Life sciences

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Biosciences ( Greek βιός bios , German ' life ' ), life sciences or life sciences are fields of research and training courses that deal with the processes or structures of living things or in which living things are involved. In addition to biology , they also include related areas such as medicine , biomedicine , pharmacy , biochemistry , chemistry , molecular biology , biophysics , bioinformatics ,Human biology , but also agricultural technology , nutritional sciences and food research , through to the scientific processing of biogenic natural resources and biodiversity research. The range of methods can include almost the entire scientific equipment and analysis inventory and also extend into areas of human and social sciences. The methodical work and the theoretical tools are therefore often strongly interdisciplinary , but have a clear relation to living beings and especially to humans. It thus forms a large modern scientific group similar to that of the human sciences .


Coming from the Anglo-Saxon language area, the terms “life sciences” and, derived from them, “life sciences” have established themselves, with the biomedically oriented industry in particular using the term “life sciences”. This is why today this is often associated with application and market-oriented research ; “Biosciences” and “life sciences”, on the other hand, are more likely to be associated with basic research . The term "life sciences" is sometimes used in a very broad sense and extended to non-original biological disciplines such as psychology or even artificial intelligence . The use of the terms is not completely congruent or identically connoted between users of German and English mother tongue, especially with the term "life sciences" .

Use of terms

Since many research institutions that cannot or do not want to call themselves biology deal with biological issues, the term "biosciences" has become very popular in recent years. Some scientific societies and university faculties / departments that used to have the term "biology" or some other special designation now use the term "biosciences". Examples of such societies are the Association for Biology, Biosciences and Biomedicine in Germany or the Society for Didactics of BioSciences . Other institutions, on the other hand, prefer the term “life sciences”. B. the Leibniz Association .

Study opportunities in the field of life sciences

In addition to the classic courses of study in biology and biochemistry , a large number of courses have been established - most recently mainly in the course of the Bologna process - which, based on a similar basic education, set special focuses in sub-areas of the biosciences. The different naming makes it difficult for those willing to study to make a selection here. The Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology maintains a list of the corresponding courses in Germany in the working group "Studies in Molecular Biosciences" and the Association for Biology, Biosciences and Biomedicine in Germany has both an online study guide for all courses in the German-speaking area as well as a compilation of all consecutive courses and postgraduate master’s courses in the life sciences (see web links).

See also


  • Andrea Gerber-Kreuzer: Biotech - Biochip - Biogas. Fascinating professional world of life sciences . Education and Knowledge Verlag, Nuremberg 2007, ISBN 978-3-8214-7657-5 .
  • Christoph Cremer (Ed.): From people to crystals. Concepts of the life sciences from 1800–2000. AIG I. Hilbinger Verlagsgesellschaft, 2008, ISBN 3-927110-26-4 .
  • Axel W. Bauer : Healthy body and sick body. The changing image of humans in the history of medicine and their contribution to the philosophy of life sciences. In: Giovanni Maio , Volker Roelcke (Hrsg.): Medicine and culture. Medical thinking and acting in a dialogue between the natural sciences and the humanities. Festschrift Dietrich von Engelhardt. Stuttgart / New York 2001, pp. 77-95.

Web links