Constitution Day: A Celebration of Research Freedom and Democratic Participation

May 23, 2024

The Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society also celebrates today the birthday of our Basic Law, a document that has enshrined the freedom of art, science, research, and teaching as fundamental pillars of our society since May 23, 1949.

Article 5, paragraph 3 of the Basic Law is a shining example of the values that guide and inspire us. Similarly, Article 91b, paragraph 1b of the Basic Law reminds us of the importance of cooperation in promoting these freedoms. This article underscores the federal character of scientific funding in Germany. This provision reflects a strong commitment to viewing research and education as a collective effort that transcends regional boundaries and encompasses the entire country. It emphasizes the importance of cooperation between the federal and state governments to strengthen Germany's science and research landscape, thereby fostering a dynamic and innovative research culture that gains both national and international recognition.

At a time when the significance of science and research in addressing global challenges is becoming ever clearer, the Fritz Haber Institute stands firmly by the principles of freedom and responsibility enshrined in our Basic Law. These principles are important not only for the scientific community but for all of us, as citizens of a vibrant democracy.

The freedom of research allows us to question and understand the world, discover new things, and develop solutions for the future. It is a gift that comes with the responsibility to use it for the benefit of all. In this spirit, it is our collective duty to protect and promote these freedoms.

In a post-factual world, the importance of knowledge and interpretation becomes ever more crucial – our responsibility grows. The quote by Max Planck, „insight must precede application," reminds us that sound scientific research must be the basis for any application and that we, as researchers, bear a responsibility towards society.

The Fritz Haber Institute also wishes to use this special day to highlight the importance of participating in democratic processes. At a time when the future of Europe and the role we play as citizens within it are of great significance, we are reminded that our voice matters. The upcoming European Parliament election in June 2024 is one such opportunity where we can collectively decide on our future.

We take this Constitution Day as an occasion to reflect on the importance of our democratic rights and duties. It is a time to celebrate living in a society that upholds the freedom of research and the significance of each individual voice.

The Fritz Haber Institute commits to contributing to an informed, engaged, and forward-looking society through its research and dialogue with the public. Let us walk this path together, live the values of our Basic Law, and actively shape our future.

Go to Editor View