Since its foundation in 1959, scientists of the VDW work towards the goal of complete nuclear disarmament and a stable peace architecture. As the German branch of the ‚Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs‘, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995, we advocate nuclear disarmament and peace in the tradition of Bertrand Russel, Albert Einstein and the “Göttinger 18”. Further fields of research include sustainability and risk minimization in the fields of resources, genetic engineering, energy, global food security and agriculture, biological diversity as well as critical analyses of the prevalent economic system and its legal framework.

Awarding the “Whistleblower Prize” we honor people who made personal sacrifices in order to bring before the public facts, which indicate a major social issue or risk, and for which they were not heard within their own institution.

Transdisciplinary research, which accepts its responsibility, has to analyze and increasingly inform the public about necessary transformation processes to foster ecological, economic, social and cultural sustainability. The VDW wants to contribute towards this necessary transformation.

The VDW adheres to independence from institutional and economic interests, transparency and responsibility as central requirements for scientific research. Accordingly, the VDW supports political debate and democratic decision-making through non-partisan, scientifically sound reasoning.

Scientists’ critical views on their own fields of research as well as guidance towards an inter- and transdisciplinary discourse belong to research and teaching. The encouragement of and the support for students and young scientists to critically question potential consequences of their doing as well as the implementation of ethical principles into scientific practices are of great importance. The facilitation of science education understood in this way will be a central societal challenge in the future. The most important catalyst is a credible exemplary function of recognized scientists for the younger generation. Thus, we seek cooperation with young scientists and students in order to awaken their interest for the consequences of their scientific work and to foster their sense of responsibility as well as support their active engagement.