Since 2009, the Union of Academies under the leadership of Leopoldina and together with acatech has been actively engaged in research-based political consultancy.
In a time of continuous change, politics and society are often forced to make reasonable decisions quickly. Together with national and international partners, the Union of Academies has taken upon itself the urgent task of providing accessible, reliable, nonpartisan information on the current status of related research in the humanities and natural sciences in order to highlight its relevance and application in relation to today’s societal challenges.
Outstanding researchers from Germany and abroad, including academy members and other experts, work in interdisciplinary groups to produce position statements and therewith recommendations and proposals for courses of action concerning current socio-political issues. All statements are subject to evaluation by independent experts prior to publication. The Union works closely with Leopoldina – the German National Academy of Sciences – and acatech – the National Academy of Science and Engineering. In addition to publishing statements, individual member academies of the Union also host public events, offering a forum for open discussion with society and granting the public the opportunity to get involved in the production of politically relevant knowledge. On this interface of science, politics and society, we thus witness key processes in the translation of academic research into societal knowledge and political action.
Ever since it was named the German National Academy of Sciences on July 14, 2008, the Leopoldina has upped its involvement in research-based socio-political consultancy, working to this end in close cooperation with acatech – the National Academy of Science and Engineering – and the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities. For this reason, Leopoldina has established a standing committee governed by their president. The standing committee meets once every three months to discuss the topics to be delegated to the collaborative working groups that produce position statements and recommendations.
Council of Presidents
The Council of Presidents is currently comprised of the President of Leopoldina, Prof. Dr. Gerald Haug (lead), one of the presidents of acatech, and the President of the Union, Prof. Dr. Christoph Markschies. The Council generally meets regularly to discuss key issues concerning their collaborative efforts in socio-political consultancy.
The standing committee engages interdisciplinary working groups, in which academy members and external researchers produce position papers and therewith recommendations and proposals for courses of action concerning current socio-political issues. All statements are subject to evaluation by independent experts prior to publication.
Key Points for Political Consultancy
- Transparent and well documented working methods
- Open and unbiased consultation based on expertise from various different disciplines
- Position statements free of economic and political interests that provide recommendations for action on concrete societal issues
- Accessible presentation and wide dissemination of recommendations as a basis for public discussion