Academies of sciences and humanities

Academies of Science and Humanities 16:9
The Leopoldina main building in Halle.

Academies are associations of renowned individuals from the worlds of scholarship and the arts.

The academies help policymakers and the public to find suitable answers to current issues and problems with opinions based on outstanding specialist knowledge. In addition, a key mission of the academies is the coordination and support of long-term basic research projects and the development and cultivation of interdisciplinary dialogues. They organise symposia and public events, with which they make a valuable and research-based contribution to dialogue between research, society and the economy.

The Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina is the world’s oldest continuously existing academy for medicine and the natural sciences. It has been the German National Academy of Sciences since 2008. Yet there are many other academies in Germany, too. They include the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities, which is an association of eight state academies. Then there is the National Academy of Science and Engineering, acatech, which represents the technical sciences at home and abroad. And since the beginning of the new millennium the Junge Akademie has represented new scholarly talent.

German National Academy of Sciences

The German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina was founded in 1652 and appointed as the German National Academy of Sciences in 2008. Today the Leopoldina provides academically sound advice to both policymakers and society as a whole and represents the German scientific community in international committees.

Facts and figures

Approx. 1,500 members, including more than 500 international scientists and scholars, 35 Nobel laureates among the members, approx. 120 staff


Close relations with science academies on all continents

Annual budget: 9.4 million euros (2014)

Facts and figures

Approx. 500 members

25 research projects, collaboration with research institutions and companies

Annual budget: approx. 12.5 million euros (2016)

Facts and figures

50 members, each with a research budget of some 35,000 euros

5-year membership

9 research groups

Union of German Academies of Sciences and Humanities

students learning in library

The Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities is comprised of eight German academies of sciences based in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Göttingen, Hamburg, Heidelberg, Leipzig, Mainz and Munich. The main task of the Union is to coordinate the Academies’ Programme and to enhance the profile of its member academies at home and abroad. The member academies of the Union have elected more than 1,900 scientists and scholars from a wide range of disciplines as ordinary, corresponding and extraordinary members.

The eight academies in the Union are:

Academies’ Programme

The Academies’ Programme (Akademienprogramm) is coordinated by the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities. It is currently Germany’s most comprehensive research programme in the humanities and social sciences, bringing together research projects of the academies under one umbrella.

It involves a total of 144 projects with 198 working groups (2017). The projects include dictionaries and editions in the humanities, long-term studies at the interface between the natural sciences and humanities as well as basic research projects in social sciences and cultural studies.

Once a year the academies affiliated in the Union organise the so-called Academies’ Day, where they present their research to the public at large.

Facts and figures

8 academies in the Union (see list above)

More than 1,900 scientists and scholars

Close cooperation with researchers and foundations outside Germany

Annual budget of the Academies’ Programme: 64.8 million euros (2017)

Research budget of the Academies’ Programme

Source: BMBF

The Union of German Academies of Sciences and Humanities administers the Academies’ Programme, which is funded equally by the German states (Länder) and the Federal Government with a total budget of 64.8 million euros (2017). – As the individual Academies of Sciences are state institutions rather than federal institutions, their basic budgets are funded solely by their respective states.


Union der deutschen Akademien der Wissenschaften
Geschwister-Scholl-Str. 2
55131 Mainz
Phone +49 6131 218528-10


Union der deutschen Akademien der Wissenschaften
Berlin Office
Jägerstraße 22/23
10117 Berlin
Phone +49 30 3259873-70