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Our guiding principles

Our Mission

The Weizenbaum Institute wants to help ensure that digitalization and the networked society are not only better understood, but also shaped in a sustainable, self-determined and responsible manner.

That is why we stand for excellent, interdisciplinary, fundamental, independent and value-based digitalization research, whose topics, methods and formats we develop further in dialogue with social actors. We also research, test and promote open science and the digitalization of science.

In doing so, we question digitalization and networking with regard to the guiding values of digital self-determination and sustainability in the spirit of the institute's namesake, the German-American computer science pioneer Joseph Weizenbaum. We see the transfer of knowledge and value-based recommendations for action in politics, business and civil society as a central task.

Working principles

We want to work together in an appreciative, respectful and inclusive manner, conduct cooperative, independent and responsible research and communicate transparently. We have therefore adopted the following working principles:

  1. Interdisciplinarity
    The research agenda combines economic, social and political science, legal, IT and design research approaches and perspectives. Social digitization processes are researched holistically in interdisciplinary cooperation.
  2. Openness
    The Weizenbaum Institute stands for open and transparent research. We rely on the approaches of open data, open source, open access and open science methods and develop them further.
  3. Participation
    The further development of the research agenda, the implementation of projects and the transfer of knowledge take place with the participatory involvement of citizens and other relevant stakeholder groups, for example in open labs, public events and with citizen science formats.
  4. Long-term orientation
    In its own activities, the Weizenbaum Institute is committed to well-founded basic research that is designed to generate lasting knowledge. The Weizenbaum Institute scientifically accompanies and supports change processes in society.
  5. Sustainability orientation
    The publicly funded Weizenbaum Institute is committed to the common good in the sense of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We make decisions in research, administration and IT infrastructure with sustainable development in mind.


  • Our Guidelines

    Here you will find the code of good scientific practice at the Weizenbaum Institute as well as the guidelines for handling research data, for doctoral students and for doctoral supervision.

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  • Open Science

    The Weizenbaum Institute stands for open, transparent research. In this way, we want to contribute to increasing the transparency, traceability, efficiency, reproducibility and quality of our research results.

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  • Sustainability Strategy

    We want to do our part for global and intergenerational justice and for the long-term preservation of our livelihoods. This is why we base the Institute's actions on this long-term responsibility. In our sustainability strategy, we have set out in concrete and binding organizational terms how we intend to implement this.

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About Joseph Weizenbaum

The institute is named after the German-American computer science pioneer Joseph Weizenbaum. His critical examination of the relationship between computers and society is fundamental to the work of the Weizenbaum Institute.

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