The federal state Lower Saxony will fund the PhD study “biodiversity and society” with 1 million euros

Young scientists, who stand out from their PhD period, will be supported with funds of the federal state Lower Saxony. The PhD study “biodiversity and society – social dimensions of protection and use of biological variety” amongst others, has been invested with 15 Lichtenberg-Awards, each for 3 years and will start its work under within the Göttingen Graduate School of Social Science (GGG) in April 2010.
The GGG is one of three comprehensive Graduate Schools of the Göttingen University and combines law, social sciences and economics as well as agricultural and forest economics. Leading, the study course will be in charge of Professor Rainer Marggraf / department of agricultural economy and rural development.

The analysis of biodiversity is a central point of the research and the lessons at the Göttingen Georg-August University. Besides the traditionally strong developed natural scientifically analysis fields in between the ecology and systematics as well as in the coverage of agricultural economics, forestry and conservation, the PhD programme will provide the social scientificly components of biodiversity analysis in research, as well as in the education. The aim of the cooperation of scientists in areas of agricultural sciences, didactics of biology, law, philosophy, psychology and economics is to work out basic principles for the protection and sustainable usage of the biological variety. In addition to this especially the interdisciplinary analysis and development of instruments for an improved individually and corporately decision should be focused in areas of biodiversity.

So, with this course of study, the natural scientific questions will be amplified for a research program for the assessment and “Inwertsetzung” of biodiversity. Thus the functionality of biodiversity in ecosystems, together with its social usage and perception can be analysed and also contribute to an improved social and individual decision making in matters of protection and effective usage of the biological variety.

Biodiversity – also called biological variety – describes the variety of species and living space on the ground as well as the genetic variation within the different natures since the year 1980. Since then, analysis and the debate about biodiversity have been focused on the importance of this variety for the stability and efficiency of nature and on the worth and advantage of this variety for the people. Since we have seen that we influence this variety by the modification and destruction of wildlife as well as the by the extermination of different kinds of animals and plants, not only the cataloguing of the variety and the exploration of functional principles is important, but also at the same time it has to been examined criticly the association of the human beings with the biological variety.

Since the convention of biodiversity, passed 1992 during the Earth Rio Summit in Rio de Janeiro, biodiversity has been a central term of the international policy and an element of international and sustainable development. In the future, Göttingen will not only allocate excellent natural scientific analysis, which shows the function of biodiversity, but also it can increase this with contributions of social science about the facts of social influences of biodiversity.

With this focus of social sciences of biodiversity, up to 20 scientists will start their PhD by the beginning of April 2010 and vitalize the new promotion study course. Besides professional interdisciplinary research, the study course is characterized by an accompanying graduate school programme for the obtainment of methodic competences and key qualifications, which serve to link and to publish our analysis internacionally.