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DFG establishes a commission for sustainability

DFG - Kommission für Nachhaltigkeit

The German Research Foundation (DFG) is seeking to give due consideration to aspects of sustainability in its actions. To this end, the DFG Executive Committee decided in December 2021 to establish a Commission. The commission comprises 20 members, including Daniela Jacob. It represents the diverse range of subjects in the research system and has now convened for its first meeting. It is to submit recommendations for sustainable action to the DFG bodies in summer 2023.

At its first meeting, the Commission initially focused on its work programme: in the awareness that sustainability is broadly defined and involves social, economic and ecological aspects, the Commission will – not least out of constitutional considerations – initially concentrate on ecological sustainability, though also taking into account how this is mutually dependent on social and economic aspects.

In terms of content guidelines, the members also discussed at which levels and in which modes the DFG might address the topic in its activities and what roles and responsibilities should be considered in the research system: the aim is not for the Commission to refer to the findings of DFG-funded projects relating to sustainability or sustainability research. Rather, the aim is to create an awareness that research projects in all disciplines should be carried out as sustainably as possible – though without diminishing or influencing research quality and content.

The discussion process will include the perspectives and experience of the DFG Senate Commissions on Earth System Research, on Fundamental Issues of Biological Diversity and on Animal Protection and Experimentation, as well as input provided by the German Committee Future Earth (DKN).

For further information, please see the DFG press release.