Over the last few decades, Paleontology has been transforming from a largely descriptive subject to a predictive science with underestimated potential to elucidate global change impacts and evolutionary laws. Novel research directions, an increasingly quantitative approach, and new techniques offer many opportunities for Paleontology.
This long-term project funded by the Volkswagenstiftung will strengthen Paleontology structurally, reduce weaknesses, and build on the opportunities provided by the low number of actors in a rare subject. The Paleosynthesis Center will own the key function for success: A series of workshops on important scientific topics will initiate cooperative research resulting in the formulation of a shared research vision for the subject.
Furthermore, science schools will support the necessary methodological renewal of the subject and enhance its scientific potential. Measures for enhancing public visibility and citizen science (including an interactive mobile phone application) will counteract the biased public impression that Paleontology is still largely devoted to digging out dinosaur bones.