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"Academic freedom and responsibility toward society – Who decides what science we do?“

The publication "Academic freedom and responsibility towards society – Who decides what science we do?" summarizes the most important results of the 12th Forum on the Internationalization of Science, organized by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation from 11 to 12 November 2018 in Berlin.

For science and research to thrive, scientific freedom is a necessary prerequisite. With the growth of autocratic governments around the world, freedom is increasingly in distress.

However, academic freedom involves more than the absence of censorship, forced layoffs and the imprisonment of scientists. Worrying developments, such as the growing reliance on third-party funding, increasing publication pressure or the expectation that immediate effects should be demonstrated, can also limit researchers' freedom. At the same time, taxpayers have the legitimate right to be accountable to scientists whose research ultimately fosters them.

The contributions of scientists, science managers and representatives of funding organizations from all over the world, which the Humboldt Foundation had invited to the forum, offer numerous reflections and theses to fuel the debate worldwide in the scientific community.

Download the publication.

May 2019