short information, 22. February 2024

Standing up for the fundamental values of our democracy

Statement of the UFZ management

The Alliance of German Science Organisations has taken a clear stance in favour of an open society and a strong democracy. The Executive Management of the UFZ vehemently supports this and encourages all employees to work together for democracy, diversity and mutual acceptance.

As the Executive Management of the UFZ, we are observing with concern the development and strengthening of anti-democratic forces - worldwide, in Germany, and also right here in our region. This threatens not only scientific freedom, but also the safety of employees and their families.

The anti-democratic statements and attacks that have come to public attention have prompted us as a research institution to take a clear stand for openness and tolerance and to take a public stance against discrimination, anti-Semitism and racism.

Living diversity and open-mindedness are essential for our research center. The different backgrounds and diversity of perspectives of all those who (co-)create science here at the UFZ are just as valuable as the exchange and scientific cooperation with international partner institutions.

As a member of the Helmholtz Association, the UFZ therefore fully embraces the statement of the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany for an open society and a strong democracy.

As Executive Management, we bear responsibility for all employees at the UFZ. Discrimination, anti-Semitism and racism must not affect anyone's working and living environment. We can only achieve this goal together. We therefore call on everyone to look out for each other, to address experiences of discrimination and to oppose all anti-democratic and anti-constitutional statements as far as possible.

Prof. Dr. Rolf Altenburger and Dr. Sabine König
20 February 2024

Further information

UFZ press office

Susanne Hufe
Phone: +49 341 235-1630

In the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), scientists conduct research into the causes and consequences of far-reaching environmental changes. Their areas of study cover water resources, ecosystems of the future, environmental technologies and biotechnologies, the effects of chemicals in the environment, modelling and social-scientific issues. The UFZ employs more than 1,100 staff at its sites in Leipzig, Halle and Magdeburg. It is funded by the Federal Government, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt.

The Helmholtz Association contributes to solving major challenges facing society, science and the economy with top scientific achievements in six research fields: Energy; Earth and Environment; Health; Key Technologies; Matter; and Aeronautics, Space and Transport. With some 39,000 employees in 19 research centres, the Helmholtz Association is Germany’s largest scientific organisation.
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