CESSMA is a think tank consisting of science managers working in the Earth system sciences. It is dedicated to improve the management of German interdisciplinary, large-scale research programs or similar publicly funded research-structures in the field of Earth System Science. It aims to
a) establish a system of knowledge transfer between different science managers working on management issues in similar fields in Earth System Sciences and
b) lay the foundation of a long-term institution (organisation) which can articulated best-practice recommendations for specific tasks of scientific project management in this field.
CESSMA focuses explicitly on creating opportunities of exchange in physical and virtual spaces of practical co-developing between different science managers.
CESSMA is built on the conviction that publicly funded, large-scale interdisciplinary research programs must be managed well to meet the justified expectations of the public, stake holders, or project carriers. At the same time, a science project constitutes a unique and challenging management task as it is in large parts not enforceable and thus does not meet the underlying basic premise of standard project management methods. Scientific management in the Earth system sciences must therefore balance the demands of multiple stakeholders and must work primarily to connect and enable all scientists involved in the project. At the same time, state-of-the-art science relies more than ever on the development of infrastructure, both physical and digital. This infrastructure-developing aspect of science management can enable a better knowledge transfer and must be enhanced in the future to improve the German research landscape and create unique infrastructure opportunities for researchers in Germany to benefit from.
CESSMA is currently defining its modus operandi and, consequently, its membership structure. To be a member of CESSMA means to work on the aforementioned goals to advance ideas and concepts of scientific management in the field of Earth system sciences and to be willing to share ideas, know-how, and best-practice examples between members. CESSMA is a small network of active members meant for practical exchange, not a centrally-organised group for information exchange (i.e. not another mailing list). CESSMA members come together in regular meetings, embedded either in professional trainings or in workshops.