Petition Lobby Register

The Lobbying Act passed by the Bundestag has been in force since 01 March 2022. The law establishes a new lobby register that discloses which interest groups influence processes in the Bundestag and the federal government. While the lobby register thus contributes to more transparency in the political establishment, its extension to the scientific establishment threatens to disregard the boundary between interest representation and science-based policy advice. Anna-Katharina Hornidge, Director of the German Development Institute (DIE), and Conrad Schetter, Scientific Director of the Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC), reflect on this blurring of the boundary between strategically motivated lobbying and scientific policy advice in the April issue of ‚Forschung und Lehre‚.   They warn that equating lobbying with scientific advice reduces the latter as an expression of opinion and stands in the way of an enlightened understanding of science. Against this background, the authors refer to a petition submitted to the Bundestag, which demands that scientists and scientific institutions be excluded from the lobby register. The petition is still open until 14 April and would be discussed in the Bundestag if at least 50,000 people sign it.

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