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Joint Committee on Dual Use

Mandate and Objectives of the Joint Committee on the Handling of Security-Relevant Research

Mandate and Objectives of the Joint Committee on the Handling of Security-Relevant Research

Illustration: Sisters of Design

The Joint Committee on the Handling of Security-Relevant Research was established by the DFG and Leopoldina to raise awareness amongst researchers of dual-use issues in security-relevant research and to further develop and foster both a responsible approach to security-relevant research and self-governance within the research community.

In accordance with the decisions made by the Leopoldina Presidium and the DFG Presidium, the Joint Committee has the following mandate: “[...] to promote the effective and sustainable implementation of the recommendations of the DFG and the Leopoldina on ‘Scientific Freedom and Scientific Responsibility’. The Joint Committee shall monitor and proactively advance the status of implementation at research institutions and support them in properly implementing the recommendations by drafting sample texts, for example. This applies in particular to the establishment of the Committees for Ethics in Security-Relevant Research (KEFs – German acronym) as outlined in the recommendations. [...]”

The model statutes define the issues which require regulation in the view of the Joint Committee, but should then be adapted in detail to fit the respective conditions at each location. The Joint Committee also serves as the central contact point for issues related to security-relevant research and as a platform for sharing experience. The responsibility for individual cases under discussion lies with the research institutions at which the work is being carried out. In special cases that cannot adequately be appraised by the KEFs, the Leopoldina may appoint ad-hoc working groups with the necessary specialist expertise to carry out a risk-benefit assessment of the research in question in close collaboration with the Joint Committee.

In addition, the Joint Committee monitors developments in the field of security-relevant research in Germany and, where necessary, identifies potential areas for action and advises the DFG and Leopoldina on these issues. Where appropriate, Committee members take part in public discussions. In order to focus attention on this issue over the long term, the Committee organises regular events to raise awareness of the responsible handling of security-relevant research within the scientific community including communication to policy-makers and the public.

The DFG refers to the handling of security-relevant research in its guidelines for submitting applications and requests applicants applying for funding to check their project in this regard and to submit a statement on the risk-benefit ratio and measures to minimise risks.

The Joint Committee office is based in the Leopoldina Presidential Office. In addition to the office expenses borne by the Leopoldina, the Joint Committee receives funding from the DFG, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the Helmholtz Association, the Leibniz Association and the Max Planck Society.

Office

Joint Committee on the Handling of Security-Relevant Research, DFG and Leopoldina

Office c/o ABC Business Center (4. OG)
Friedrichstraße 79
10117 Berlin

Dr. Johannes Fritsch

Dr. Johannes Fritsch

Head of the Office

phone: +49 (0) 160 9121 2676
email: johannes.fritsch@leopoldina.org

Lena Diekmann

Lena Diekmann

Project Coordinator

phone: +49 (0)170 79 206 49
email: lena.diekmann@leopoldina.org

Dr. Anita Krätzner-Ebert

Dr. Anita Krätzner-Ebert

Scientific Officer

phone: +49 (0) 175 293 3935
email: anita.kraetzner-ebert@leopoldina.org

Dr. Katarina Timofeev

Contact at the German Research Foundation

phone: +49 (0) 228 - 885 2591
fax: +49 (0) 228 - 885 713 320
email: dual-use@dfg.de

Dr. Ingrid Ohlert

Contact at the German Research Foundation

phone: +49 (0) 228 - 885 2258
fax: +49 (0) 228 - 885 713 320
email: ingrid.ohlert@dfg.de