Research current

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Research current
Radio magazine from Germany
original language German
publication April 3, 1986–
genre science
Duration 25 min
production Germany radio
author Michael Roehl

Current research (including Research News ) is a daily emitted since 1989 Radio Magazine in Germany radio that about events from the contemporary science reports. The program runs from 4.35 p.m. to 5.00 p.m. On Saturdays and Sundays, the broadcast starts at 4.30 p.m. because no messages are sent beforehand.


Wissenschaft aktuell was created in 1986 and was initially broadcast as a weekly magazine on Thursdays from 3:05 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., for the first time on April 3. The program contained the following elements: reports “from science and technology”, reports “from scientific journals”, book reviews, short news and a focus report of around 13 minutes, called “An overview of trends and developments in science and technology”. The editor in charge was Edgar Forschbach .

The further development of the program into a daily science magazine came in 1989 when Deutschlandfunk carried out a program structure reform under its director Edmund Gruber . Gruber wanted to free the afternoon from its broad music magazine space, instead clock it every half hour and offer the listener sophisticated, up-to-date content without intermediate music. The science editor Edgar Forschbach offered to fill the half hour before the show Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft with current scientific content. The director doubted the feasibility, but gave Forschbach the chance to try it. Together with the editor Gerd Pasch , he built an ensemble of authors. The first broadcast, initially on a weekday, ran on Monday, April 3, 1989. In a leaflet for the editors, Forschbach wrote:

“Current research is, [...] as the radio medium suggests, particularly committed to being up-to-date. The daily broadcast first also provides a daily update. Basically, a corresponding event must first be reflected in Research News before it appears as a topic in other media. "

- Edgar Forschbach : Science journalism on the radio. Editorial organization and thematising processes

In the first few months, the authors, moderators and editors experimented with various types of contributions and presentations, including double moderation, "told" news and discussions with colleagues on current scientific topics. Then the editors found a comparatively fixed form: a moderator presents three to five reports on current scientific topics and, with the help of a news editor, current short messages. The reports usually consist of contributions with original tones, but occasionally also of discussions with colleagues and reports. Since October 1993, Sternzeit , a short astronomical calendar sheet, has been broadcast at the end of the broadcast . The texts in this series were initially taken from the MacDonald Observatory at the University of Texas . In the meantime, however, research freelancers are currently writing the texts. In 1991, on Sundays from 4:30 p.m., the monothematic program `` Forschungs aktuell '' - Science in focus was added. Since 1993, the editorial team has been broadcasting Research News - Computers and Communication on Saturdays .


The recipe for success of Research Current goes back to three basic ideas of the initiator Forschbach:

  • The contributions must be up-to-date, preferably up to date.
  • You have to orientate yourself hard on scientific facts.
  • They live through the special authenticity of original scientist sounds.

With these strict requirements, the broadcast differs from all others in the German radio landscape to this day. The lack of

  • Service character - no anniversaries are celebrated, competitions are staged or audience questions are answered (exceptions are quarterly magazines in which scientific specialist literature is discussed, as well as the Advent series digital masterminds and math calendars with profit incentives and audience participation) and
  • Didactic elements from the earlier school radio - the contributions require a certain basic knowledge or at least a scientific interest

acts research currently "dry", more compact and more direct than the competition. Edgar Forschbach was an opponent of the content or form of "softening" the program. That also included music. As early as 1973, Forschbach outlined his special view of science journalism on the radio in an essay.

Since the mid-1990s, however, the editorial team has been trying to further develop Forschbach's concept. It operates less science-oriented "appointment journalism" and strives for an intelligent interweaving of current and profound reporting. The Sunday program Science in Focus plays a special role.

The show today

Research News poster: "You never research"

Daily changing moderators lead through the show. After several short contributions or live discussions with experts, current short messages and the sidereal time with day-specific comments on astronomy and space travel follow .

On Saturday, the topics of the week from information technology will be summarized in the magazine “ Forschung Aktuell - Computer und Kommunikation ”. This broadcast also contains a rubric with glosses : The digital logbook .

The Sunday program “ Research Current - Science in Focus” is dedicated to a key topic in the form of a science feature . On special occasions, however, current, single-topic magazine programs are also produced live here. This program is the figurehead of the editorial team: its authors have received numerous awards. The Georg von Holtzbrinck Prize for Science Journalism alone was awarded eight times to “Science in Focus” authors between 1995 and 2011.

Between the daily reports, rows on special topics are mixed in loose succession, for example Mrasek's molecular mosaic for the UNESCO International Year of Chemistry in 2011 or Great idea - what became of it? by questioning great promises made by scientists about their sustainability.

Michael Roehl is the editorial manager.


The editorial staff of research to date was in 2016 "to contribute for journalistic achievements, the scientific and physical distribution to thinking in German-speaking in an excellent way" the medal for scientific journalism of the German Physical Society (DPG). The award ceremony took place on November 11th in Bad Honnef . The contributions by journalists Ralf Krauter and Frank Grotelüschen were highlighted .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Uli Blumenthal: SILVER SENDUNGS ANNIVERSARY - Review of 25 years of “Research Current” , Deutschlandfunk - “Research Current” from April 3, 2014
  2. ^ Jan Lublinski : Science journalism on the radio. Editorial organization and thematising processes . UVK, 2004, pp. 152-153.
  4. ^ Forschbach, Edgar (1973): Science and technology in radio. Up-to-date, authentic and appealing to everyone. In: epd / church and radio. No. 39 of October 17, 1973. pp. 4-6. First published in: DLF-Jahrbuch. Deutschlandfunk 1972-1973. Pp. 46-50.
  5. , PRIZES AND AWARDS , August 19, 2016: "Current Research" receives medal for scientific journalism (November 24, 2016)