The Union of Academies is the umbrella organisation of eight German academies of sciences and humanities. The member academies comprise a total of over 2,000 scholars of diverse subjects, all of whom are outstanding representatives of their research fields, both nationally and internationally. Together they are committed to promoting scientific exchange, excellence in research, and supporting young early-stage researchers in the sciences and humanities.
The Union coordinates the Academies Programme, currently the most comprehensive humanities and cultural sciences research programme in Germany. In addition, the Union promotes the exchange of information and experience between academies, and conducts press and public engagement activities. It also organises events on current issues in science and research as well as the Akademientag (“Academies’ Day”). Furthermore, the Union represents the German academies of sciences and humanities abroad and sends delegates to national and international scientific organisations.
The executive agencies of the Union of Academies are its chairpersons, board of directors and general assembly. The research commission is the central advisory council of the Union of Academies for all scientific questions of the Academies Programme. A separate committee is responsible for the coordination of musicological projects.
The office of the Union of Academies supports the chairpersons in their multifaceted tasks, leads the ongoing business of the boards, committees and working groups, and is responsible for press and publicity.
History of the Union of the Academies
The founding of the so-called “Cartel” in 1893 marks the birth of the collaboration between the German academies with the goal of realising collective research projects. Over the last 125 years, the coalition of academies has shown great continuity through various political systems and multiple renamings. All along, the academy cluster has served the exchange and cooperation between academies, the promotion of collective research projects and the representation of German science abroad.
The Union of Academies is funded by the states in which its member academies reside (Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Berlin, Brandenburg, Hamburg, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saxony), both institutionally and pro rata from the Academies Programme. The Academies Programme is funded in equal parts by the federal government and the 15 participating states. These are Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Berlin, Brandenburg, Hamburg, Hesse, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Saarland, Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.