After the election of the Federal Chancellor and appointment of the new Minister of Health, curbing the coronavirus pandemic is once again an issue to be addressed from a practical perspective in the political arena of Berlin. In addition to the standing crisis management team, Chancellor Olaf Scholz has now established a Corona Expert Council. The council is made up of interdisciplinary experts representing the scientific and research communities and has the task of observing, assessing, and advising on the pandemic situation and the vaccination campaign. Two psychologists, Prof. Dr. Cornelia Betsch and Prof. Dr. Ralph Hertwig, are also part of the team—alongside representatives from the fields of virology, epidemiology, sociology, intensive care medicine, and pediatrics and adolescent medicine.
Cornelia Betsch is currently the DFG Heisenberg Professor of Health Communication at the University of Erfurt. Her colleague, Ralph Hertwig, is director of the Center for Adaptive Rationality at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin. At the center of the council’s work will be its multifaceted view of the pandemic as well as the latest developments and their effects on the population.
In 2021, together with the German Psychological Society (DGPs, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Psychologie), the German Association of Psychologists (BDP, Berufsverband Deutscher Psychologinnen und Psychologen), and the Federal Chamber of Psychotherapists (BPtK, Bundespsychotherapeutenkammer), the Leibniz Institute of Psychology (ZPID, Leibniz-Institut für Psychologie) awarded the German Psychology Prize 2021 to Cornelia Betsch. The ZPID is delighted that psychology as a discipline will have the opportunity to participate in this high-ranking panel of experts. In mutual dialogue with Cornelia Betsch, the ZPID will provide the necessary infrastructures and methodological expertise to support psychological research projects of the Corona Expert Council.