Science inTransition

The German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) already called in 2011 for a "new contract between science and society". It is criticised that science does not live up to its responsibility in an age of growing societal challenges. This requires new forms of democratisation of science, which are still viewed critically by the established science system.

The fact that the relation between science and society has become the subject of a broad debate is due to the fundamental transitions taking place in modern societies today: both the increased technological possibilities, such as digitalisation, and the associated rising social and ecological side-effects are directly linked to the development of science. In addition, science increasingly plays a role in more and more fields of application, which leads to a much more intense interaction between science and practice in many areas of life.

Science system in flux
Putting theoretical knowledge into practice: Students work in a team on an engineering project and put their knowledge into practice. The interplay between science and society involves not only adapted research topics but also new teaching concepts, programmes and institutional changes.

Transformative Science is a concept that has emerged from this debate and can be characterised as the kind of science that is not limited to observing and describing processes of transformation, but rather becomes an agent in these processes, simultaneously learning about and proactively catalysing transformations to sustainability.


Annika Rehm

Tel.: +49 202 2492-273

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