In order to make ourselves heard in public space, we work together on different levels.
On September 9th, a "Science BBQ" was held in the garden of the Magnus-Haus Berlin for the scientific referents of the members of the Bundestag on the topic "Climate and Energy". The invitations were extended by the five major German societies of mathematics (DMV), chemistry (GDCh), physics (DPG) as well as the biological (VBio) and earth sciences (DVGeo).
The scientific referents of the members of the German Bundestag had the opportunity to inform themselves about the expertise available in mathematics and natural sciences on the topic of "Climate and Energy" and which contributions physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics and geosciences can make to the current topics of climate and energy. Exhibits that were brought along clarified the respective subject areas and gave rise to lively discussions.
The current corona pandemic is an impressive demonstration of the importance of the natural sciences in all their breadth for crisis management.
Whether it is about technical infrastructures such as intensive care beds or respirators,
the prediction of future or the visualization of current case numbers,
the development of new detection systems on Sars-CoV-2 or antibodies against the virus,
or the production of the necessary protective and disinfectant agents - in all cases, scientific expertise is required.
The mathematical and scientific societies therefore stress the urgency of making intensive use of the existing and constantly growing knowledge of the natural sciences and medicine for the objective preparation of political decisions.
The German mathematical and scientific societies wrote to Ursula von der Leyen and other high-ranking EU managers before the hearing of Mariya Gabriel to urge them to explicitly mention the term "research" in the name of her department. This demand was supported by many scientists from all over Europe. This has obviously been successful: in her speech to the European Parliament to present her programme and the EU Commissioners on 27 November 2019, the elected EU President Ursula von der Leyen announced that the future portfolio of Mariya Gabriel will be named "Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth".
In a „joint statement“, the scientific and mathematical societies welcome all efforts to promote the dissemination of scientific knowledge. They praise the initiative and the goal of „Plan S“ to realise the framework for the transition to Open Access. From the point of view of the scientific societies, however, there is an urgent need for a careful, unhurried discussion about the consequences of Plan S and its advantages and disadvantages. Further information in German can be found here
One example is the joint call to participate in the German March for Science. With this, we want to set an example for cosmopolitanism and hospitality. International contacts between scientists in a global, pluralistic world benefit everyone and promote research and development. Scientists and scholars from all over the world bring knowledge and culture to Germany and Europe and stimulate universities and research institutions. This is why we are resolutely opposed to all protectionist and group-specific restrictions that make it difficult for people to work scientifically in another country.
|March for Science Berlin, Photo: Heike Mewis, March for Science Berlin, License: CC-BY-4.0||March for Science Heidelberg, © Alexander Pawlak, Physik Journal 2017||March for Science Heidelberg, © Alexander Pawlak, Physik Journal 2017|
In addition, before the 2017 Bundestag elections, we asked the parties represented in the German Bundestag about their ideas on science policy. We have made the answers of the parties public as „election touchstones“ in order to give all interested parties the opportunity to include them in their election decisions.
As important mathematical and scientific societies, we are also committed to improving scientific teaching. Together with the Stifterverband, four of the five specialist societies annually award the Ars-legendi-Fakultätenpreis Mathematik und Naturwissenschaften (in German) for excellent university teaching in mathematics and the natural sciences. The prize is intended to highlight the special importance of university teaching for the training of young scientists in mathematics and the natural sciences and to create a career-effective incentive to become involved in university teaching and to promote it beyond one's own sphere of influence.
In the past, university funding has not kept pace with the increased responsibilities of universities - this has had and continues to have a direct impact on the quality of teaching and research. We are therefore jointly committed to financially and structurally strengthening the universities in Germany on a sustainable basis.
Together, we are committed to providing attractive science lessons in schools and emphasize its importance for the development of Germany as a business location. We award high school graduates with outstanding achievements in the natural sciences - a total of around 10,000 every year.
(from January 1982)
The Presidents and First Chairmen of the Deutsche Mathematiker Vereinigung, the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft, the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker, the Deutscher Verein zur Föderung des mathematischen und naturwissenschaftlichen Unterrichts and the Verband Deutscher Biologen are concerned about the development in the field of mathematics and science teaching at schools and feel prompted to make the following statement (in German).