Use of cookies

Cookies help us to provide our services. By using our website you agree that we can use cookies. Read more about our Privacy Policy and visit the following link: Privacy Policy


Science and society

Since the founding of the German Science and Humanities Council (Wissenschaftsrat, WR), it has been committed to the task of taking into account the needs of social, cultural and economic life in its activities at all times.

Over the decades, the WR has met these requirements in various ways. Most recently, for example, it did so by


The WR also increasingly addresses the question of what science and research specifically can and should contribute to society and how. The dialogical communication and transfer of scientific findings from all fields of science to society, culture, the economy and the world of politics has become the focus of science policy over recent years. This transfer is a core task and, together with research, teaching and research infrastructure offerings, it constitutes one of the essential performance areas of scientific institutions. More and more, universities and research institutions are recognising the importance of approaching partners from outside the world of science. In doing so, they are helping to advance the science-based development of society and are better able to meet the growing expectations from the world of politics and society regarding the performance of the research and higher education system. The WR has helped to initiate and shape this change in discourse.

In its publication on perspectives on the German research and higher education system from 2013

"Future pact" for the scientific system | German Council of Science and Humanities calls for joint effort to ensure a long-term perspective for science (Press Release, 15 July 2013) (PDF, 84KB, File does not meet accessibility standards)

the WR called for all scientific performance areas to be promoted. This specifically includes the transfer of scientific findings.

The current global shifts necessitate a re-evaluation of the role of science in society and the functioning of the science system. As a result, the German Science and Humanities Council established a working group to address the impact of the pandemic and the geopolitical needs of reshaping international science cooperation. More in our working programme (German only)

In the following papers, the WR reinforces, and elaborates on, these positions:

Recommendations on the sovereignty and security of science in digital space, 2023 (German version only)
Empfehlungen zur Souveränität und Sicherheit der Wissenschaft im digitalen Raum (Drs. 1580-23), Oktober 2023 (PDF, 702KB, File does not meet accessibility standards)

Future perspectives for agricultural, food and nutritional sciences | Position paper (Drs. 1189-23_en), April 2023 (PDF, 579KB, File does not meet accessibility standards)

Science communication | Position paper, 2021 (German version only)
Wissenschaftskommunikation | Positionspapier (Drs. 9367-21), Oktober 2021 (PDF, 928KB, File does not meet accessibility standards)

An impulse from the COVID-19 crisis: strengthening the resilience of the research and higher education system (Press release, 25 January 2021) (PDF, 53KB, File does not meet accessibility standards)


Knowledge and technology transfer as an object of institutional strategies (German only):
Wissens- und Technologietransfer als Gegenstand institutioneller Strategien | Positionspapier (Drs. 5665-16), Oktober 2016 (PDF, 445KB, File does not meet accessibility standards)

as well as

Grand Societal Challenges as a Topic for Science Policy | Position Paper (Drs. 4594-15_engl), April 2015 (PDF, 297KB, File does not meet accessibility standards)