Third Polish-German Science Meeting underlines the importance of cooperation in times of crisis

After a two-year break due to the pandemic, the third Polish-German Science Meeting took place in Berlin at the end of October. Like the two previous events, this meeting was organised by the DFG together with its Polish partner organisations Foundation for Polish Science (FNP) and National Science Centre (NCN). Some 50 representatives of almost all institutions in Germany and Poland involved in science and scholarship accepted the invitation to attend the high-level meeting.

The participants of the third Polish-German Science Meeting

© DFG/Bildschön, Peter Lorenz

The high level of interest was not least due to the particular relevance of the event theme at the current time:

the third Polish-German Science Meeting addressed the impact of the climate crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic and the war against Ukraine on the scientific community in both countries, as well as the way the relevant research institutions had responded to and dealt with the consequences. On the evening of 27 October at Berlin’s Spreespeicher, the event theme was introduced by three scholarly contributions. Lena Partzsch, Free University of Berlin, Stephan Ludwig, University of Münster, and Olga Garaschuk, German-Ukrainian Academic Society, shared key insights into the crises and their consequences from the perspective of research. They then engaged in dialogue on the topic with the other participants in a panel discussion moderated by DFG President Katja Becker. At the evening reception that followed, the introductory stimuli and ideas were explored in greater depth as participants took the opportunity to talk to each other in person once again against the backdrop of the River Spree shimmering in the evening light.

On 28 October, the institutional dialogue at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities focused on how German and Polish organisations have experienced the crises, as well as their perspectives and approaches in dealing with the consequences. Participants presented examples and potential solutions in a total of three discussion rounds chaired by DFG President Katja Becker, NCN Director Zbigniew Błocki and FNP President Maciej Żylicz. Topics that came up included the impact of the crises on the mobility of researchers, the orientation of research agendas and the organisation of research and teaching, for example, as well as institutional strategies for strengthening crisis resilience, such as making funding programmes more flexible, as well as expanding science communication and interdisciplinary collaboration. Special attention was paid to the activities and measures taken by all participants to support Ukrainian researchers. Participants agreed that German-Polish cooperation offered particular potential here, while also entailing a heightened responsibility, as the DFG, FNP and NCN summarised in a concluding press release.

Organised as a two-day event, the Polish-German Science Meeting seeks to promote collaborative dialogue on current challenges and bilateral activities being pursued by Polish and German science institutions. The aim is to develop joint funding programme positions and strengthen German-Polish scientific cooperation as a whole. The next Polish-German Meeting is scheduled to take place in Poland in 2024. This will be the fourth in the series after meetings in Munich in 2017, in Krakow in 2019, and in Berlin in 2022.

A full list of the organisations and institutions that participated in the third Polish-German Science Meeting:

  • Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
  • German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
  • German-Polish Science Foundation
  • German Research Foundation
  • Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf
  • Peace Research Institute Frankfurt
  • German Rectors’ Conference
  • National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
  • Max Planck Society
  • Conference of Rectors of Polish Universities
  • Foundation for Polish Science
  • Łukasiewicz Research Network
  • Medical Research Agency
  • National Centre for Research and Development
  • National Science Centre
  • Polish Academy of Sciences
  • Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange

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