The Science Council is the main advisory body of the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF), the legislative bodies and the universities on matters relating to the university system and on issues of science policy and the arts. The Science Council has its statutory basis in the Universities Act 2002 (section 119 UG) and took up its activities in 2003.
The Austrian Science Council draws up analyses, position papers and recommendations, which are published. Every three years the Science Council presents an activity report to the National Council.
How the Science Council views itself
On its website, the Austrian Science Council describes itself as follows: “The Science Council, legitimised by its international and professional composition, sees itself as an independent advisory body with the right of initiative and the aim of optimising the Austrian higher education and research system, in particular the university system. […] the Science Council sees itself as an independent advisor and trust-giving mediator who keeps an eye on the affairs of the universities and the entire tertiary system and opposes undesirable developments in the form of one-sided profiles, unjustified dependencies or structural deficiencies.” This is its Manifesto.
Organisation of the Science Council
The Austrian Science Council is composed of twelve members from different areas of society, in particular from science and art, but also from business and industry. The members are proven experts from Austria and abroad with individual and institutional experience. The chair is Prof. Antonio Loprieno, President of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences (University of Basel).