In the German Science and Humanities Council (Wissenschaftsrat, WR), representatives from the spheres of science, public life and politics work together on an equal footing to advise the federal government and the governments of the states (Länder) on central issues of the German research and higher education system.
The Board consists of a Scientific Commission and an Administrative Commission. Together they take decisions in the plenary assembly. The latter publishes its results in the form of recommendations after intensive consultations.
The Assembly meets quarterly. Twice a year, it decides on its work programme and sets up working groups, committees and other commissions to prepare recommendations and position statements. All committees are chaired by members of the WR Scientific Commission. The individual committees are also made up of other members of the Scientific Commission, external experts, representatives of the federal and state governments (representing the federal and state levels, respectively) and guests.
The tasks of the General Assembly also include the election of a chairperson. The chairperson is elected for one year with the option of re-election.
As an important instrument of cooperative federalism, the WR assumes a dual mediating function, namely between science and politics on the one hand and between the federal government and the states (Länder) on the other. It has a recommendation function, but no decision-making function. Due to its special structure and high approval requirements regarding decision-making, the chances of its proposals being implemented are high.
To the database of all english publications of the WR.