The GDR received reactor technology from the Soviet Union.While research studies from the hard sciences had the chance to be published in Western journals, it was much tougher for the social sciences and humanities, according to Dieter Hoffman, a fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin.As in other fields, East German science struggled to find its place in a unified Germany.
Before she entered politics, Merkel studied, worked and eventually earned her doctorate in quantum chemistry in East Berlin.
Before the wall came down, Hoffmann worked at the East German Academy of Sciences in the Institute for Theory and the History of Science.
" It was not possible for me for instance, to publish in Western journals," said Hoffmann, "and also I could not go to West to visit colleagues or conferences and to present there my scientific research." Scientists who didn't toe the party line, or who were suspected of criticizing the regime quickly found their work censored or not published at all.
While the rest of the country was trying to figure how to integrate two governments, two currencies and two of nearly everything else, the sciences were no different.
After unification, the West German government advisory body, the Council of Science and Humanities was tasked with evaluating East German research facilities, according to Karl Ulrich Mayer, a West German sociologist at Yale University in the United States.