Science organisations in Germany have launched a new initiative modelled on the UK's attempts to increase public awareness of science - in particular the work of the Committee on the Public Understanding of Science (COPUS). The presidents of all the major German science organisations recently signed an agreement to support dialogue between science and society.
The prevailing public perception in Germany of scientific developments being a double-edged sword have resulted in German pharmaceuticals firms carrying out most of their research and production abroad. Unlike the British initiative, the German programme, known as the Public Understanding of Science and Humanities (PUSH), includes social sciences and humanities as well as science and technology. PUSH is primarily aimed at individual scientists who are being encouraged to publicise their work for schools, exhibitions and the media. Education in communications skills is also being encouraged. Funding of DM500,000 (£166,000) has been provided by research organisations to support these activities.