ProfileResponsibility in Science

In view of the ‘dual-use issue’, i.e. the risk of important and useful research results being used for harmful purposes, the Senate of Heidelberg University decided at its meeting on 21 March 2017 to establish a “Commission on Responsibility in Science”. 

Its statutory mandate is to support the University’s members, governing bodies, institutes and facilities by advising them and assessing risks and ethical issues related to research with security relevance.

In terms of membership, the Commission corresponds to the composition of the present Senate “Commission on safeguarding good scientific practice and handling misconduct in research” plus two more members, whose research areas relate specifically to ethical issues. The Commission members are not subject to instructions and are committed to maintaining confidentiality.

The Commission met for the first time on 24 October 2017 and will convene as required. It will take action at the request of its members or on the basis of indications from third parties.