Leopoldina Menü

Leopoldina Home

Working Groups

Future with Children

The workgroup "Future with Children" investigates the reasons behind sinking birth rates and their effect on the shaping of policy, the society and the individual. The academy group analyses the main factors impacting fertility including the need to combine work and family, the new shape and organization of lifestyles, the processes of individualization, the decision-making dynamics in partnerships, the medical and biological aspects of fertility and the direction family policy is taking. The book and an abbreviated version containing the recommendations were presented to the public on 15 October 2012.

The report begins with the challenges faced by Germany and other industrial countries in terms of demographic developments. While the risks and opportunities of aging and longevity have already been thoroughly discussed ("Aging in Germany") such a study on fertility development has not yet been carried out.

The aim was to combine, in an interdisciplinary fashion, data that has already been compiled with knowledge that is available and to prepare this for a wide political and social audience. In addition to recommendations for policy and for designing lifestyles, the future requirement of research and data collection is addressed.

The academy group "Fertility and Social Development" is interdisciplinary and international. It focuses on four aspects:

  • The demographic analysis of fertility development (headed by Alexia Fürnkranz-Prskawetz, Vienna, Austria)
  • The sociological principles of fertility (headed by Martin Kohli, San Domenico di Fiesole, Italy)
  • Medical and biological perspectives for fertility (headed by Wolfgang Holzgreve, Freiburg)
  • Fertility and family policy (headed by Hans Bertram, Berlin)

The work focuses on Germany, Austria and Switzerland. By contrasting these countries with other European and non-European countries, causes and distinguishing characteristics of their demographic patterns can be established.


  • Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences (responsibility)
  • National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
  • Jacobs Foundation

Spokesperson of the Working Group

  • Prof. Dr. Günter Stock, President
    Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften


  • Prof. Dr. Günter Stock (main responsibility), President
    Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften
  • Prof. Dr. Jörg Hacker ML
    Former President of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina – National Academy of Sciences, Halle (Saale)
  • Prof. Dr. Hans Bertram ML
    Lehrstuhl für Mikrosoziologie, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Alexia Fürnkranz-Prskawetz ML
    Technische Universität Wien, Institut für Wirtschaftsmathematik, Stellvertretende Direktorin, Vienna Institute of Demography. Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften
  • Prof. Dr. med. Wolfgang Holzgreve ML, MBA
    Universitätsklinikum Bonn
  • Prof. Dr. Martin Kohli
    Professor of Sociology, European University Institute - Department of Social and Political Sciences, Italy

Members of the interdisciplinary Working Group

  • Prof. Dr. Laura Bernardi
    Université de Lausanne, Faculté des sciences et politiques, Institut des sciences sociales, France
  • Prof. Dr. Klaus Diedrich ML
    Universität Lübeck, Universitätsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein, Klink für Frauenheilkunde und Geburtshilfe
  • Prof. Dr. Joachim Dudenhausen
    Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Centrum für Frauen-, Kinder- und Jugendmedizin mit Perinatalzentrum und Humangenetik
  • Prof. Dr. Josef Ehmer
    Institut für Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte der Universität Wien, Austria
  • Prof. Dr. Gerd Gigerenzer ML
    Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung, Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Josh Goldstein
    Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung, Rostock
  • Prof. Dr. Ursula-F. Habenicht
    Bayer Schering Pharma AG, Forschung Women’s Healthcare, Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Johannes Huinink
      Institut für empirische und angewandte Soziologie, Universität Bremen
  • Dr. Gerda Ruth Neyer
    Department of Sociology, Stockholm University, Sweden
  • Prof. Dr. Ilona Ostner
    Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
  • Dr. Dimiter Philipov
    Institut für Demographie, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien, Austria
  • Dr. Tomáš Sobotka
    Institut für Demographie, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien, Austria
  • Prof. Dr. Katharina Spieß
    Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung DIW, Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Ursula Staudinger ML
    Jacobs University Bremen
  • Prof. Dr. Egbert R. te Velde
    Emeritus Professor Reproductive Medicine,, University Utrecht, Utrecht; Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center, Rotterdam, Netherlands



Dr. Stefanie Westermann

Scientific Officer, Department Science - Policy - Society

E-Mail politikberatung @leopoldina.org