Working together to tackle COVID‑19: Maas meets Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany
Important exchange: Foreign Minister Maas holds talks with science organisations, © Felix Zahn/photothek.net
How can science, politics and society work together to overcome the COVID‑19 pandemic and its consequences? Foreign Minister Maas discusses this question with the heads of the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany.
Interaction between science, politics and society
They have become the public faces of the COVID‑19 pandemic: overnight, virologists throughout the world have become sought‑after experts. They explain how viruses spread, how pandemics develop and how we can protect ourselves from them. In short, they help us to understand COVID‑19. Terms such as rate of infection, reproduction rate and antibody tests, previously familiar only to a specialist public, are now on everyone’s lips and have become the basis for political decision-making.
The current pandemic shows very clearly that global challenges can only be overcome when politicians, scientists and society – all over the world – cooperate closely.
Foreign Minister Maas emphasised:
We are pursuing a fact‑based policy, and for this we need close cooperation with the international science network.
Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany: close partner for science diplomacy
Today, Foreign Minister Maas therefore met the heads of the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany. The focus of the meeting was on how to deal with the pandemic and its consequences, and on cooperation on this issue in Europe and the world. The Federal Foreign Office is helping to promote new channels of international cooperation, most recently with researchers from Peru in the area of vaccine studies, for example.
The Federal Foreign Office and the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany are also working closely together on issues other than COVID‑19: from promoting the freedom of science and research throughout the world to dealing with global challenges such as climate change.
The Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany is a union of the most important German research organisations. It issues statements relating to research policy and funding and the structural development of the German research system.
International mobility even in times of crisis
Among the members of the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany are two intermediary organisations funded by the Federal Foreign Office – the German Academic Exchange Service and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. These intermediary organisations promote international mobility through scholarship programmes for students and researchers, as well as through cooperation projects in other countries. In the current times of crisis, the Federal Foreign Office and the intermediary organisations have managed to find flexible solutions for scholarship holders to continue their studies.