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Supporting the Future Development of Research, Teaching and Knowledge Transfer. Discussion Paper of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
(2013, 48 pages)
There is a growing awareness within the political and public arenas of the immense importance of the science system in safeguarding the prosperity of our society and its various forms of participation. Against this background, the conclusion of several important funding initiatives provides an opportunity to address key issues in the funding and organization of the German science system. The time has come for us to take stock of our achievements and engage in a strategic debate on the medium- and long-term prospects for science in Germany. On the one hand, we should seek to build upon the positive developments that have resulted from the Higher Education Pact, the Pact for Research and Innovation, and the Excellence Initiative for cutting edge research at institutions of higher education and to enhance their impacts through further measures. On the other, efforts should also be made to correct negative developments.
Within this debate, the primary objective must be to ensure that the German science system continues to improve its performance across research, teaching and knowledge transfer, while significantly enhancing its international competitiveness. This is fundamental to ensuring the further development of our knowledge society over the long term. Knowledge that is validated in accordance with the standards of science and is used in the production, validation and dissemination of research findings plays an outstanding role in key areas of our society. In that sense, the modern knowledge society may well be regarded as a “science society”.