Academies are associations of renowned individuals from the worlds of scholarship and the arts. They coordinate long-term projects of basic research and participate in interdisciplinary dialogue.
The aims of the German academies of sciences and humanities include providing guidance and advice to policymakers and society as a whole relating to general and specific areas of research. They organise symposia and public events, with which they make a valuable and research-based contribution to the dialogue between research, society and industry.
With opinions based on outstanding specialist knowledge, the academies support policymakers and the public in finding suitable answers to current issues and problems. 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 dialogue.
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.
acatech – National Academy of Science and Engineering
acatech – the National Academy of Science and Engineering – represents the German science and technology communities at home and abroad. As a working academy, acatech supports policymakers and society with expert scientific opinions and forward-looking recommendations.
Global Young Academy
Founded in 2010, the Global Young Academy (GYA) brings together talented young researchers from all countries. They engage in joint discussions on issues of global reach. The GYA receives financial support from the Federal Government.
Union of German Academies of Sciences and Humanities
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 aim of the Union is to coordinate the basic research of the Union’s member academies and to support them in enhancing their profile 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:
- Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (1992/1700)
- Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities (1751)
- Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities (1759) (in German)
- Saxon Academy of Sciences in Leipzig (1846)
- Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (1909)
- Academy of Sciences and Literature, Mainz (1949) (in German)
- North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts (1970)
- Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Hamburg (2004)
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, bringing together research and publication projects of the academies under one umbrella.
It involves a total of 144 projects with 199 working groups (2016). The projects include dictionaries and editions in the humanities, long-term studies in the natural sciences and 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 below)
More than 1,900 scientists and scholars (2016)
Close cooperation with researchers and foundations abroad
Annual budget of the Academies’ Programme: 62.9 million euros; staff: 900 (2016)
Research Budget of the Union
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 62.9 million euros (2016). – As the individual academies of sciences are state institutions rather than federal institutions, their basic budgets are funded solely by their respective states.
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