Guidelines on advising policy makers and society

A fundamental objective of acatech – the National Academy of Science and Engineering  – is to give advice on future-oriented scientific and technology issues to policy makers and society. The analyses and recommendations provided by acatech are to help policy makers reach sound, substantive decisions. 

The activities of the Academy go even further, in giving information to society and helping to form opinions on complex problems and issues.
Not only does acatech address topics on its own initiative, it also takes on consulting assignments.

Any advice given to policy makers or society from the Academy is science-based, independent, politically neutral and in the interests of the common good.

The scientific investigation of technology policy issues, the development of recommended courses of action and any communication from the Academy are based on established codes. These are the guidelines from the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Science and Humanities (BBAW) on advising policy makers, as well as the proposals for ensuring good scientific practice from the German Research Foundation (DFG). Moreover, in its communications, which accompany the advice given to policy makers by the Academy, acatech takes its position from the German Council for Public Relations’ guidelines on fostering contacts in the sphere of policy advice (DRPR) and from the code of conduct of the German Association of Political Consultants (de’ge’pol).

acatech is bound by the principles of truthfulness, independence and transparency. The following guidelines for the Academy, its policy advisory bodies, its experts, as well as its clients, have resulted from this:



acatech ensures that the advice from the Academy is based on the state-of-the art of science.



The Academy ensures that relevant experts are in the project group to provide the highest level of advice on the topic and, as a result, the points of view of both science and industry are taken into account accordingly


All those involved in a project are required to disclose any of their interests that could cast doubt upon their impartiality.


A review process makes sure that the results derived from acatech projects are in line with the best current scientific status, take all relevant aspects into consideration and that any alternative courses of action or recommendations can be drawn from the analyses as presented.



All the results will be published once they have been reviewed. This will reveal the process of how the results were achieved, who funded the project, as well as the names and institutional ties of all those involved. The Academy itself will be responsible for determining the date and scope of publication.



The Academy will continually publish information about their activities in the areas of advising policy makers and society.



Should a project be a commissioned work, the Academy expects that the client presents the results in the public domain in a well-balanced way and that any divergent interpretation be well-founded.

Munich/ Berlin, October 2010