International Center for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities (IZEW)

Association for the promotion of Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities (VFEW)

The association was founded in 1998 by Julia Dietrich, Marcus Düwell, Eve-Marie Engels, Vera Hemleben, Christof Mandry, Dietmar Mieth and Prof. em. Dr. Albrecht Müller. Its aim is to promote ethics in the sciences and humanities by providing targeted support for activities of the International Center for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities (IZEW).

There is still a significant lack of the necessary resources for interdisciplinary research in ethics in science. For example, more than three quarters of the IZEW's work is financed by acquired funds that are not permanently available. Although the high proportion of third-party funding is proof of the quality of the work at the IZEW, there is always a lack of funds to finance activities that are not part of third-party funded projects. This is where the association provides support.

An indispensable prerequisite for research and the promotion of young scientists is the IZEW's special library on the ethics of science, which is open to the public and to whose thematic expansion the association contributes.

In concrete terms, the association supports publications, events and, in particular, the networking of science and social actors in order to make the concept of ethics in the sciences and humanities fruitful for social actors and interested citizens. In addition, the association supports the alumni work of the IZEW in order to provide a space for networking.


  • is an interdisciplinary research center of the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, which is supported by all faculties.
  • was initiated in 1985 and founded in 1990. It is one of the few ethics centers in Germany that deals with the whole range of ethical topics.
  • pursues the program of "Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities": Questions of responsibility are already addressed within the sciences.
  • promotes interdisciplinary dialogue between the natural sciences, humanities and social sciences in research and teaching, as well as the involvement of other social actors and the public.
  • develops and conducts research projects in the areas of nature and sustainable development, ethics and culture, ethics and education, security ethics, ethics of the digital society, medical ethics and bioethics, and fundamental questions of ethics in the sciences and humanities.
  • is one of the authoritative places for the promotion and training of young scientists in the field of interdisciplinary ethics: DFG Research Training Group "Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities" (1991-2000) and DFG Research Training Group "Bioethics" (2004-2013).

The Board of Directors

Prof. Dr. Vera Hemleben (Chairperson)
Prof. Dr. Dietmar Mieth (Vice Chairman)
Prof. Dr. Thomas Potthast (Vice Chairman)
Dr. Wulf Loh (Treasurer)

The statutes of the association can be viewed here (German only).