To Heiner Eckert »Studium generale« (extracurricular studies) always means using a holistic approach to our world and science itself. In this process he aims to integrate all dimensions of thinking and acting that are available to human beings. Heiner Eckert likes being a few thousand meters above zero. As a matter of principle he covers distances and heights by foot or bicycle. He therefore is passionate about mountaineering in the Alps or the landscapes of middle China. Heiner Eckert is equally passionate about music. He enjoys experimenting and improvising on his trumpet and follows his musical role models Miles Davis and Louis Armstrong: »Never play anything the same way twice.«
Confessions of Heiner Eckert, 2015
Ever since I was a child I have been searching out, trying, testing, thinking and expounding challenges – even if they were potentially dangerous. My eldest brother supported me in this while by way of philosophy (especially G.W. Leibniz) I became intrigued with reasoning. This fascination has always been with me. At school, I loved infinitesimal calculus while I found terms like »nothingness« and »infinity« easy to grasp. However, this fascination alone was not enough for me. It lacked the practical confirmation of the material world. The application of spiritual penetration to the material world is exactly what the science of Chemistry is about. This is why I decided to study this subject although I had a lot of different interests (I was particularly fascinated with electrical engineering and electronics at the time). Curiosity has been my constant companion and the real meaning of life. It took me a long time to understand this. Success is secondary. The journey is the reward, events and insights are more important. If the journey ends with a reward, this is clearly very welcome – but not the ultimate goal. My late habilitation was a logical consequence of my academic research. Fame, honor, awards and money have never been important to me, although I do believe that at an age of 70 I deserve what I earn. I never cared much for ideologies and consider opportunism dubious while I despise opportunists. Even today I’m looking for the incredible – on the one hand in the form of the practically impossible, on the other hand by the simple application of the foreclosed feasible.