The German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) called for a "new contract between science and society" in 2011. It criticised science for not living up to its responsibility in an age of growing societal challenges and demanded the democratisation of science, still viewed critically by the establishment.
The relationship between science and society has become the subject of broad debate because of the fundamental transitions taking place in modern societies today: greater technological possibilities such as digitalisation and the associated increase in social and ecological side-effects are directly linked to the development of science. In addition, science is increasingly playing a role in more fields of application, leading to much more intense interaction between science and practice in many areas of life.
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.
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