With its goal of strengthening research performance in Germany, the German Science and Humanities Council (Wissenschaftsrat, WR) also regularly comments on individual disciplines, groups of disciplines and research fields. In terms of method, these comments are quantitative and qualitative assessments.
First of all, these assessments describe the institutional framework conditions, research and funding structures as well as the performance of the respective disciplines or research fields examined. Based on these findings, the Council then makes further development recommendations. In the past, the Council has, in this manner, commented on fields as diverse as the prospects for computer science in Germany and polymer, marine, environmental or energy research, and has made recommendations on area studies and non-university research on Eastern Europe.
Well-received recommendations in past years have, for example, dealt with peace and conflict research (2019, German version only), which was met with great interest in the parliamentary arena.
The recommendations on theologies (2010) achieved great social resonance and had a major impact, especially with their proposal to establish centres for Islamic Studies at German universities.
The recommendations on the humanities (2006) led, among other things, to the continued funding of five “humanities centres” that had emerged from former GDR academy institutes.
Selected recommendations on the field of “scientific fields and subjects”
(German versions only):