The Austrian Science Council is composed of twelve members from different areas of society, in particular from science and art, but also from business and industry. The members are both domestic and foreign experts with individual and institutional experience. The chairman is Prof. Dr. Antonio Loprieno (University of Basel).
The office supports the Science Council in its work.
The Austrian Science Council develops analyses, statements and recommendations. These are published. Every three years, the Science Council submits a report to the National Council.
The Austrian Science Council, legitimised by its international and professional composition, sees itself as an independent, expert advisory body with the right of initiative and the aim of optimising the Austrian higher education and research system, in particular the university system.
In view of the now 22 autonomous universities, the Austrian Science Council sees itself as an independent advisor and trust-giving mediator who keeps an eye on the affairs of the universities and the entire tertiary system and opposes undesirable developments in the form of one-sided profiles, unjustified dependencies or structural deficiencies. The tasks of universities in particular need to be constantly rethought, both from a scientific and an institutional perspective, in the context of other scientific institutions in the tertiary sector (e.g. universities of applied sciences, institutes of the Austrian Academy of Sciences).
The universities are characterised by the institutional combination of research and teaching as well as by the training of young scientists. In an "enlightened knowledge society, they strive for the education and autonomy of the individual through science" and generally contribute to the "solution of people's problems" (§ 1 UG 2002). The Science Council also seeks to comply with this task through its statements and recommendations.