The Leibniz Association is particularly interested in the social relevance of research as well as structures and formats that encourage meetings between scientists, politicians and members of the public. ‘Leibniz in State Parliament’ is an important element in this process. This dialogue format enables members of the state parliament from all parties to discuss key topics with relevant experts. The members of parliament also gain an overview of the diversity of expertise available within the Leibniz institutions in Lower Saxony. Researchers from the Leibniz Association present current research trends and findings and are given the opportunity to critically reflect upon the social relevance of their own research with political decision-makers.
The discussions on offer within ‘Leibniz in State Parliament‘ cover topics of immediate public interest such as research into viruses, bacteria and stem cells or digitisation and the formation of prejudice in the context of education. Areas of enduring public interest such as town planning and spatial development policies, climate change and animal testing will also be addressed.
There are five Leibniz institutions in Lower Saxony. These institutes employ more than 350 researchers in areas as diverse as education, biology, biomedical science, digitisation, geophysics, natural sciences, aerospace research and land management. The broad spectrum of fields in which Lower Saxony’s research institutions work was the principle reason for establishing a state version of the ‘Leibniz in Parliament’ event, which has been running successfully for ten years.
Dr Gabriele Andretta, president of the state parliament, points out that ‘politicians should always strive to make decisions based on solid factual foundations – science and academia have an invaluable contribution to make in this regard. Scientists and researchers also benefit from the opportunity to meet with practitioners and to reflect upon the social relevance of their own research. Leibniz in State Parliament has therefore become an important discussion format.’
Members of the state parliament have until the end of October to arrange virtual or in-person meetings with researchers they would like to speak with.
This year’s participants are:
· The ARL – Academy for Territorial Development in the Leibniz Association, Hanover
· Leibniz-Institute DSMZ - German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures GmbH, Braunschweig
· Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research, Braunschweig
· Leibniz Institute for Applied Geophysics (LIAG), Hannover (guest institute)
· German Primate Centre - Leibniz Institute for Primate Research (DPZ), Göttingen
· Leibniz Information Centre for Science and Technology, University Library (TIB), Hannover