Press Release No. 10 | March 25, 2024

“Vigorously Oppose Antisemitism”

Statement issued by President Katja Becker before the DFG’s Joint Committee / Wide-ranging commitment to democracy and open-mindedness / “Public dialogues” planned with the involvement of citizens

The President of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation), Professor Dr. Katja Becker, has once again spoken out clearly against the rise of antisemitism in society and also in the research community and its institutions.

“We must vigorously oppose antisemitism, no matter what form it takes. This is just as much an essential part of our understanding of democracy and our historical responsibility as the resolute defence of human rights,” said Becker before the Joint Committee of Germany’s largest research funding organisation and central self-governing organisation for science and the humanities. All democratic and open-minded forces in society and in the research community must take a firm stance and stand together, the DFG President told representatives of all scientific disciplines and funding providers from the federal and state governments. In this connection, Becker continued, the DFG also expressly welcomed the recent establishment of a transnational network of Jewish university lecturers based in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

In recent weeks and months, the research community in Germany has in various ways expressed its position clearly in favour of democracy and open-mindedness and against antisemitism, racism and dehumanising slogans and actions, said Becker – in numerous public appearances by individual institutions, in the Alliance of Science Organisations and currently through broad participation in the nationwide campaign #Zusammenland being run by a number of major publishing houses. “There is absolutely no question that we will continue to pursue this commitment resolutely in the future,” said the DFG President.

Becker also announced that in collaboration with the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW), the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities and the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK), the DFG intended to offer “public dialogues” in a number of cities over the course of the year. The aim here is for researchers to seek dialogue with citizens in person on science-related topics that are relevant to politics and society, also regarding the role of science and the humanities in a democratic society. Details of the locations and topics of these public dialogues will be provided at a later date.

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