© Rudi Klein

Research is a promise. It is certainly one of the biggest promises humankind has ever made. It pledges that what seems impossible can be possible.

Researchers rely on theories, hypotheses, and transparency. On cooperation and criticism. This helps to foster innovation and build trust. Thus, more than ever, we need clear insights and widespread confidence in them. The sciences can show us a way out of the crisis, but we all have to do our part. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, a lot of attention has been given to increasing our scientific knowledge, and the strengths and limitations of that approach. Those colleagues in particular who are putting their expertise to work to tackle the crisis are feeling the public pressure – with all the positive and negative effects this entails. We would like to express our respect and appreciation to all of them. We at the FWF have always been committed to ensuring that researchers can work independently. Those who defame or threaten researchers thus break the basic rules of a free society. Once this line has been crossed, democracy is in jeopardy.

Finally, let’s take a quick look back at last year’s approvals: Austrian basic research has once again proven that it is alive and well, with more researchers receiving funding than ever before. To all of you we wish every success. We would also like to wish all those whose proposals could not be supported by the FWF due to limited resources the best of luck on future research projects.

This year we have once again asked caricaturist Rudi Klein to come up with a cartoon lampooning us. With this pre-holiday humour, we would like on behalf of the Executive Board and the entire FWF 
team to wish you good health and all the best for 2022.

Christof Gattringer, Ursula Jakubek, Georg Kaser, Gerlinde Mautner, and Ellen Zechner as well as the entire FWF Team

Tip: As reading for the holidays, we recommend our scilog online magazine https://scilog.fwf.ac.at/en/. There you will find portraits and stories of successful FWF-funded researchers from the past year.

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