Transparency in Research

Closely arranged open books Closely arranged open books Closely arranged open books © Free-Photos CC0 | pixabay

Freedom of research is enshrined in article 5 paragraph 3 of the German Basic Law. Free research contributes greatly to promote the health, prosperity, and security of mankind, as well as to protect the environment. Furthermore, scientifically successful research requires transparency, free exchange of knowledge, as well as the publication and discussion of research findings.

Yet free and transparent research is also associated with risks: useful research findings could be misused for harmful purposes. This problem arises especially when research findings can be misused directly, without intermediate steps (known as "dual use research of concern"). In view of this, Leibniz University Hannover adopted various measures to guarantee transparency regarding research conducted at LUH, as well as to limit risks arising from misuse of research findings for harmful purposes. Transparency is ensured through continuous and easily accessible information on research projects and findings. If researchers at Leibniz University Hannover identify any concerns regarding possible consequences of their research for security, health, and the environment, they shall be able to consult a Committee for Responsibility in Research when planning and implementing their projects. Potential dangers of high-risk research and the limits of freedom of research shall be discussed in a series of public lectures (free admission).