on the rise.